Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Childhood Dream

I am often asked how I got started in the film business. I will start from the beginning. I find it helps other filmmakers to know they are not alone in having a very untraditional path to their goals. When I was a kid growing up in suburban Detroit, I spent hours watching all kinds of TV shows and going to as many movies as I could afford. I remember when the first Beta tapes became available so you could rent a movie and watch it on your TV! (Yes, I am that old. I told you my career path has not been traditional.) We had to drive about five miles to the store (in the snow sometimes too! -- no hills though and I wore shoes)  and I can still remember the smell of the store and the imageless, light brown hard cases enveloping those 2-hours of escape. I also knew every movie theater in a 10 mile radius and what films were playing at each. The $1.50 shows were my favorite. I just couldn't get enough of the immense joy I had when watching a great TV show or film.

And each year, I would watch the Academy Awards and I just knew I would be part of that world someday. It never occurred to me that I wouldn't. I would watch the red carpet and dream of the day I would be mingling with everyone and feeling proud of whatever got me there. I still have that dream, don't you?

But then reality set in and I had to pursue a "real" career according to my parents. So I tried to push those creative tendencies aside and focus on something serious. At first, I chose law. I really liked LA Law and it looked like the next best thing to a career in entertainment. Okay, my reasons were not quite that frivolous for pursuing law but, hey, I can't help believe LA Law had something to do with my decision. I worked hard and got into the University of Michigan. I was on my way!

The problem began freshman year. I was that kid who was very passionate and worked hard when I knew what I wanted. Up to that point, I had a single goal: I wanted to go to the University of Michigan, especially since my sister and brother had gone there. I was just as smart as them! So I worked as hard as I could possibly work to achieve that goal. I knew how hard I must have worked when a guy in my class saw me after graduation and said, "you were the girl who had all the answers in science class." Woo hoo. That made me feel attractive. And then, I started U of M and realized I had no clue what I wanted to do. And that is a whole other story.

What I did learn from being accepted to U of M was that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. And that is what keeps me going, every day. If I work hard enough and smart enough, I will achieve my goal of being a successful film producer. I often look back at my high school years and I think that was a time that feels very similar to how I work today. I am very passionate about my filmmaking so I work day and night to achieve the highest quality and most entertaining films I can. 

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