Yes, I’m back. If there is one thing I’ve learned about film school, it’s that all other aspects of my life fall to the wayside.
We recently ended our second semester here at FSU. It’s really weird for me to realize I’ve been here almost 9 months. Film school seems to exist in a separate reality where twice as much happens in the same amount of time. I know how that sounds, “Copponex, don’t be a dick. You make it sound like everyone else’s life is boring.” False. In fact, your lives are probably TWICE as interesting as mine. But I honestly feel like I’ve been here in Tallahassee for two years. It really does feel like that.
As a brief review, the semester went about like this:
4 weeks on set, 4 weeks of class, 4 weeks on set, 4 weeks of class. Track 1 had the exact opposite semester. This somehow made all the difference because all we heard from them was how horrible school was. Over in Track 2, we were having a great time. I loved our workshops this semester. Three in particular were extremely benefical to learning about film: Directing, Writing, and cinematography.
First off, our directing workshop was taught by Victor Nunez, you can check our his credentials here:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0638033/
He was fantastic. Our classes broke down into groups of 5 people working with him at a time. The small groups focused around one person playing director for a day while everyone else filled out the camera, sound, and acting positions. This was some of the most simplistic and logical instruction I’ve ever received. Just even tiny things on why the camera should be farther back or why the beat of a scene should be held just a second longer. He’s good. Really good. And now I actually am starting to understand what it is a director does.
Our writing workshops were with Tim Long, our teacher from last semester. He’s great at mechanics and the ball-busting, hair pulling details of writing a script. Pages counts, beats, and keeping your screenplay “vertical” were things I would have never really encountered had I not taken that class. I’m not entirely satisfied with his content choices, but his ability to keep your script on track is priceless.
Cinematography was with Rex Metz. His credits go for miles:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0582701/
Rex taught us a great deal about lighting and how a scene needs to be approached. I’m still not quite sure what a good cinematographer does exactly, but I’m getting an idea. Rex’s teaching is more stream of conscience than anything. He just talks, points, and meters. His old Hollywood stories are pretty ridiculous too…
I found that my weekend projects for my directing class hepled me the most with anything. A lot of times, Clay, Bobby, BG, and I would go to an empty soundstage, set up some lights, and shoot something. That is honestly the best way to support your education. You can read books and sit in class for years, but until you set up a light and go, “Wow, that looks like total garbage,” you won’t know how to do anything.
Our D2’s are set to start filming on May 15th. This is going to be a crazy nine weeks, for sure. I’m staying level-headed about. I don’t let things get to me like they did last semester. I learned to take away from film school what I want to learn and what I feel is important. Stressing over every detail gets you nowhere. I’m excited about my script. I’ll be using kids and teenagers and it will be a type of exaggerated reality, kinda like The Adventures of Pete and Pete. We’re shooting our D2’s exclusively on the RED cameras. We’ll how that goes since those things only like temperatures of about 65-72 degrees. Hot, sticky summers in Tallahassee should prove… interesting.
Aside from that, I’d rather not bore you with school, if anyone is even left reading by this point. I’m home this whole week before going back on Mother’s Day. I will enjoy it and nothing will stop me.
I will now recite a list of things that make me happy to be alive:
1. Terminator Salvation – How excited am I for this movie? Only that I have been hoping for a war against robots since I was like ten.
2. Taylor Swift – I just, I can’t even explain how much I like her. Funny, pretty, writes her own songs.
3. Transformers 2 – I don’t care at all, in any way, whatsoever, what your opinion of the first one was. That was pure enjoyment. I can’t wait.
4. Butler, GA – You’ve heard me talk about the promised land my friend owns in South Georgia. In a world of swine flu, fiscal irresponsibility, Bill Maher, film school, hipsters, and diarrhea, you can always turn to AMERICA.
5. My new Apartment – I’ll be moving in August 20th or so. This will be the first time in my life that I have lived alone. 4th floor, furnished, by myself, big TV, awesomeness. Come visit.
That’s all for now. Go to bed, it’s late.