May the Fourth


Also thanks for the nice museum- I can't wait to see the Illustration exhibits.

Also thanks for the nice museum- I can’t wait to see the Illustration exhibits.

Dear Mr George Lucas

I’m sitting in a building with your name on it as I write this. Last week an email went out to all the film students here at USC asking us to swing by the Deans’ office to (spoiler alert) sign a birthday card for you. Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the aforementioned office to sign the aforementioned card and the window of opportunity snapped shut. I was a little bit disappointed about this. It’s a really nice building, after all, and I really like sitting here and it would’ve been nice to sign the card as a gesture of gratitude.

I am, after all, a big believer in thank you notes.

And letter writing, for that matter, although I suppose that the Dean would probably frown upon me writing three pages worth of text on the birthday card, and hogging all the space so that no one else could write anything.

I found myself speculating about what I would have written: “Happy Birthday” seems like a good place to start, but is likely to be a sentiment already printed on the card. “Thank You” seemed like another good message, but also felt a bit generic and inadequate for a birthday message to someone that I admire. What could I say that you hadn’t already heard a thousand times from a thousand other eager young filmmakers? It seemed important that I write something notable: something unique- I just didn’t know what that might be.

I could have just signed it with my name, but that seemed a bit self interested: but then I had to ask myself- why was it so important to me to stand out from the crowd and be noticed? Was I actually more interested in drawing attention to myself than actually writing a birthday message? What is my objective, exactly? What is my subtext?

This is what film school does to a mind.

It occurred to me that there was this thing called the Internet and that today was May the Fourth and if there was ever a day to be writing you an open letter that this would be it. It’s probably true that in some not-so-deep-down part of myself I want to be noticed by you: don’t we all want to be noticed by the people that we admire? It occurred to me, though, that what I really wanted was to write something that would mean something to you in the tiniest way that some of your work has been meaningful to me. It’s easy to dismiss movie-making and storytelling as the work of illusions and dreams, but some of those illusions and dreams are what helped me to deal with the realities of my lifetime.

If nothing else it helped me to deal with my adolescence- and if that isn’t dealing with the realities of life than nothing is.

Which is how I came to be here in a building with your name on it: a place built out of dreams and building the dreamers. So while this isn’t the most traditional of birthday greetings nor the most compelling form of thank you note I hope that you will accept my birthday wishes and sincerest thanks.

May I strive always to be worthy of the inspiration that you have given me and may the fourth be with you.

Gwydhar

 

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on May 4, 2015.

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