Film is a Dream Your Heart Makes

Galaxy Deep in Space | Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from

“They say every atom in our bodies was once part of a star.” Have you seen Gattaca? It’s one of my favorite films. Yes, I consider myself a semi-sci-fi geek, but I mostly like the theme about succeeding against all odds… even when people, and society in general, do not expect success from you. It’s an old story element that helps us root for the good guy.

The part that most intrigued me is when they show doctors using a blood sample to determine life expectancy and cause of death for newborns. It would have been just a matter of time before they can deterimine one’s career. (Futurama, the cartoon series, addressed this by implanting a job chip onto every citizen on earth.) Imagine that! Being told what your job should be.

I think we all yearn for that a bit, but we also want the freedom to choose whether we want to follow that job or not. Or maybe that’s just my own feelings that I’m describing. I have certainly met people in college who knew exactly what they wanted to do in life. And I’ve met my share of those who had no idea what they wanted to do. I at least had a sense of a general idea: FILM.

I remember having to turn in my portfolio to the department of film at the university. My portfolio consisted of (1) a hand-drawn story board for the beginning of a short film, (2) a synopsis for a short film, (3) a short five-minute linear video project (edited in-camera), and (4) a personal statement. I enjoyed creating the video project the most; carrying the camera, using a stopwatch, composing shots, and telling a story through images was all so much fun. My topic? I’d just joined the university ballet folklorico group, so I filmed one of our rehearsals.

When submitting my neatly-packaged portfolio, I gave the envelope to the very nice lady at the front desk. She thanked me, then tossed it onto the pile of envelopes behind her. Noticing my sense of surprise, the nice lady explained to me that they’ve had about 80 submissions thus far. They would only choose 30 students to be part of the intenstive production sequence.

Yes, I got in. I took the classes, made good friends, made some videos/films that I never retrieved, and graduated with a film degree. Now it’s time for me to use the degree.

I see a recurring pattern: dance and film. I need to make a documentary about folklorico dance! Do I smell another itemon the bucket list? Maybe I should stop adding to the list and start crossing off the entries. Ha! If you get to know me well enough, you’ll understand that I never hesitate to add more items to my list! Keeps me young.

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