First off, I want to profusely thank Michael Hinman for giving me the opportunity to write a weekly column about my first film school experiences at Airlock Alpha. Michael is one of the kindest and most hilarious guys I know, and it’s an honor to get to post on Airlock Alpha.
Just like a lot of people here, I am a die hard science-fiction fan. As a matter off fact, one of the sole reasons I am at the University of Southern California this summer is because of the Stargate franchise. I have always been a television junkie, but Stargate -- and more specifically the producers' connectivity to the fan base -- was one of the main reasons I became interested in filmmaking. I was amazed by the miracle of production and the ability to visually tell stories that are literally out of this world.
From the day “Stargate: Universe” was greenlit, I was thoroughly engaged in the production, scrounging the Web for plot teases and leaked information. It was through this exhaustive search for plot details that the world behind the camera was revealed to me.
I spent almost every day for the show’s two-year run online interacting with other fans and following the mechanics behind the production.
I still remember the night I watched the series finale for “Stargate: Universe.” Seeing the Destiny sail off into the abyss of space and knowing that a part of my childhood was ending was quite a sad moment, but in a way, drove me even further to pursue my passion. My creative inspiration has always been derived from science-fiction storytelling. I will always identify my late childhood/early teen-hood with watching "Firefly," "Defying Gravity," "Eureka," "Warehouse 13, and the Stargate shows -- "Universe," "Stargate SG-1" and "Stargate: Atlantis."
Isaac Asimov once said “Individual science-fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today -- but the core of science-fiction, its essence, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.”
In a way I feel science-fiction has the ability to ask questions and inspire people’s imagination and willpower in a way that other forms of storytelling cannot. Its supernatural scenarios potentially cause individuals to examine their own life and wonder if there’s something greater they could be doing. It causes individuals to reach for the stars rather than simply except the status quo.
My journey in filmmaking started in 2008 with shoddy backyard short films I produced with my friends back in middle school. They were awful in almost every way, but they only fueled my interest in visual storytelling and my desire to become a stronger filmmaker. For the past few years I’ve worked on many projects, ranging from comedic shorts to official promotional videos for my school.
Last summer, I was blessed to run into the USC Cinematic Arts summer program director on my visit to USC’s campus. He encouraged me to apply to some summer classes for the following year after we discussed filmmaking for more than two hours. Sure enough, I got in, and the rest is history.
Anyway, more to come regarding film school next week. And I’m sure at some point I’ll tackle the age-old question, “Is it even worth going to film school?"
Photo of Adam Barnard at USC courtesy of Julia Johnson.
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