My love for film goes all the way back to my childhood. As with most children in my generation, our days and nights were filled with tales and adventures provided by classic disney animated films. As I got older I connected with the Free Willy and Mighty Ducks series, and the baseball classics Little Big League and Angels in the Outfield.
When I was in 5th grade a simple christmas gift changed the course of my life. My mom got me Stephen Spielberg’s LEGO Studios Movie Maker Set. It came with a webcam and video editing software. I was instantly hooked. I was always making LEGO movies with my friends. In addition to my passion for architecture and construction (provided by the LEGO’s), this set the foundation for a new lifelong passion.
As I became more experienced, I started to shoot video, using my parents Digital 8 camcorder. I also began editing video with more advanced video editing software. I started out with Roxio VideoWave Movie Creator, then Adobe Premiere Elements 1.0. It was a rare sight to see me without my video camera.
One day, when I was in middle school, I watched Saving Private Ryan, We Were Soldiers, and Black Hawk Down. They blew my mind, and sparked a new interest. The Military. It also introduced me to one of my favorite director, Ridley Scott (more on that later). I’ve done endless research on the military, and actually have considered joining several times. I hope to one day work on a production involving the military. I have nothing but respect for our active service members and Veterans.
Most people have a list of their favorite movies. I have a list of favorite filmmakers and their body of work. Michael Bay is my most recent favorite director. Bad Boys II was my first Michael Bay experience. Let’s just say, I’m in love with his cinematography, and action sequences. No project is too big for “Bayhem”. His use of camera movement, and attention to lighting detail are what separates him from a lot of filmmakers. I try to pay hommage to his style (as best as i can, I don’t have a camera crane) when I shoot video. Bay’s other films such as The Rock, The Island, Pearl Harbor, Armageddon, and the Transformers trilogy are amongst my all-time favorites. His future projects are Pain and Gain, and Bad Boys 3.
As I mentioned before, my first Ridley Scott film was Black Hawk Down. Soon after I saw Gladiator. He’s famous for creating worlds like ancient Rome in Gladiator, Jerusalem during Crusades in Kingdom of Heaven, and 1993 Mogadishu, Somalia in Black Hawk Down. His sweeping epic movies take you on a journey back, or forward into time. He has created an incredibly lucrative pair with Russell Crowe, who is one of my favorite actors. They have teamed up several times to create some cinemas all-time classics. From award winning Gladiator and American Gangster, to the latest incarnation of the Robin Hood legend. I have yet to see his latest film, Prometheus. Its the next movie on my list, so I hope to get to theater soon.
If a movie sparks an interest, it automatically becomes one of my all-time favorites. Ron Howard directed Apollo 13, this is one of those films. It set me off on a research spree. I learned all I could about NASA and the American space program, especially the Apollo program. I’m still doing research and learning to this day. Howards style makes you feel like you there, and in the shoes of the characters. The ending of Apollo 13 gives me chills every time I see it, and the twist at the end of a Beautiful Mind will blow your…mind. Cinderella Man and the Da Vinci Code are a couple more favorites of mine. His next film, Legacy of Secrecy is scheduled to come out in 2014.
James Cameron is behind the top 2 highest grossing films of all time. He is truly a pioneer in the advancement of cinema. In 1996 he literally built the Titanic and then sunk it. Then he helped develop the next stage of 3D and digital cinema during the production of Avatar. He uses almost every trick in the book, and then invents the rest. As a man, I am reluctant to admit this, but Titanic is in my top 5 all-time favorite movies. It also set me off on a research kick. I seem to like films where it takes you into an entirely different point in time or a world thats completely original. I like films that take you places, or take you on an epic journey. Cameron is continuing to develop sequels to Avatar, and they are still several years away.
I look at Christopher Nolan and just think class. Maybe because he’s British. He also is a pioneer in the film industry. He is one of the first directors to incorporate IMAX technology into principal photography of a major studio motion picture. I was captivated when I saw The Dark Knight. The big shots created by the larger IMAX film frame, it really makes you feel like you are in the middle of the action. I saw Inception in an IMAX dome theater, however, the film was still in the standard 2:35-1 widescreen aspect ratio, so it was seriously distorted and really had a negative effect of my moviegoing experience. I’m looking forward to seeing The Dark Knight Rises this summer! It looks legit!
Peter Jackson and the Lord of the Rings trilogy is definitely worth mentioning as well. I’ve taken a deep interest in these directors and their work. They have all inspired me, each in a different way, but it all comes back to film, and the art of story telling. I can’t wait to get into the world of filmmaking! Working with these directors would be a true dream come true.