How long did it take you to get your first film job?
How much did you save by going on low budget films?
The Best Student Film Ever and The Best Film Ever Made.
It was a good time to be filming film.
As the film industry went through a shift from traditional to CGI and digital filmmaking, I felt like I was ready to step into a more active and creative role making films. I had always loved writing, particularly comics and novels. I’d had one short story published in the school paper in sixth grade – titled “I’m Gonna Be OK.” It got some attention but not enough.
My sophomore year (when we were shooting I Love You, Big Brother), I was reading Robert McKee’s new graphic novel, We Steal Secrets: The Rise of the Cyber Spy, which introduced me to the world of cyber security. If you haven’t heard of the book, I suggest you peruse it. Robert McKee is an incredible writer who has been compared to Philip K. Dick for his ability to create characters that are unique and believable, yet still so relatable. And what better subject for a young filmmaker than people who use computers like computers use computers? With Robert in mind, I took a chance on creating a series of short films with him. The idea came from an article I read while working for an ad agency. His idea was to make a series of “documentaries” that would “explain what it’s like in the cyber world.”
These short films would explore the technology and human side, while also exploring culture and art in the context of cyber security. Each film was two to three minutes long and would not be completed until the full length finished. I decided on a theme, “Why I Make Films,” and built a team of writers, producers, cinematographers, editors and other artisans. We met in an editing room to write the script. We had about 12 writers, and six producers who would come on board.
I Love You, Big Brother
With the help of my classmates, and our friends, we began to finish the first movie, I Love You, Big Brother. Our goals seemed to always be different. Some were the same as the goals on our résumés – writing a short, directing a short, producing a short. Some were more ambitious (we wanted to make a feature and a feature-length television series). But to everyone’s dismay, we’d never finish.
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