Aminah deVere graduated from Memphis College of Art in 2014 and has taken her degree in Digital Media/Digital Cinema from freelancing in Downtown Memphis to working full-time at Local 24 News. Having spent the past two years at the station, Aminah is now the Producer and Segment Booker for its 9AM lifestyle talk show, Local Memphis Live.
How did you decide to come to MCA?
Out of the top professions – law, medicine, and media – I chose media, and began working on that early. Everywhere I was volunteering or interning was a direct line into my career path. Once I found out that MCA offered animation as a major, I was sold right then. After a few semesters, I switched my concentration to Digital Cinema, but took classes in both areas.
What was your favorite class or project while you were here?
Experimental Cinema. My conversations and thought processes pivoted from what can be done on-screen to what can be done with the screen. I started to interact with it, changing its texture, color, shape, and how it could respond — I had not done that before, but it’s something I always consider, especially now.
Who was your favorite teacher?
Before she was my professor, I had her for review committee, and I left that day eager to be her student. She’s been more than a professor; her mentorship has been absolutely invaluable — all of the advice, encouragement, and honesty she’s poured into me, I am forever grateful for it.
If you could go back and take something different at MCA, what would it be?
I would add Stop Motion and Textiles to my list of classes, as those were top on my enrollment wishlist.
What drew you to your current job?
It was the natural next step in terms of career development. Most of my life has been spent in production, from the beginning stages to working on set with crews, through the final edit. What I’m doing now is like my thesis x5 — capturing and sharing other people’s stories. I certainly thank God for it because it’s the sum of all I’ve ever done.
How did MCA prepare you for that position?
MCA provides a massive amount of support and opportunities to better yourself and career. I could find guidance from faculty and staff at every turn. In fact, I found it quite hard to not find what I needed at MCA! There was also the student government, where I was elected President for my last year at MCA. That was a significant role, working with the rest of the student body and staff. I gained even more experience from internships.
What is the most exciting part of being a television producer?
The most exciting part is that it’s a live television show. Before and beyond the one hour, it’s on-air. There are a lot of moving parts — not just coordinating the people for tomorrow, but the theme for next week, and how to put together next month’s specials, and figuring out what elements you will actually see on screen. Nothing is locked in until it’s aired, and it’s a live render. That’s when you know what you have. I’m also working with a fantastic team, which is a huge part of all of this. Watching them thrive in their roles is motivating for me.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years, the primary method for consuming media will be so different, consider the surge of streaming services available on mobile devices and 360˚ news stories! Live broadcasts will always be there and TV will evolve. God willing, I will be right in the middle of that.
When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
Before I started this job, I joined a church ministry doing the same thing, working on a live broadcast. It pumps me up! I also challenge my brain by learning non-Latin languages with puzzling syntaxes. I figure if I understand one phrase in various structures, I could swiftly come up with several solutions to one problem by switching perspectives.
What’s your favorite thing about Memphis?
It’s diversity. If you can’t travel abroad, just walk around Memphis. On any given day there’s a festival celebrating another country that’s nestled in right here.