It’s my last week of classes at USC before I graduate, which basically means it’s my final week of school ever since I definitely don’t plan on getting my PhD! WOOT. I’m feeling a mix of emotions, but I’m mainly excited. Graduate school has made me a better, smarter person, but I’m certainly ready for the next, non-academic chapter in my life.
I never really was a procrastinator before grad school, but these past two years I’ve spent plenty of late nights getting work done at the very last-minute. As someone with a fine arts degree, I think it’s because writing non-stop scholarly work is too strenuous for me. I need to take breaks and make stuff, beyond shaping flowery words into poignant statements on cinema, TV, and culture. I don’t consider myself an artist by any means, but I like working with my hands – putting pictures into thrifted frames, moving furniture, making photo collages – and research and academic writing, as much as I enjoy it, doesn’t satisfy those needs. But making short films does, and I think that’s why I never procrastinated as an undergrad.
This week’s no different from the many I’ve experienced as a graduate student – I’m even putting off important schoolwork as I write this blog post. Yesterday I had a ton of stuff to do but accomplished nothing, I mean nothing, and spent most of the day lying around cruising the internet. I feel guilty about it, but I can’t seem to get myself to work on anything until it’s absolutely necessary. Anyways, one of the things I did yesterday instead of writing that paper that’s due tomorrow was revisit a few of my undergraduate film projects. Which brings me to Emerson…
Emerson is a short film that I co-created with Jackie Hutchinson during our junior year of college at The University of Arizona. I hadn’t watched this short in years, and revisiting it brought on a wave of emotions. Undergrad was a far simpler time, but of course I didn’t realize it then. From the production design, to music and editing, this short was so unbelievably fun to work on. Watching it made me realize how much I miss making things, so my post-graduation resolution is to make a short film and have fun doing it.
I implore everyone to make a short film at least once. It can be shot on your cellphone with your closest friends as actors – just make something, anything. I’m convinced that creating is freedom, and for those who don’t have the freedom to create, it’s our responsibility to keep making things and putting our artistic energy into the world.