My name is Milan Arielle Boyer and I’m a videographer and photographer. I work with a few different companies as a freelancer and I also have my own company, Milan Arielle Productions.
How did you get into videography?
As a kid, I always wanted to be in the movie industry in some way. I started writing scripts when I was 15. When it was time to go to college, I knew I wanted to do film studies. Ever since then, I’ve been really stuck on the goal of being in the film industry. I went to L.A. for a bit but I realized it was really competitive and not my cup of tea. I’m too mid-west to have that kind of competitive personality. I eventually went back into freelancing and recently started my own business.
What are some of the challenges of owning your own business?
With your own business, you have to really market yourself and invest in your brand. Meanwhile, with freelancing, you have to be very good with networking and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. There are times where you can’t get a job or you’re doing this weird job because that’s all that’s available to you. I found freelancing had a lot of factors I couldn’t control by myself. I wanted to start my own business so I could put in the work myself and get results within my control.
What is it about film, in particular, that speaks to you?
I’m a visual person. I’m not the best talker. I do like to write, but visual communication isn’t just a language; it’s a feeling. I love that. Growing up, I would always go to the movie theatre with my dad. That was our thing. I felt like it was an easy language for me to learn and translate.
What were some of your favorite movies growing up?
The first one that comes to my mind is Beatle Juice. I love Tim Burton and his style. It’s a little offbeat. I love sci-fi and different worlds that you have to create yourself. I'm now just getting into real stories and trying to tell them in a way that's interesting, but that’s also like, “Wow, this could really happen. I can relate to this.” I’m trying to write stories like that. But I still love sci-fi and dream worlds.
Describe your creative process.
I start with research. Then, I put pen to paper and start creating ideas. I can't type out my ideas, I have to write them out. From there, I’ll translate them into an electronic format, an excel spreadsheet or a written out document, also adding visual aspects.
I also like working with other people and artists. For example, musicians for the score of the movie—I find it really helpful for bringing everything together, and also working with actresses or collaborating with like-minded people in general.
What are some of your goals for the future?
I hope to build up my business and my brand and work with other people I admire. I’ve worked in the industry for a long time so I know it’s very male-dominated and sexist. I want to inspire other women to write something or produce something, to be creative.
Who would you like to collaborate with?
I was always inspired by Michelle Rodriguez. I know she’s wanted to produce movies and step out of the actress role, so I would love to produce a movie with her. Olivia Wilde just put out a new movie—I think it’d be cool to work with her.
Tell us about the first time you had cannabis.
I was 18 years old in college. My neighbour across the hall had been doing it her room since the first day of school started. I was probably bored in between classes and she asked if I wanted to try it. I thought, “Why not?” I don’t think I inhaled, because I obviously didn't know how, so it didn't really affect me. I was confused. Like, “Is this it?”
How do you use cannabis now?
I use it daily, as needed. It’s usually after work to unwind and get my head straight. I like using it to do other work, like editing or household chores like cooking and cleaning. It gets me motivated because after work I could so easily just lay on the couch and not move for the rest of the day. It kind of resets me. It makes me feel more aware. It’s a sense of being more grounded but also more airy, at the same time.
How do you feel about cannabis legalization in Michigan?
I voted. I was hoping legalization would be the outcome, so it could bring economic possibilities because some parts of Michigan are struggling a lot. Also to combat crime and make it more accessible for the people that really need it. I worked at a dispensary and I saw firsthand how cancer patients would come in seeking certain products and how hard it was to restock things because the industry wasn't really an industry yet. Having to say, “No, we don’t have that certain product and we don’t know when we’ll be able to get it,” was saddening.