These past two months into school have been hectic, hard and humbling. This is my first semester at the UofA not taking any science classes. Instead, I find myself doing all BFA and film related coursework with a bunch of amazing filmmakers and people. The projects have been hectic and it’s been hard to balance theory with work, practice and application. Despite all of this, it’s a good kind of chaos. I realize now that I’d rather be busy and busting my balls pursuing something I love than something I don’t care much for, like cellular metabolism and physiological processes (yuck). Granted, the stuff is interesting, but when I dive into a film project, I get a certain high and lose track of everything else around me. I realize now that I work obsessively, which can be a good or bad thing. I remember one time, my good friend Elijah Chiang commenting “Brad, you tend to concentrate and focus on one thing at a time. You need to be more aware of the things going on around you”. It’s true, and its both a blessing and a flaw that I need to continue to work at. In fact, this past week, my obsessive work habits became more clear to me than at any other time.
This past week I participated in Campus Movie Fest at the University of Arizona. It’s the world’s largest student film festival and it goes to hundreds of college campuses each year. Last year, my team threw something together and we made it into the Top 16 but to be honest, it shouldn’t have. This year, I had a plan. I got involved with as many projects as I could because of my love for production. I had the blessing of being Ethan Moore’s Director of Photography for “Caution Wet Floor” and Co-Director of Photography for another film called “The Elevator”. In addition to all of this, I developed an old pseudo sci fi script that I wrote and enlisted the help of my classmates and friends to help me bring my story to life. The result was Dr. Shelley. With the amazing talents of James Bonanno, Bruce Shelton and Michelle Papademetriou, my characters became reality.
During the week though, everything got put on hold. I didn’t return texts/ calls (sorry) to anyone who wasn’t apart of the production. I skipped class a couple times and didn’t do some assignments. For “Caution Wet Floor”, Ethan, Shon and I spent hours upon hours for two days inside a stinky, non-air conditioned men’s bathroom. For “The Elevator” we spent three days at various locations around Tucson filming. Finally, on Sunday night, my team and I worked hard on filming from 9 pm-5:30 am for my own film. It was tough and without the hard work and dedication of the cast and crew the film simply wouldn’t have been made. We finished at 5:30 am and I immediately began to edit to meet the 6pm deadline. It was crazy but well worth it.
Fast forward to Friday, September 30 at the CMF finale for UofA. My girlfriend, Hayeong and I are sitting in a row with our actors and crew from Dr. Shelley and Caution Wet Floor. Ethan and I are waiting anxiously for the MC’s to say our names. I can’t remember feeling anything other than pure nervousness during those final moments when they were announcing the awards. When the award for Best Drama came up, I closed my eyes not wanting to see what was on screen. Suddenly I heard it and my heart stopped. “The award for Best Drama goes to Dr. Shelley”. Then my heart went from 0 to 23032952304803 bpm and I walked up to the stage with Jason, Victoria and Bruce. I was really humbled that our work was recognized and I couldn’t bring myself to say anything when they gave us the mic other than “thank you to everyone who was apart of this”.
As soon as I had recovered and gotten off the stage, Ethan’s film, Caution Wet Floor, won Best Comedy and I had to go up again. This time I hid behind our actor James Jefferies and Producer, Shon Gale. I didn’t want people to see how nervous I was.
All in all, the week that CMF took place was a really humbling experience. I realized that I worked obsessively and it was bad at times but it was also good. I’d have to say so far, despite the days of no sleep and the tea and energy drink binges it’s been the highlight of my semester. From participating in film projects and CMF this year, it became more apparent to me that there are many talented and aspiring filmmakers (on the UA campus alone) who share my same dream. I can’t even begin to imagine how many are in Arizona, California and in other parts of the United States. CMF was a success because people transformed their love for film into actual tangible works that we could watch. Rather than sitting around and wishing they could make something, they actually made a film. CMF gave the opportunity to many who weren’t traditional film students (business majors, religious studies majors, science majors etc) to explore their own creativty and passions. That’s what was great about it. The finale was great because people came out and submitted their films and we all got to enjoy them together. To know that there are so many other talented people out there who share my love for film makes me want to work even harder to obtain my dream. :]
Thanks for reading again, I’m going to catch up on some much much needed sleep. Until next time, stay tuned!
ps you can also watch Dr. Shelley above so please check it out and let me know what you think! (Also, I’m trying to reach 1 million views to win an ipad 2 so if you share it, that’d be suuuper!)