I have always felt a strong desire to tell stories. After years of searching how to fulfill this desire, I discovered the medium of visual storytelling. My love for filmmaking increased as I researched, created, and set my eyes on a career in the industry. I feel my hard work ethic, video experience, and passion can help me to achieve my full potential as a filmmaker.
As a recent graduate of Lee University’s Telecommunication program, I have been exposed through classes like Film Criticism and Film History to stories that have influenced the type of art I want to make. “The Seventh Seal” by Ingmar Bergman stimulated a previously unknown intellectual enquiry into aspects of my personal life and inevitable death. “The Bicycle Thief” brought me to a place of justified moral compromise I could never have seen otherwise. And after seeing Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” multiple viewings, I now have an altered and more full view of the natural world around me. Each of these films did more than just entertain, but helped me to discover truths I would have never been aware of otherwise.
Conveying truth should be the central mission of a film. Much like the main objective of the dream team in Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” I realize film has the power to implant ideas in viewers. Frequently films misuse this power, disguising a false message in beautiful aesthetics, giving it the appearance of truth but having no underlying substance. As I persevere through a life in the film industry, my drive does not come from a desire for fame, money, or even enjoyment. My pursuit comes from an undeniable ambition to convey truth and my beliefs to others through art. This determination has led me to spend the last several years of my life beginning to truly learning the craft of storytelling through video production.
Through personal, academic, and work opportunities, I have extensive experience in editing, camera operating, and live directing. In the past three years I have spent over 300 hours editing on Final Cut Pro and held an 8 hour a week job for 3 years instructing entry level Telecommunication students on the skill of video editing. My resume and hard work allowed me to gain a position during the summer of 2008 and 2009 for a month long conference in Florida hosting 4,000 students where I directed over 80 live video productions as well as create content videos. In summer of 2011, I received a paid internship for 10 weeks with Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, Georgia, where I edited 8 video packages for NBA.com and assisted in live productions for NBA.tv, as well as worked on TBS Baseball, PGA.com, NCAA.com, and NASCAR on TNT. Even though I enjoy video production as a job, the greatest experiences of my college career have been the short films I have written and directed.
By my sophomore year at Lee University I had made several video projects and began to look into film as a viable career path. During the fall semester I decided to write and direct an independent music video for a local band. I worked extremely hard on this, trying to use the experience as a test to see if I desired to pursue a life in film. Because of my lack of experience on film sets, I took on more than I could handle and left the production days thinking the work was not worth the payoff. However, after the project was finished, I entered the piece in a small film festival on campus, and as I sat there watching my film in a dark room with 80 other people, an unexplainable feeling came over me. These people were seeing something that had been floating in my head during many sleepless nights and daydreams for the past several months. I left that festival knowing experiences such as these were worth giving my life for.
In my junior year of college, I came in with more experience and tact for how filmmaking should be done. I found a film festival I wanted to win, wrote a script, and assembled a cast and crew. After 2 weeks of shooting and 2 months of editing, I shipped my film called “Book Covers” off to competition. Weeks later I got a call from the Reel Dreams Film Festival at Regent University telling me I had made the top 7. They flew me to Virginia Beach for the weekend of the festival where I placed a very close 2nd out of the 48 films submitted. This experience did not so much as increase my love for filmmaking, but more reassured me that I have the determination and skills needed to tell quality stories. Since then I have worked as a production assistant on a short film by national award-winning filmmaker Myles Matsuno, as well as written and directed another short film of my own called “Trespass”.
Moving forward, I am working on finishing my first feature length script, completing the edit of my first professional music video, as well as moving forward with several other freelance projects. While I am doing all of this, I will be attaining a Masters of Fine Arts in Film Directing degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach.
I know I want to spend my life in the film industry. Even though I know the road will be difficult, I believe I possess the work ethic, determination, and skills to make it in this industry. I am fortunate to have found my passion in life while I am still young, allowing me to pour everything into this dream. Giving up is not an option for me. Film is and will be my life.