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The Other March Madness

The future, from where I stand, is bright, but empty. Empty like a blank page is empty: plenty of room for potential. But it’s nerve wracking to be rushing towards that bright, empty future with no solid plans in place. I should be glad of it: I should look forward to having a break and some time to adjust to life after school, but I’m too eager to get started!

So it felt a little bit like Christmas when I learned that there was going to be a mentorship program to try to pair up graduating students with industry professionals. I heard about the program last spring, but only as the vaguest of rumor. I never saw any official announcements or heard any of the details. At the time, I thought that maybe it was a program that they were still beta testing, so they were keeping it under wraps in case it didn’t pan out. I wasn’t even sure who “they” were: I started dropping hints around to various professors to try to glean whether this mentorship business was likely to come back. No one seemed to know anything.

I’d pretty much given up on the whole business when the announcement went out. Participating in the program required a meeting, the gist of which was: “don’t flake out on your mentor or you’ll make the School look bad.” The obviousness of this sentiment is further proof that common sense ain’t common.

Yesterday a list of names went out. About one hundred and forty names, of which we could pick up to six candidates. So I did what I do best: I made a spreadsheet. First I eliminated names from the categories that would be wasted on me: cinematography, agencies, game development, etc. Then I tried to figure out who the most popular candidates would be- there were some good names there, but did I want to compete with everybody else for them? I decided I could allow myself to chase one red-letter name (I actually turned them red, because why make a spreadsheet if you’re not going to color code it?)

And then I had an interesting dilemma, once again. Who was I and what did I want to be? Director. Producer. Sound. Film. Television. Transmedia. Woman. Comedy. I was going to have to commit to a direction, because there was a chance that this mentor might actually direct my life in a significant way. Did I want to choose a mentor based on how interested I was in the subject or based on how difficult they would likely be to access without an introduction? Did I want someone high placed but busy, or up-and-comming and eager to help a filmmaker out?

In the end, I got the list down to six names, any one of which I would be happy with. I submitted the choices and now all I can do is wait. In the meantime, there is plenty to keep me busy.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on March 26, 2016.

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