How I Discovered My Love of Movies

Friday, March 21, 2014

I get asked, quite often actually, how I got into the TV/Video scene.

My job in TV happened purely by chance but my interest in movies came about in high school.

I was a senior with a full-course load and my senioritis kicked in pretty early so I decided on an elective that would entail watching movies all class.

This is what I envisioned the class would be like. 

Eventually I learned that the class was more than just watching movies but it was still better than an actual academic I stayed. The fact that my teacher was kind of a hottie had nothing only a little to do with that decision.

Sort of relevant. 

The class was fun and interesting. We'd watch a movie, then discuss, and write a paper on it. The movies were chosen for their editing, sound design, directing, technicality, etc.

Some of the movies we watched were 2001: A Space Odyessy

Hello Dave. 
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,

The Last of the Mohicans, among others.

I'd usually sleep during the movie, borrowing the DVD from my teacher to watch at home. But when it came time for discussion days - I'd listen with rapt attention.

It may seem weird, especially because of this whole Netflix, Hulu, and a thousand channels generation but when I was younger I didn't watch a lot of TV. We didn't even have cable. I watched Disney movies because those were family-friendly and came with morals. But I didn't get to watch...whatever I wanted. My mom was a super stickler about the MPAA ratings.


So there were a lot of movies I had never seen. A lot of movies I didn't even know existed. I had never really thought about all the time, effort, preparation, talent, and creativity that goes into telling a moving story.

I'd sit in class and listen as my hot teacher would talk about symbolism and the psychology of film.

For example the position of the camera conveys more to the audience than just the subject within it.

A low camera angle can make the subject larger-than-life and menacing.

A high camera angle on the other hand, can make subjects appear vulnerable and out of their depth. 

These new-to-me notions were intriguing and afterward I watched movies through a completely different lens. 
(Pun very much intended.)  

So I got very into film but even so I went off to college declaring English as my major.

In college I took some film classes but I had already seen most of the syllabus so I'd watch movies on my own, in my dorm room, borrowed from the library I worked at, based on the recommendations of my boss. I would skip class and marathon movies, while reading the $32 textbook for fun...on my own.

This book is now $35.90 and is several editions old. 

When I came back home I was still an English major. But I still loved watching and dissecting movies. I decided that I wanted to change my major and pursue some sort of movie/TV/video education. I went to school with the intention of getting a degree in Digital Video and Cinema Production but then I got a TV job and couldn't do both.

Even though I work in TV (and how I got here is a story in itself) I don't tire of watching movies or good TV. There is always one that sticks with you and amazes you; one that is super inventive and different than the one before; one that raises the bar for other movies that come after it and I absolutely credit, and thank, my love for them to my high school teacher.

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