Film School is Hard

Film school isn't all rainbows and Tarantino movies. 

I tried to do it his way. Didn't work for me. 
There's a ton of reading, a ton of crappy videos to produce before you get any good, and lots to sacrifice - namely, everything that does not support the goal of getting the most out of school & into the working world in a timely manner. 

Grad school, especially film school, is just like life: it is what you make it. You can do only what's required of you, or you can choose to excel. 

Charts & pictures make learning fun.  
I'd like to do the latter, but this semester my film theory class is 
getting in my way. I've never been much of an academic, and this class totally makes me feel like an idiot. 

Teaching each other: Professor & filmmaker Brigid Maher looks on as (l-r) Michael Nickerson, Michael Jee, Pat Flynn & Lonnie Martin school our film theory class on old Hollywood. 
I don't get it (Soviet montage, this means you) and I don't want to. That is, until we watched Citizen Kane and then I really knew how little I know about anything, and that it was time to pay more attention.

Extra reading and helping other students, especially non-native English speakers, decipher the stuff helps me figure it out more too. It doesn't hurt to have an awesome professor & the best cohort ever.

Another great prof., Maggie Burnette Stogner, did the video for Roads of Arabia, which closes today at the Sackler Gallery. 
Of course I'd prefer education be free. But the price of film school, for me, includes getting to know and work (and suffer) with classmates who are equally obsessed with creating & telling visual stories.  

I love grad school but can't wait to see what's on the other side. 
Before grad school, I had no idea who this dude was. Now I recognize him on the street, yo.  



Meanwhile, almost directly across the state in Tampa, things are hopping. 

First stop was a house concert in North Tampa with a couple of fabulous Canadians, John Wort Hannam and Scott Duncan. 

Tampa's a great mid-sized town to start off in, but I left (twice!) because there was little room for growth. 

Some ambitious people figure out how to make life work where ever they are, like Dana Pettaway. She traded D.C. for Tampa and started her own businesses, beauty+health+nature

I met her a couple weekends ago while she was hocking her paraben-free wares at the Tampa Downtown Market

At the market I also ran into my old roommate Cooper & his dad. 

As a third culture kid (yes, there's a name for that) who grew up hometown-less, Tampa offered a familiarity I never experienced growing up. I miss that feeling up here in cold, transient D.C. 

I have no idea where I might go in just over a year when I'm facing the end of graduate school. 

L.A., MontrĂ©al, C-SPAN. I'm open to anything and it's all very exciting. 

 But whether or not I move back, I've been doing my best to stay in touch with my beloved Tampa people. Like the Ekhos, who had their annual training day when I was in town. 

Contrary to what I learned as a kid, in adulthood, friendships don't have to end when you move away. 


Brevard County

I spent my senior year of high school & first couple of years of community college in Brevard County, Florida.

Back then it was easy to feel like I was headed nowhere. 

Where I had my first audition. Don't all journos start out wanting to be actors? 

I experienced the same feeling of being stuck in Brevard earlier this month when I was there for a brief family visit.  

Time moves on, though more slowly in some places. I blame the humidity.