From Here to Awesome!

My friend Shaun caught a great little Academy Award moment up on his awesome edublog, The International Counselor. The following is from the speech of Ratatouille's director, Brad Bird:

“I want to thank the Academy. I also want to thank my junior-high guidance counselor for a meeting we had where he asked me, ‘What do you want to do with your life?’ and I said, ‘I want to make movies.’ ”

The counselor then asked what else he wanted to do with his life, and Bird repeated, “Make movies.” After more exchanges about what Bird would do if he couldn’t make movies, if movies didn’t exist, the aspiring animator said he would have to invent them.

“I only realized just recently that he gave me the perfect training for the movie business,” said Bird.

Brilliant. The thing that I especially love about this story is that things have changed so much from when Bird was in school, that his daydream would no longer be seen as unreasonable by a forward thinking counselor. That's not to say that every student who wants to will one day hold an academy award- but today, careers in filmmaking and animation can be both viable and lucrative. I've mentioned it before, but for every student who wants to go into film but is afraid that they can't "make it", for every parent who worries that their kid wants only to be the next Speilberg, and for every teacher or counselor who think that video amounts to "kids being silly in front of the camera", Elizabeth Vann Ness' New York Times article Is a Cinema Studies Degree the New M.B.A.? is required reading.

Yes, I've posted that before, and I'll beat that dead horse until its... (I'm ending that sentence early because everything that is coming to my mind about beating dead horses is kinda gross. I'll just spare you. If you can think of an appropriate ending, post it in the comments and I'll give you credit for being more clever than I am).

One fine example of how junior filmmakers can get their work out there is the From Here to Awesome online film festival, which looks fantastic because its open to all and free. Their website describes the festival as being about "discovery and distribution" - filmmakers retain the rights to their work, and can possibly earn revenue if their film is selected for distribution.

Of course, if you're in the Shanghai area, another great way to get your work out there is by submitting work to our Shanghai Student Film Fest. However, since blogspot is blocked in China, this probably is of interest to nearly none of you.

On another note, we've just passed our 400th post! Can I get a 'w00t'?


  1. Alexi George said...
    Great blog! Keep up the good work.
    Anonymous said...
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