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From a very young age, I was taught to idolize all forms of cinema culture. My father, being a self-proclaimed cinephile, had me watching highly praised films early in my youth. Aside from the expected animated Disney movies of my generation, I grew up admiring movies such as Fight Club, Shawshank Redemption, and Rear Window, despite my mother’s arguments about what was “appropriate” for my age. Such exposure to movies of this caliber from so young an age nourished my deeply rooted appreciation for the art of film. However, it wasn’t until I watched one movie in particular that my ambition and enthusiasm for participating in the cinema industry really sprouted. Hobgoblins was, by far, the most unacceptable and appalling movie I have ever wasted my time on. Even at the mere age of twelve, I could distinguish that this movie was unfit to be seen by the general public. I couldn’t possibly imagine why anyone would want to subject him or herself to this kind of painful, dreadful escapade. The moment the credits rolled, I promised to dedicate myself to learning more about the craft of quality filmmaking to compensate for what Hobgoblins lacked.
The idea of creating the unthinkable always enticed me. As a child, the motion picture world appeared limitless to my immense imagination. I used to picture what life would be like working on the bustling sets of Hollywood next to big name directors such as Martin Scorsese or Henry Levin, (especially since my favorite movie was Journey to the Center of the Earth) fabricating an entire story and world out of a simple idea. I envisioned myself working as their producer showcasing my organizational and creative abilities. Considering I wasn’t entirely aware of what a producer did, that was as far as the fantasy went, but I’ve always believed there was something more to my childhood aspirations, a morsel of real ambition. Since then, I have informally studied books and movies to gain further understanding of this complex industry, while participating in and producing my own minor, amateur filming projects. Every book about motion pictures I read, every movie I experience, and every project I start only drives me to work harder towards a career in cinema.
In addition to gaining a theoretical knowledge of filmmaking, I have always enjoyed photography as a hobby and have practiced it throughout my life. One of the major creative influences in my life is a professional from this field and has aided in my technical growth of lighting, composition, and narrative photography. Richard Avedon is the foremost of many creative influences that I have always respected. During my senior year of high school, I participated in an advanced placement studio art course on photography that required me to choose a famous photographer to emulate. Using Avedon as a mentor, I used his work in order to develop a concept and create a narrative for my artwork. Avedon’s work is mainly comprised of portraits; however, a lot of his famous portraits were an evaluation of age and beauty in modern society, a concept I value. Avedon always managed to give his subjects character and depth within their portraits. By utilizing this concept, I developed my own collection of portraits that portrayed personal issues many individuals struggle with today. Avedon taught me how to give characters depth using not only content, but lighting and composition as well.
Another principal creative influence in my work helped me with character development as well. I respect Darren Afronsky’s work in the film industry very much. His illustrations of individuals who self-destruct due to their obsessions represent a distinctive style he modernized successfully. His cynical yet artistic approach to persona maturation in his narratives is refreshing, and he is able to portray it uniquely. Even in features he didn’t write but directed such as Black Swan, his ability to depict the character’s demise in a visual sense is inspiring and provocative. In future assignments, I hope to create such dynamic and intellectually stimulating stories and display them in a visually fascinating way as well.
In the long run, I strive to gain a higher understanding of the cinema industry and every aspect of how a variety of motion pictures are produced and executed. My ultimate goal is to obtain a rewarding position as a respected producer or editor, as those occupations would exemplify my imaginative potential as well as my organizational and management dexterity. Nevertheless, collaborating with a team of highly knowledgeable experts for my individual as well as professional growth would be ideal for my open mind, passion, and creative drive. I believe the environment, curriculum, and staff at Florida State will provide me with the most comprehensive and vigorous learning experience available to students today. The college of Motion Picture arts will provide me with the expertise necessary to succeed in this trade professionally. Whether I end up working on small-budget independent films, or large-scale Hollywood blockbusters, being a part of this field will be rewarding enough.
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