Date of Submission

Spring 2013

Academic Program

Film and Electronic Arts

Project Advisor 1

Jacqueline Goss

Abstract/Artist's Statement

I am not an artist. I’m not sure I even know what an artist is. What is an artist for people who don’t consider themselves to be one? A genius, a visionary, crazy, lazy? Do artists make up large percentage of the population; would someone call me an artist?

Here are some things I do know. I love making films. I love everything about the process, from the smallest details of framing, to the largest view of the entire story. I have been compelled, seduced and addicted to creating stories in front of the lens from my first moments handling a camera when I was thirteen. At that age, I think the sense of escape drew me to the plastic case and pixelated screen, the ability to, for a moment, rise above my gangly teenage body and step into a world under my command. Film for me has grown over the years, from a boyhood escape, to a vacuum of obsession sucking in all my other interests, photography, writing, technology. It has become a way to not only collect and share the interactions and stories I witness in my daily wanderings, but to work through the questions in my own life.

Rocket Men is such a film. It’s my longest film to date, and my first attempt at a longer form of storytelling. I’ve spent most of my college career in the range of 3-8min and this film pushes 30min, so it is was by necessity a step outside of my comfort zone. The film is rooted in my love of space and my childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. This is a story of exploration, discovery and the power of the dreams. It's for the star-gazer in all of us, the child that still feels a sense of awe lying in the backyard, looking at the Milky Way.

As someone who is extremely interested in the line between art and craft, I was heavily involved in every part of the process. With this involvement has come an incredible learning across the board. Rarely as a filmmaker do you get the chance to make something with no stakes and no penalty for failure. This has been liberating for me, as it has allowed me to get away from what I know, and try my hand at a film, probably larger and more complex than I should have attempted, in positions that I have less experience with. I’m not a natural storyteller, not really one for jokes or long anecdotes, and this made me, less visionary artist and more hell bent narrative technician, frantically trying to make sense of the story fragments collected from my life.

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