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Explain your decision to pursue your particular major.
When I was five I wanted to do everything- dance ballet, sing like Amy Grant and Pat Benatar rolled into one, run a cat kennel, and make movies. My wise mother, Bev, made sure I had an early appreciation for cultural classics: Audrey Hepburn`s beauty, the complicated plots of movies such as The Thin Man, and Gene Kelly musicals. Watching unusual people do extraordinary things made me see beyond the boundaries of my life and appealed to my emotions. Before I could even grasp that the films I so enjoyed were fictional, not actually lives of erratic singers and witty Cary Grant types, I knew that I had to be a part of something that could make people feel deeply.
As I see it, art is about interpretation, not emulation. Though I think it’s important to be able to imitate something as basic as personality in order to be understood, any work can be disregarded if it merely shows characters and happenings and yet fails to convey anything of value. To me, film is the most exciting of the arts because it speaks to us in more ways than any other. Paintings and songs only express a part of humanity, but movies confront us with all our traits at once. As we watch movies we observe, laugh, cringe, and cry at all-too familiar human behavior. Movies can strike us quickly and deeply with their truthfulness. Those that speak to me fill me with a sense of purpose.
The Royal Tenenbaums, for example, moved me in ways I never imagined. Harold and Maude informed me of my sense of humor, Unfaithful startled me with its guilty sexuality, The Apartment showed a precious example of true love, and Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs reminded me that a little grit and self-conscious wit compliment each other very well.
Admittedly, my interest in the movies (predictably establishing myself as the Film Geek wherever I find myself) comes from places other than my desire to express truth through art. I’m also a bit attached to the movies because they’ve always been a pleasant distraction and a safe arena where a control freak like me can feel relaxed when my own life is beyond my command. I’ve moved a great deal, and I was schooled at home up until my graduating year. My best friends vary in age, religion, and culture. I placed my faith in God at a young age and though I fall in and out of step, I’ve never lost trust in Him. My sister, born eight years after me, is handicapped and undiagnosed, though we assume she has a form of autism. She is 11 and cannot talk or walk without assistance. I had my heart broken at age 13 when one of the few boys I’ve ever given a second thought to found out about my feelings and tortured me socially. I’ve struggled with my weight (I’ve lost 45 pounds and counting), personal dissatisfaction, and family discord. I’ve abandoned many interests and talents due to necessity and circumstance, but my desire to write and participate in the art form that has most touched me and left me with something to think about has never abandoned me. I want to believe that all of my unusual experiences have left me with tales to tell, and my emotional scars are tools with which to tell them.
I want to try my creative hand at all aspects of filmmaking, but I feel particularly drawn to writing. A good screenplay- a good story- is the fundamental element of any truly good film. Whether or not the direction, editing, and acting are flawless, if there is no substance, no point, nothing to draw the artwork together, the movie will fail to make an impact. Basically, if you have no meaningful script the film medium is pointless from the get-go. And truthfully, I believe I have a lot of positive things to impart upon the world and the people in it. I don’t want to think my life experiences and my insight, limited though they may be, will go to waste, nor do I want to preach my philosophies on life and love and hope to the public. I just want to share what zeal I have as expressively as possible, using any insight I can into human behavior to interpret something worthwhile- a work that might affect someone someday the way that I’ve been affected. One day I’d like a husband and a family, and I want to take care of the family I’ve already got, but I feel that with whatever fervor you’re given comes the obligation to pursue it and perfect it for the greater good, so I’m going to pursue what I love, film, for as long as it takes, and hope for the best.
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