I went to work this morning, and the lovely ladies I work with had bought bagels for my birthday and got together in the little kitchenette and sang to me. It was very sweet, and then one of them said, "Dare we ask how old you are?" I'm twenty-two. And they tease me a little, because they're all older than I am. My friends all tease me because I'm older than most of them by at least a year, and I get most of the jokes because I'm the first in the group to turn twenty-two. One of my friends gave me a birthday card for a 40 year old, which I thought was hilarious. One of the women in my office laughed and said, "I *wish* I'd get a card for a forty year old." See, this is the sort of situation that I see as lose-lose. I can't say that I'm glad to be twenty-two and that I do feel more mature and ready to tackle the world (which I'm not sure I do) or anything positive because I don't want to emphasize the age difference between me and my coworkers. On the other hand, I can't say that turning twenty-two really has made me feel old and set me in a bit of panicked mindset about something things (i.e. marriage and career -- why do I feel so rushed?) because who can actually take that seriously? I suppose it doesn't help that last week I referred to one of my superiors as belonging to another generation.
The awkward things you can get away with as a student worker. No one's offended because they realize that you're still pretty much a fool.
Remember that character exercise I complained about the other week? Well, it helped, a little. The one thing I would recommend was that we made a chart/grid of all the major characters with their names along the top and then on the side. Then in the boxes where character names cross reference you fill in how the characters have conflicts with each other. This is especially helpful for thinking about conflict between characters who are on the same team. I feel like class is going a little slow, though. We're supposed to be writing our treatments this week, but I think I might start writing the actual screenplay.
We did have Sharat Raju, director of Divided We Fall, come and speak to us. He had some good things to say, as he is a graduate of our program, worked for a casting agency, graduated from AFI with an award winning short, has sold screenplays, and is "currently" (a la strike) an ABC Disney Directing Fellow. He had some interesting/enlightening things to say (as well as giving us another film contact). I've noticed, however, that usually when you get filmmakers to come speak, it's just like storytelling. Sometimes you get real information on the craft or sneaky ways into the business or helpful advice, but this industry is so fickle and unstable that you can pretty much get in any way as long as you've got talent and drive.
Not so difficult, huh?
There's an organization here on campus that helps students, both film majors and not, make short films (on video) during the semester which they screen in a really nice theatre. I submitted two screenplays for consideration last week and now I'm just waiting to hear back. This is not necessarily the best way to make a quality short because your resources and equipment are not necessarily top notch with this program. However, maybe that's good when you start directing your first shorts, especially because I think it can be difficult to learn directing and filmmaking at the same time. I had trouble doing both when we were working on our video project in my production class last semester. And I plan on, even though I've just sort of disparaged the program a little, working at it my hardest and best so that there will be something of quality coming from it. Truth be told, I need more of a reel, and there just aren't enough opportunities via classes. If I get either approved, I'm going to take advantage of the support to make both, I think.
Also, have I mentioned that the director of my office sounds like Kronk from the Emperor's New Groove? Today he said something like, "Oh, right" and it sounded *exactly* like the movie was playing. I wish he'd hang out with us.