Henrietta “Henry” Biayemi, MFA ’22, Film and Television Production

What inspired you to pursue a master’s degree in film and TV production?
I’m here to learn how to become an editor. Good editing is one of my favorite things in the production of a film or a television show. As a kid, I used to draw comics, and my favorite thing was piecing all of the stories together in little panels. I’ve found that same sort of joy while I’m editing. I love putting a project together and seeing how you can change the whole story on the computer, instead of on the set, just by moving the various parts around.

Who are your creative influences in this work?
One person I would really like to work with is Mike Flanagan, who was the director of the TV show The Haunting of the Hill House. I’m really into horror as a genre and I want to get more into that world. I like that he also edits some of his own work; he’s done Before I Wake and Oculus. I’m really inspired by those kinds of movies.

How’s your experience been so far at SFTV?
One professor who’s really shaped my journey here is Elizabeth Dewey. She’s an amazing editor and she takes the time to teach us one on one if we need it. She’s so passionate about helping us frame stories. And being an editor herself, she understands that not everyone wants to work on set or to be a director.

It’s been interesting to be here among students of many nationalities, with different backgrounds and understandings of the world. We bounce ideas off each other and sometimes I get suggestions that are completely different than what I’d asked about, and somehow they work. It exposes me to more ways of thinking and doing things. I don’t have a film background and was insecure about what I was walking into as I started the program. But seeing people who have loads of experience—or none at all—coming together and teaching each other is really beautiful. 

Film school has been and still is an experience that I never thought I would have for myself. Being here and surrounded by people who are so encouraging and who want to see you do your best—it’s like being in a safe space. When we go out into the world, we’ll still have these people who will be there for us and rally for us in the industry. It’s both comforting and inspiring.