by Alyssa Threadgill
Sam Meneses (TFM ‘17) has a life full of color. As a media production professional that specializes in color grading, her strong visual arts talents have landed her big brand projects for notable clients like L'oreal, Showtime, Vimeo, Deloitte, Amazon and so many more.She currently works for a creative studio called Malka Media which as bicoastal roots in Jersey City and Los Angeles. I asked Sam how she finds inspiration for her work and how she has found the best ways to suit the messages of her clients.
“Having mood boards or references is super useful for me,”she said. “At Malka Media, I usually chat with the Producer or the Creative team to figure out the color grading approach for a video. For instance, a project for Amazon Web Services aimed for a Matrix vibe in the cold open for their Keynote convention last year. During pre-production, we discussed this Matrix mood, and the client and director shared stills from the actual Matrix film for reference for certain scenes. It was a cool experience as a colorist, going beyond the usual corporate video balance. “
Meneses also reflected on her approach to finding the best color grading approach for when there is no specific message being created.
“When there's no specific mood in mind, I watch the picture locked video and understand the intended message. I visualize what could work overall and sometimes check out Shot Deck for inspiration when I hit a creative block.”
I also asked Meneses how she thought her time at Temple helped her prepare for her career.
“Being at Temple gave me an open canvas on which I explored who I was because I came in my first year with the mindset that I was going to be an Architect,” she said. Meeting different people and also being a part of the Marching band community opened my eyes. I knew I wanted to be in the arts but it wasn’t architecture so I took intro courses and found my people in the film department. Attending Temple certainly helped me develop strong organizational skills and time management. The professors were so supportive in helping me hone my skills as a student. It prepared me once I graduated.”
Meneses reflected on catching the attention of so many notable brands.
“After Temple, I made a close friend, Kyra Knox, and we stuck together through ups and downs”, she said. “Kyra was hired for a new job at Koi-Fly Creative and brought me on as a production assistant. I impressed the CEO and got a full-time position, becoming a versatile team member. I started coloring branded content, and a project for the 76ers was a game-changer for my career. With a solid resume, I applied to Malka Media as a colorist and got the job. Now, I'm working on projects for big names like L'Oréal, Shark Ninja, MoneyLion, ADP, Yahoo, Amazon, and Showtime. I continue to network outside of work and take on additional projects when I can.
However, even though she has amassed so much success, Meneses shared a challenge she had to overcome in order to become the best she can be in her current position.
“Imposter Syndrome is a huge one for me,” she said. “I still have it but not as bad as I started out. You need to stick with the right people who will lift you up and encourage you. I have my film sister, Kyra, from the first place I started out in. The encouragement pushed me to get myself out there and grow into my newly found skill/talent that I didn’t know I had. Now I’m coloring in Davinci Resolve and working on projects that I didn’t think I could work on. With AI coming into play in the film industry, I hope to figure out ways on how those AI programs could be useful for the color grading process.”
We are so proud of Sam and all of her success so far and are excited to see her next big project!