All posts filed under: My Movie Experience

Film SChool Turned Out To Be O.K.

This post is for those who only keep up with me via social media aka do not know about my daily complaints about everything. Last spring was my first official semester in USC’s School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), and I complained every step of the way. I thought my classes were too easy, professors too boring, and classmates too stupid (or at least said really stupid stuff). I was frustrated all semester but tried to not think too much of it. Then summer came, which could alternatively be titled the time-of-year-every -college-kids-rethinks-his-or-her-life-because….too much free time (or an internship that ~sucks~). Anyway, I had way too much time to think this summer while traveling abroad and doing things that I really do think matter in the scheme of the world. I got really invested in my religion and human rights class at Oxford and thought screw SCA, all I want to do is study international religious conflict. I very, very seriously considered dropping my major in cinematic arts critical studies. The major that I dreamed about for …

Why Film School is Pointless If You Actually Want to Make Movies

It is common knowledge amongst the students at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) that getting a degree in film production/critical studies/screenwriting/etc. doesn’t guarantee anything come graduation. We knowSurprisingly, many people do not understand why this is so. Let me try to explain. At the risk of sounding like a radical activist, I want to say that the movie/TV industry is controlled by rich people. Getting in is hard and normally not all that enjoyable. No one will post “Looking to hire director for movie starring Ryan Reynolds and Carey Mulligan.” There are no applications which lead to interviews which lead to jobs. In order to have a career as a creative filmmaker you have to… a) make a short film with money you raise yourself that wins awards at festivals that you can then pitch to studios b) make a feature film with money you raise yourself that wins awards at festivals that you can then pitch to studios c) be famous from something else, like acting, or be the spawn of someone famous (this produces …

Seeing Hitchcock on the Big Screen is as Amazing as You Would Think

Right before leaving Los Angeles, I went on a little adventure with one of my best friends, Marta, who just graduated and is moving to San Fransisco in just a couple of weeks. To commemorate her graduation and our last time hanging out for a bit, we decided to go do something CRAZY. For us that was a most delicious Ramen dinner in Santa Monica and a double feature at the historic Aero Theatre. I had goosebumps sitting in the sold-out theater with my arms dripping in popcorn and candy. The double feature was Rear Window (which I had not seen before) and Psycho (which I had seen before). Marta had seen neither. Goody!! I was transported to 1954 and 1960 that night. Everyone knows Alfred Hitchcock is super famous and the “master of suspense” and all that jazz. I’d seen Psycho, North by Northwest, Vertigo, etc. and I thought I was a fan. I thought I knew what made audiences fall in love with his films. I thought I knew the effect his films had. Suffice to say: I did not. The way …

10 Things I Learned Interning at a Production Company

This spring semester, I had the pleasure of interning at Phoenix Pictures for two and a half days every week. While they are famous for making Black Swan and Shutter Island, my all time favorite film of theirs (and the one I specifically mentioned in my cover letter to them) is Holes starring none other than Shia LaBeouf. The president of Phoenix is this amazing man named Mike Medavoy who has been in the industry since forever–the dude is 75 years old and works more than my pre-med freshman residents. For example, during staff meeting one Tuesday, good ole Bob De Niro called him up and the two chatted as I sat there staring at Mike the entire time. Mike also told me about the party he threw for Leo DiCaprio after the big Oscar win. You know, stuff like that. My days usually consisted of reading scripts and writing coverage (another post for another time). I would cover the producers’ desks and take down messages. On Tuesdays the interns would attend the staff meetings and discuss the scripts read the previous week, which usually involved pitching …

Making a Short Film in 24 Hours

This past month, I competed in the Ed Wood Film Festival at USC with two of my dearest friends Trevor and Rachel. For those who don’t know, the Ed Wood Film Festival is an event where teams of up to five students are given 24 hours to create a short film using a random prop and theme selected by the organizers. This year, the theme was “I’ve got a feeling…” and the prop was a greeting card. Unfortunately the idea to make a music video to the classic Black Eyed Peas song was scratched pretty early on. But you never know, it could happen soon… Onwards to the story! Trevor, Rachel, and I forsook showering, sleeping, and eating (just kidding, we ate pizza and cookie dough all night long) to create our film, DOUBLE BLIND. Now, I am not a screenwriter, which is what normally inhibits me from getting film projects done. That’s where Trevor came in. He is a senior majoring in applied mathematics who has accepted a job to work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in the …

“I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.”

Here’s the deal: women don’t stand a chance in Hollywood as filmmakers and that affects you, whoever you are. I’m about to go somewhere in my car and I want you to come with me. I just wanted to let you know that’s where we are ending up. No cow patties, I promise. When I was younger, I thought that movies just sort of…appeared. Imagine you are going to a movie—the pastime for 340 million people in the United States (and Canada). Let’s say it’s a Saturday and you want to take a break from whatever you’re doing and go see the new Quentin Tarantino movie. You go online to buy your ticket and discover that everyone has had tickets for tonight’s show since in utero and you settle for seat 8 row ZZZ. To make matters worse, you drive yourself to the movie theater alone because all your friends saw the movie at midnight when it opened and “forgot to invite you, besides you don’t even like movies anyway.” After apathetically handing your $16 …

Stuff I’ve Been Watching

Oh hello. I want to say that it has been a while, but I also don’t. I’ll go with my back up line. Kevin Spacey learned the harmonica part to Piano Man and sang it with Billy Joel at the Gershwin Prize Concert in 2014. Now that we are acquainted with one another again, I will begin. Are there any good movies out right now? What has Dr. Casper been saying lately? What movies should I be seeing, Mary Cate, you promised to guide me? Patience, eager reader. I have been hiding out in an undisclosed location (Santa Monica) and working hard on my application (going to the beach). I have written on my life so much that Caroline Calloway is struggling to keep up. The only benefit I can see of all my writings is that when class starts next week, I’ll already be in practice. That’s not going to happen. Anyway, at the beginning of summer I wrote a post about all the goals I had for this summer. Some of the stuff I …