I was recently asked to answer a few questions about my experience at Columbia for a page about graduating students. Here’s one of the questions and my answer:
What would you say has been the most surprising thing you learned at Columbia?
The most surprising thing I learned to do at Columbia is make coffee. I don’t drink coffee so the first time I ever made it was on a film set. I was a production assistant, and this was a part of my responsibility. I did not do a good job. It taught me an important lesson about not being scared to say, ‘I don’t know,’ even about things that seem really simple.
My dad got a chuckle out of that. But I think this one answer summarizes my experience at Columbia and my relationship with producing. You don’t know how to do something but you try it out anyway, ask for help on the way, and then make the best thing you can with the resources you have and, as you do that, you fail, you learn and you grow.
I have failed, learnt and grown quite a bit these past two years. And I’m very grateful for that. Yes, I’m glad that I failed sometimes. I think in a two year program, we invent pressure to churn out as many amazing films as possible and that generally doesn’t happen. It’s hard, but you have to be okay with a film not coming out the way you expected because, fun fact, they almost never do.
I’ve made and am making projects that I’m proud of and excited about. I’ve met creatives who I hope to collaborate with in the future, people I’m excited to support and folks I know will be supporting me.
It’s hard to really say what’s next during these times. I do have a slate of projects I’m developing and a project in post-production so that should keep me busy. I hope to stay in Chicago and work on some sets as soon as productions can start back up. But, regardless, I’m excited for the future Columbia has prepared me for.