Emma Kantor

Hello friends! My name is Emma Kantor, and I am delighted to be working as one of the summer interns at Third Rail Studios and to be joining such an incredible team of intelligent and creative colleagues. I was raised in Oakland, California and moved to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Emory University, as I was drawn to their Creative Writing Program. In May 2021, I graduated with a double major in Film and Media Studies, accidentally stumbling into film after taking my firs screenwriting class and realizing that the film industry was where I needed to be. In Georgia, I was so grateful for the opportunities to dive into the different facets of the film and television industry. I checked off “being an extra” from my Atlanta bucket list and worked as a background actor on a cable television set as a Lifeguard, putting my expired CPR certification to use. After spending majority of my earnings on the Uber ride to the set, the casting director gave a disappointed look saying, “We were expecting a male lifeguard.” I responded, “Surprise!” Participating in the operations of a professional television production set was inspiring, but it also confirmed that I’d prefer to work behind the scenes, writing or producing behind the camera instead. I continued to explore the Atlanta based film industry through immersing myself in the local film festival environment, specifically in film evaluation and promotion. I volunteered for a few years with the Atlanta Jewish Film Festivals’ Film Evaluation Committee and the Short Films Jury. From writing coverage for so many films, I became aware of the wide scope of both the Jewish film community and diversity of global Jewish storytellers. I became inspired to reflect more on my own Jewish heritage.

Back on campus, I wrote my first feature script about a group of Jewish inmates celebrating Passover in San Quentin prison, melding the cultural familiarity with the setting unfamiliarity. Screenwriting was fun! It felt so natural to tell stories through action and dialogue, incorporating observations and conversation snippets from real life into the script, while also enhancing the fictional story with research and imagination.

In my college film production and television writing classes, I began to realize the high importance of group collaboration required to translate ideas into tangible work. Writing and producing is not a solitary act. It requires communication, planning, revision, redrafting, and re-shooting from development to post-production. Most importantly, I understand how film production is driven by community and requires so many people working behind the scenes to bring a project to completion. As I pursue a career in television writing, I know that group collaboration is central in the writers room.

Recently, I’m struggling with finding the right balance between creation and consumption. With the guidance of Third Rail Studios, I’m so excited to absorb knowledge and consume meaningful content to inform the creative development process of the group production project. I can’t wait to explore more of what the Atlanta film production industry has to offer.