First Attempts at Creating

I wrote & directed my first scene (ever) for my Directing class this week.

The assignment was to shoot a 2-3 minute short with one character, one key object, no dialogue, and have the character trying to overcome an obstacle. Sounds simple enough.

I don’t know where ideas come from. I guess they can start anywhere, and the sources of inspiration vary by person. For me, sometimes it’s a half-baked memory, or a conversation overheard in the street. Other times it’s a conscious battle thinking through character identities and grand adventures or obstacles.

For this exercise I started with objects.

Read More

Health care in the US is complicated

I’m so incredibly lucky to be covered by the Columbia Health Insurance. That shit is expensive here, and there is no way I would get coverage for myself due to my medical history of cancer.

In my first week of class, I made an appointment at the on-campus medical centre. I met my doctor and went through a bunch of physical checks to generate a base-line of my current health status.

I went through my history and the ongoing surveillance that is being done for my blood-work on a periodic basis through Princess Margaret. I shared my existing medical notes from my oncologist and that enabled my doctor to submit the necessary blood-work requests on campus.

Read More

I should probably get more sleep than I am...

School is busier than I remember it being.

In my first week of class, I struggled to balance class, class work, sleep, and my health. I really dug into the class work and made sure I did all the readings ahead of time, planned for upcoming assignments, and it ensured that I didn’t sleep well at all. I found myself only getting a few hours each night. I was exhausted and by the end of the week I was ready to just pass out. Which I did.

Read More

Crit Week 2019 - Making Art Meaningful

This week I watched 23 short films.

In first year, we have two main film projects. One is a 3-5 minute short film that we shoot over the Winter break, and the other is an 8-5 minute short film we shoot over the summer break. Crit Week is designed to be the showcase (and critical analysis) of those 8-5 minute productions.

Crit Week was broken into three days (Tues - Thurs) and two major blocks of four hours each day. Each filmmaker gets assigned an hour slot where their 8-12 minute film is shown, then the rest of the hour is spent listening to professors across the various disciplines of film critique and guide the filmmaker in order to help make the film better (through edits, reshoots, ADR, etc) and tell a better story.

Read More

Watching Movies Through The Ages

A while back, Columbia sent all incoming Film students a list of ‘required’ films to watch, as well as a list of ‘recommended’ films to watch before coming.

The list totals 151 films, spans 20 countries, and every decade.

Prior to receiving the list I thought I was well-watched. I thought I had a pretty good sense of story and knowledge of film. I’ve slowly but surely been making my way through the list and it has shown me just how limited my viewing has been in the past.

My pre-70s film knowledge is nearly non-existent, and foreign cinema is a near write-off.

There are thirty-eight days until Orientation, and I have thirty-nine ‘required’ movies to watch. Just over one per day. I likely won’t be able to finish the list but if anything it has been a humbling experience to learn just how much more I have to experience and learn through my upcoming program.