Becoming Pictures is an artist owned documentary film production company whose projects explore the individual with the aim of revealing the complexities of our society. With a hand held camera, sensitive approach, and an open mind, Becoming Pictures searches for truth.

"Melissa is a talented filmmaker. Based on the filming we've done together, I discovered her to exercise excellent choice of subject matter with a caring for people that gave her maximum access. She has what it takes as a documentary filmmaker."
- Albert Maysles, Academy Award®
Nominated Filmmaker


As an undergraduate student Melissa Hammel produced “International Security: The Environmental Dimension” which won accolades from the U.S. General Accountability Office. The success of this first endeavor set Melissa on a path that would intersect, in varying capacities, with CNN, PBS, BRAVO, Sundance Channel, Plum TV, Albert Maysles, Pete Seeger, Russell Simmons, Washington Mutual, Robert Morganthau, artists, musicians, and many film festivals.

Wanderlust, Melissa’s NYU student film, won a Warner Bros. Pictures Film Production Award, traveled to festivals nationally, and was awarded “Best Young Filmmaker" at the Narrowsburg International Film Festival, and aired on the Sundance Channel through 2004.

Melissa has worked as a producer, camera woman and editor. She was awarded a Cine Golden Eagle in 2002 for her role as Producer/Director of a commercial piece about New York City Neighborhoods.

Melissa's 25 minute documentary, Ilona, Upstairs, is the winner of multiple awards including HBO's "Audience Award for Best Short" at the Provincetown Int'l Film Festival. It has been distributed for broadcast on Plum TV and in 50 states on Educational Television.

Melissa earned a BA in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Tufts University, and an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.