Every year, MovieMaker asks a range of successful indie filmmakers to reflect on their time in and after film school for our Summer issue. We’re featuring some of our favorites from this year’s participants on moviemaker.com.

The questions we asked each alum: How did film school prepare you to be a working moviemaker, and what did you do straight outta film school?

This week, Anna Rose Holmer (NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Undergrad Class of 2007) shares her experience. The director’s debut narrative feature, The Fits, premiered at Sundance this year and opens in theaters June 3, 2016. Previously, Holmer worked in the camera departments of films like Twilight, Tiny Furniture and Northern Lights; directed her own doc, Twelve Ways to Sunday, about a rural community in New York State, in 2010; and produced Jody Lee Lipes’ 2014 New York City Ballet study, Ballet 422.

1. How did film school prepare you to be a working moviemaker?

Anna Rose Holmer (ARH): The film industry is an uneven playing field, and film school is no exception. I often saw other kids creating work with access to seemingly unlimited resources. That wasn’t my reality.

I learned that working within constraints can provide a creative advantage. The best filmmaking requires recognizing complex limitations and pushing up against them. Optimizing finite resources is a skill set that I continue to use daily.

 Lauren Gibson as Maia (left), Royalty Hightower as Ton i (center), and Alexis Neblett as Beezy (right) in Anna Rose Holmer's THE FITS

(L-R) Lauren Gibson as Maia, Royalty Hightower as Toni and Alexis Neblett as Beezy in The Fits

2. What did you do straight outta film school?

ARH: I started working regularly in the camera department while I was still in school. The first feature I worked on as a 1st AC was Chris Eigeman’s Turn the River, with DP Hernan Otaño. MM

The Fits opens in theaters June 3, 2016, courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories.