Friday, March 28, 2008

Film School at 44

I've done it!! With hard work and determination I can honestly say that as of today, March 28, 2008 I am a COLLEGE GRADUATE. As of today I have my Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) Degree in Digital Filmmaking and Multimedia! I am very happy and proud that I have been able to achieve this accomplishment at the tender age of 44 given all the drama that I've lived through in the past couple of years. I will get my degree in a ceremony on May 2. Even though I dropped out of my Bachelor program at Pace University over 25 years ago to pursue my calling to be a thespian on the stage, I guess there was something in me that was determine to prove that it's never too late to finish college. The next step will be to get my Bachelor and then my Master's degree. But for the time being I'm going to pursue the workforce in a freelance capacity until I decide on what school I'd like to further my education at.

I should mention that I passed my only class, Literature and Composition by the skin of my teeth. I got a A minus. I thought that I would probably get a C or a B+ because I was late handing in my term paper (a comparison of short stories that I titled "Cowboys and Indians:
The Dynamics of Male Bonding in Modern Western Literature") I compared the literature of Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountian" with Sherman Alexie's "This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" from his collection of short stories The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. I say I passed by the skin of my teeth because I had so much trouble writing this paper. The first time I did it I forgot to save it on my thumb drive the day that it was due. When I went back to copy on my drive to take to from home to school, my stupid Dell laptop crashed and I lost the file entirely. So when I finally went into class on the last day ready to take what I had coming to me, my professor refused to take no for an answer and made me write "something" during the class. Well 2 hours later, I came up with almost an identical paper that I had written before (with a full bibliography included) of what I could remember. I guess in the end, when push comes to shove and my butt is on the line, I can write like it's nobody's business! In the end I got an "A" on this final paper of this chapter of my academic career.

I had a weird dream the other night where I had the opportunity to meet one of my Film idols, John Waters. It wasn't as crazy as one of his films (or mine for that matter) but it was nice. Someone had passed him a copy of my thesis film (which is still in the works once I get through with my minor medical issues) Poppin' In and one night I get this phone call from someone claiming to be John Waters. So at first I'm thinking it's a friend playing a joke on me until I ask him some questions that only he could answer (you can learn a lot from listening to the Director's commentary tracks on DVDs) and sure enough, it really was John Waters! I was flabbergasted and he invites me to lunch to discuss my short thesis film (That he thought was "a riot") and then I woke up. But it was a nice dream. I guess since I have been meeting famous directors (Mira Nair, Cynthia Wade) maybe this dream was telling me something. Hmmm....

Anyway this week at the Center we put up the March 2008 episode of "Out at the Center" and I have to say that I'm very proud of it especially since I had the opportunity to shot footage for several segments on this program. I even helped with the editing on the closing credits (a fashion show) and I hope that I've made all of my film professors at KGS (Katharine Gibbs School) proud of my film shooting and editing skills. Most importantly I hope I made my boss proud on the show. This week I also worked on filming an upcoming segment with author Michael Luongo who recently released Gay Travels in the Muslim World. I haven't had an opportunity to read the book yet, but from the discussion he gave, it fascinates me. Especially since once my brother-in-law told me that there were no gay people in Pakistan. I made sure he saw "My Beautiful Launderette" after he told me this bit of information. Okay, the guy lived in London, but he was born in Pakistan in the film. Plus it was the very first time I saw Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis and was smitten!

Anyhoo, until next time my darlings....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Saga Continues

Life has been crazy. In addition to turning another year older (I'm 44 yrs young), I've been filming a lot at The Center. It's been interesting with very eclectic subject matters ranging from a leather fetish fashion show, to an art exhibition for nudist. If you hit the link above you can see some of my latest work. I especially proud of the NY City Comptroller William C. Thompson (no relation) segment that I both taped and edited for the program. I even had the opportunity to tape an interview with a new Oscar winner, Cynthia Wade. She came to the Center to talk about winning an Oscar a few weeks ago for best documentary short subject called "Freeheld: The Laurel Hester Story" If you haven't had a chance to see this documentary it will be shown in the summer on cable.

In addition to all that the thesis film has been sort of postponed until I can take care of some recent medical things that have to get taken care of. However, I haven't given up on filming the piece because I desperately want to get it into film festivals before the summer.

P.S. I think as I am about to graduate I will turn my blog focus on my film and video projects POST FILM SCHOOL from now on. It's been really interesting so far and I would imagine as I continue to gain more professional experience it will only get more interesting as the year moves on.