All posts tagged: Learning

Essential Resources for Media Scholars & Fans

Whether you study media, teach media, or are just into media – the internet is full of resources. Below is a list of the sites that I use when I’m researching a film or television series, or even putting together a lesson plan for my undergraduate discussion section. Check ’em out, and be sure to share your favorite media studies resources in the comment section below! I’m always looking for new sites to explore.   Film Studies For Free → Film Studies For Free is a web-archive of open access (and ultra valuable) film and media studies resources. The site not only links to written work of note, but also features a number of spectacular video essays, my personal favorite medium for examining film and television.   Shot Logger → Shot Logger describes itself as a site that “facilitates the analysis of visual style in film and television.” Run by the Telecommunication and Film Department at The University of Alabama, Shot Logger boasts 941 films and TV shows logged, and 295,302 frames captured as of December 2015. For an example of the depth of …

What Film School Taught Me as a BFA

Though it’s been a little over three years since I completed my undergraduate program at The University of Arizona, I’ve decided to revisit those years in a post about what film school taught me as a production student. Now that I’m in graduate school at USC, I’ve decided to shift my academic focus to film studies for a variety of reasons, but production is still at the heart of what I hope to accomplish in the future. A few notes about this list: while I didn’t go to a prestigious undergraduate production program at NYU, USC, UCLA, or UT Austin, I think many of the lessons I learned are somewhat universal at all institutions. Also, this is a slightly snarky, but thoroughly honest list. Long story short, take what you will from it… You can’t be unreliable. No one will want to work with you if they can’t rely on you to show up when you’re needed and put in the work. Hearing “we’ll fix it in post” is common for a reason. Yeah, you might be able …

Embracing Failure

When I first started this blog (once upon a time called juliavanvalkenburg.com, ha!) I wrote a post about embracing failure and why making mistakes is essential to our personal growth and discovery. That post was deleted during an overhaul not long ago, but I decided that it was a topic worth revisiting. What is failure, anyway? When I first wrote about failure, my approach to the topic was far less nuanced. Now, I no longer subscribe to using that word. Beyond getting an F on a paper or exam, can someone even objectively fail? We don’t fail, but we certainly mess up. We realize something isn’t right for us and we move on. We react. We make a mistake and respond by shifting our approach or perspective. We hopefully make decisions that are better for ourselves and others as a result of our mishaps. This isn’t failure, this is growing. So when I do use the word failure, I don’t mean it in the objective, pass or fail, hyper-success-driven American way of thinking. I mean hitting a wall and realizing there’s another path around it. …

Summer of Independence

The summer I attended the Cannes Film Festival and spent three weeks in Italy was definitely the best of my life, but this one turned out to be pretty interesting too. I didn’t see Brad Pitt, and I didn’t climb to the top of a castle from the 10th century, but I did learn a lot about myself. These past few months were all about settling in to a new city and experiencing as much as possible before starting graduate school. I had a lot of fun, and I feel like I’ve definitely grown up a bit. As I get older, I find that what’s most difficult is that I’m constantly learning and adapting my world view, and sometimes, it’s hard to keep up. This summer I worked at a store in Beverly Hills, went to my first improv show, attended a Hollywood premiere, rode the subway, volunteered at a film festival, interned at a film festival, roamed the streets of downtown Los Angeles, rediscovered Disneyland, explored museums, showed my mom the city, visited home, and found myself just a little bit closer to becoming the woman I aspire to …

Buffalo, NY – Beyond The Reputation

A few weeks ago I visited Buffalo, NY for a family wedding, pre-snowpocalypes. My mother is from Kenmore, a suburb of Buffalo, so I have visited the city just under a dozen times in my life. This trip, however, was my first time vacationing during the fall, so I was delighted to experience a true autumn. In Tucson there are basically two seasons – summer and winter – so to see streets lined by brightly colored trees and to be able to crunch through piles of leaves on the ground was a wonderful new experience. Though quite beautiful, Buffalo is similar to Detroit or Baltimore in that it has a fairly bad reputation. When I tell people who have never been that I’m visiting, they sometimes ask “Why are you going there? Isn’t it shitty?” But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Buffalo has a spectacular history. After the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, it quickly grew to become an economic hub of the northeast. The city’s impressive past is reflected in its architecture that includes buildings designed …

Growing Old & Growing Up

“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.” – Maya Angelou   “You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” – George Bernard Shaw   “Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is war; love is growing up.”- James Baldwin   “Everyone thinks you make mistakes when you’re young. But I don’t think we make any fewer mistakes when we’re grown up.” – Jodi Picoult   “The trick is growing up without growing old. “- Casey Stengel   “I am convinced that most people do not grow up…We may marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the real children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.” – Maya Angelou   “Parents …

My Thesis Film

My senior year of college I set out to make a thesis film that reflected my sensibilities and personal aesthetic. Fruition is an experimental short film in which a young woman experiences and perceives abrupt changes in her existence. It’s about the journey of life, which is particularly turbulent between adolescence and adulthood. Fruition screened at I Dream in Widescreen on May 11, 2013 at The Fox Theatre in downtown Tucson, AZ. At the screening it received honorable mention for cinematography, which was done artfully by Santiago Bahti. It has been almost a year since I completed my thesis project and it still boggles my mind just how much work goes into a six minute short film. In retrospect there is so much (I repeat, so much) I would change about my thesis short – but isn’t that the point of school? This project was a lesson (one of many I hope) and I look forward to learning and developing more as I grow into my own style. Heck, I’m even still trying to figure out what I want to spend the rest of my life doing! All I know is, I …

Lessons Learned: Post-Graduation

This past spring I was swamped. I had two jobs, an internship, and a full course-load. I was also trying to finish my thesis project and last semester of my undergraduate career. Now that I’m maybe 1/1000th as busy as I was then, I don’t even know how I made it through. College was a lot of fun, but I was running on an empty tank for the last two years and was happy to finally get to re-fuel. That was a seriously dorky analogy, but exactly how I felt. In the midst of the most stressful year of my life, I sat down and thought about the lessons of college – specifically my last year. I wrote them down and ended up with a pretty intense list. Now that I’ve graduated I have a few more thoughts. LESSONS FROM UNDERGRAD (IN PARTICULAR, SENIOR YEAR) Know who you are. Know your self worth. You are stronger than you think. People will always doubt you. At least a handful, if not more. You doubt others too. …