Why I want to be a Filmmaker…

IMG_8432I have always loved film but my life could have been so different…

Although, I have always loved films I never really considered a career or had ambitions of being a filmmaker until I was 16. When I was young I was always doing something. I would be playing with Lego, drawing a plane, spaceship or something. Growing up flying and aviation is something that I assumed always wanted to be involved with in some form or another due to the people I knew.

I grew hearing stories from close family friends who served in the USAF, worked as an airline pilots or were engineers working at Filton on Concorde. I loved flying and there is a funny story (that I will not tell you!) about the first time I ever flew. When I was 14 I had even discussed with my teachers at school about doing a degree in Aeronautical engineering through the RAF.

I went for an initial interview with the RAF and discussed what I would need to do to get fit for selection process (no Captain Biggles jokes please!). Due to my eyesight, unfortunately it meant I could not fly fast jets but I was still keen. I even considered becoming a ‘Rock Ape’ in the RAF Regiment.

The_Thin_Red_Line_PosterHowever, my life changed due to one film, The Thin Red Line (1998). I had managed to get hold of copy on VHS from a friend after it was released. Saving Private Ryan has also been released in 1998 and although I enjoyed the film, I was curious to see what this film was like. And from the start, it was completely different (more on The Thin Red Line (1998) another time). The film connected with me and made me think differently about life, films and storytelling for the first time. I immediately wanted to watch other films made Terrence Malick.

From there I started watching lots of different films from all round the world and decided to study Film (and Television) at university with the goal of becoming a filmmaker.

Jumping forward a few years (May 2006 – my last year at University) and the screening of our Major Production. I had directed a short film (I Remember 2006 – check out my oldest blog post to watch it) and the screenings were done at the Picturehouse cinema in Southampton.

I was very proud of the film I had made with my friends on the course and the feeling you get when you see your name spelt out in letters that are 1 foot tall is unbeatable. The hairs stood up on the back of my neck and I knew I wanted to experience that feeling again. All filmmaker love this really, like any artist, its the power you have about creating something ‘bigger’ than you that can live on, once we leave this mortal coil. Call it vanity or ego – it’s a drug. And its intoxicating…

However, what sort of filmmaker is another question…

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