Monday, June 20, 2016

30 Before 30 - Day 1: LAFSC

To all you wonderful readers,

I hope you can get something out of these ramblings... as I hope that I can as well.

I wish I could say I came up with this idea myself but truth be told, I borrowed it. The idea is I'll be attempting to write everyday for the next 30 days leading up to the day I turn 30 (which should be the day of the final post), my aim being to recount my 20's as I head into the next decade. I took this idea from Chris Krebsbach, who I met back in 2009 while doing a semester at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center. She recently did a 40 before 40 listing of blog posts and that is what gave me the idea. If you want, check out her blog at the link below, and in honor of where the inspiration came from, my first post shall be about LAFSC.

2009 was the year I graduated... a semester longer than it should have taken. Sometimes you just have to learn those lessons. Had I not failed some of those science classes (you might want to know science and math were never my forte) I would have graduated immediately following my semester in Los Angeles. But in January 2009, I ended up in my ultimate destination for what I felt was going to be the time in my life I would make it big. I was 22, naive, and a bit more lacking in life experience than I ever could have realized. I should probably also add that I was quite lacking on the side of confidence.

But the Los Angeles Film Studies Center and my short 6 months in Los Angeles would quickly change all of that. Between my internship at Mandate Pictures, 2 of my own short film projects, another project I fell from producer to production assistant on, and continually crushing on girls (oh, college), I certainly starting seeing life (and the film industry) in a different light. Let's start with the bad shall we?

 One of the projects I was required to be on I ended up as a producer. Having been given an option to write down our top choices for roles I thought, "Hey, lots of directors produce! I should get the experience!" But as soon as I was thrown on the project... it down spiraled fast. First, I still believe on a small short film project, it's difficult to find enough jobs for 3 producers. I felt the limit should be 2. This still gives me no excuse for my shortcomings. In the process of all this, my focus drifted to my own two short films for the semester and when the time came to be on set for this short film, what did I do? I sat on set reading "Watchmen." You read that correctly. I failed miserably, hardly did anything to help as a producer, and read on set instead of assisting in any possible way I could. I learned that lesson quick when I was demoted to production assistant.

Here's the short story on that one. I failed. And then I learned how to produce, or at least somewhat.

So, now for the good times. Mandate Pictures ("Juno"), where I interned, was a trove of behind the scenes information inside a production company. On the last week the executives and assistants even had a special meeting with the interns where they could ask them any questions. Not only did I see inside the process from development all the way to post, I got a wealth of opportunities to read current scripts circulating through the system! At the same time, the internship was going nowhere and I didn't try very hard and therefore I don't think I was terribly "successful" in that venture either.

Through that semester came two short films, one of which was very confusing story wise because of my lack of experience and short amount of time. The second, which I am very proud of, is called "Beyond The Mirror." ( This little short started what I use as my current "production company" (it's not currently registered...) called Whimsical Pictures on all my projects now. In this time I found what encapsulates the way I think and the kind of stories I generally love to tell. Every project since has been listed under Whimsical Pictures, including on IMDB.

And crushing on girls. Well, that was college. Hmmm... I guess that's actually just guys, except my mentality has changed over time. I'm not overly self conscious like I used to be or extremely nervous around women that I like. Yeah, that was college. I had A LOT of growing to do. And over time I did just that. Somewhere along the way I found my confidence (mostly).

I think that was in the past year.

But Los Angeles helped to start understanding what it means to be a real filmmaker who wants to work in the interesting. And I failed... a lot. After that, do you know what I did? I got back up again because that's what you have to do to be successful. Never give up. And that's what I've done. Not even the Army stopped me.

But that's for a later post.

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