The fervent followers of their premeditated dreams
As I entered my freshman year of college at Michigan State University, I remember a distinct differentiation that set me apart from my newfound peers as we embarked on our quest toward academia and adulthood. Amidst the exhilaration of taking our first baby-steps toward sweet, sweet independence, was the pedestrian conversational icebreaker that both plagued and aided freshman small talk, “…So, what’s your major?” I noticed that these exchanges typically took one of three paths. First, there were those who comfortably settled into the commitment phobe-friendly category of the “undecided." A league of indecisive hopefuls who left their future up to the hands of fate; seeking an eventual epiphany via the divine intervention of some allusive career oriented magic 8-ball. On the other end of the spectrum, were mom and dad’s little robot-minions; loyal followers of the footsteps of their predecessors, fulfilling some family career legacy. These noble souls often came in the form of future doctors, lawyers, etc. Left now, were the few, the proud; the fervent followers of their premeditated dreams, and I proudly took my stance among them. The end of my journey down the yellow brick road to Oz yielded a camera.
I have always been consumed with interest in various—if not all—areas of the arts. However, at a young age I quickly realized that the phrase “if you can dream it, you can do it” was smoke and mirrors for some of us mere mortals. Trial and error evinced that I had not been given the gift of song, nor did my coloring books allude to a future as forthcoming prodigy of some postmodern art movement. However, when I first laid eyes on my childhood neighbor’s prehistoric, VHS-recording, Sony camcorder, it was love at first shot. We devoted hours on end to various videos, including but not limited to reenactments of select scenes from the magnum opus of 1990s American cinema, Spice World. I found myself assuming the role of quasi-director, captivated by the craft.
Upon my sophomore year of high school, I discovered my niche in our high school’s telecommunication class. I found myself putting in academic overtime, staying after school to perfect simple exercises and familiarize myself with the new technology available at my fingertips. The end of first semester imparted me with an invitation I eagerly accepted. An invitation to be among the few sophomores asked to join the esteemed cast and crew of Central Sights, a TV & Cinema class that hosted 10 minute, daily live broadcasts to the entirety of our student body, delivering the breaking news that was the morning announcements. I immersed myself into learning every studio position, culminating in the role of head director my senior year.
In college I spent time as an editor of a web based sketch comedy show The Giraffe House under the University affiliated MSU Telecasters program. I soon found that, contrary to popular belief, the most valuable lessons I learned at MSU were not by virtue of coursework provided by my professors, but rather inspiration sparked by the work of my peers and the invaluable lessons exchanged between these prospective filmmakers. College also marked the genesis of my appreciation for the cinemas evolution. As I began my studies in Film Theory and Cinematic History, my seemingly virginal eyes were promptly exposed to areas of the cinema that I had never before devoted my attention to. Amongst these territories were the classics, the experimental realm of avant garde films, the French New Wave, Italian Neo-realism, and so on and so forth. My brain assumed the function of mental sponge, absorbing it’s capacity for this welcome sensory overload. I developed particular fascinations with the films of Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, and Vittorio De Sica; each endowing a unique set of imprints upon my cinematic style and perspective. Just when moviemaking seemed to have become a static process, dulled by trite exercises in camera basics that utterly neglected the right hemisphere of my brain, replacing artistic vision with formulaic processes, my artistic point of view was entirely rejuvenated by the mere process of learning how and why today’s films—both technically and narratively—were the love children of various visceral impressions accumulated along our cinematic lineage.
During my time interning at Zerosun, I hope to bridge the gap that often seems to create such disconnect between narrative and technical aspects of the filmmaking process. I sought the opportunity to work for Zerosun because of their outstanding reputation for providing limitless possibilities for learning and growth. I’m excited and eager to learn from a team of such creative and knowledgeable professionals. In the wise words of lyrical wordsmith Weezy F. Baby, “If you don’t know nothing about it, the sky is the limit.”