Miya Scaggs - Documentary Filmmaker

Studying Documentary Filmmaking and Physics
Spelman College, United States, class of 2025

“The lens through which we view the world composes our reality and affirms our identity.”

Born into a family of strong women, creators and storytellers, Miya is using the power of stories and her love of science to inspire a new generation.

Miya chose to study documentary filmmaking in Atlanta because “Black arts are emerging here, it’s the new Black Hollywood of the South and I want to immerse myself in that environment.” And she chose to study physics because Jordan Peele’s “Nope” inspired her to study how science can be applied to filmmaking.

Today, in her second year at Spelman College — the oldest Historically Black College and University (HBCU) for women in the US — Miya’s journey is guided on the discussion “of thought-provoking, Black female artists that haven’t been pushed to the forefront as much as their male counterparts”.

Her films and stories are rooted in art, science and Black Futurism — an emerging genre that addresses historic themes of the African diaspora with science and technology. Her documentaries explore the perspectives of thought leaders and artists in the Black community — as well as their journeys. And she uses Apple technology to support every aspect of her mission.

She’s interviewed a famous physicist, a renowned filmmaker and prominent artists on iPhone. She pulls the video into her Mac, edits with Adobe Premiere and designs audio with Logic Pro. “Mac has transformed my storytelling capabilities by becoming a conduit for editing sequences, sound design, and mixing and producing beats.”

As a recent director in Beats Black Creators Program — bringing HBCU students from across the US to imagine, look forwards and collaborate on a film — she used her favourite workflow on Mac which includes the Celtx Script app for writing, the Pitch app for treatments, and Notes on iPad for production. “Whenever I’m creating, it’s mainly about staying organised. Apple products streamline the creative process for me,” says Miya.

Miya tells even more stories through poetry. She creates illustrations on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, and then pulls them into Notes to annotate her lyric poetry on top. “iPad has allowed me to create beautiful graphic designs while layering my pieces with multiple colours and textures for visual art and renderings.”

And for engineering mechatronics classes that focus on optics and sound engineering, she uses Notes on iPad to draw concepts and doodles, and Logic Pro on Mac with the Unity app for game design activities.

Currently at New York University’s film school attending a study away programme for a term, Miya is broadening her sights and skills in storytelling — to inspire and empower other young girls and women, just as she has been uplifted by the women in her life.

“I want to provide more opportunities for young African Americans to hear from leaders and creators that look like them, people making a difference now, proposing the questions, ‘What is Black Futurism… what’s next?’”


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