Did you know we’ve even got students in Alaska? Jonathan Schulz, apprentice at Talking Circle Media
in Anchorage, considers himself not to be the most outgoing or confident person in the world but his passion is more than evident in what he says. In his student blog he writes: “My dream is to be a director and to be able to make movies that shake people up. I want to make you laugh, only to make you cry a few minutes later. I want to make characters that you get out of your chair and cheer for, or characters that you shake your fist at and hate—I want to be a storyteller.”
Compelling enough? We thought so. We followed up with Jonathan to find out more about where he’s coming from and where he intends on going.
RRF: What made you want to work in film?
I’m not actually sure what specifically attracted me to film. It was just one of those things that was always in me, even when I didn’t realize that I wanted to do it for a living. I would play with my action figures when I was little and my eyes would be the camera. I would move around and get different angles with different lines of sight. Or I would make up my own film titles and write them into the TV guide…From my earliest memories, filmmaking was always on my mind.
RRF: Whose work inspires you? Do you have a filmmaker whose work you emulate?
Well, Stanley Kubrick is my favorite director (isn’t he everybody’s?). His movies made me realize that rules were meant to be broken. From his audacious use of poppy music to the cruelty that he treats his characters with, he was daring. That sort of rebelliousness and cynicism made me also made me realize that an idea and a camera can result in such a variety of emotions…My idea of storytelling became much more personal when I found movies like Barry Lyndon.
RRF: What is the best lesson you’ve learned while in the program?
FILM FOR THE EDIT. Gosh, I cannot stress that enough! It’s a lesson that I’m constantly remembering that I learned, and one that I am constantly forgetting to do. As a videographer, I also edit the videos, so the process of editing isn’t a burden that I can just pass off to the editor…But I have often found myself in a situation where I need to cut away from a shot only to find that I haven’t filmed any extra footage to cut to!…Get the close-ups, the over-the-shoulder shots, and any extra footage. It’s worth remembering, and it’s worth the extra time it takes.
RRF: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with us? Any advice for others?
I guess I would say never stop filming what you love. If it’s a choice between making the films that you love while struggling or rolling in cash and making films that you aren’t passionate about, choose the former…Make the art that you want to make, and remember the love of film that got you passionate about making films in the first place.