Lights, Camera, Action: Arriving at SXSW 2016


Headliner “Demolition” with director Jean-Marc Vallee, Writer Bryan Sipe, and actor Jake Gyllenhaall
Paramount Theatre for the premiere of “Demolition”
The rad view from the hotel room!

When I arrived at the airport this morning I was both excited and nervous about my trip to SXSW. Having spent the whole week before planning what I wanted to do, I knew there were a lot of opportunities to be a part of some really great events.
As a filmmaker I always find myself struggling between telling a fictional story or documenting real events in my films. This struggle translates into my dilemma between focusing on narrative filmmaking or documentary filmmaking in order to express ideas that have the potential to create change. I believe that film is one of the most powerful modes of creating change because it encapsulates the senses of the audience and can evoke true emotion towards the subject being presented to an audience. My goal is to create narrative films that have some documentary aspects to them in the way that they will focus on certain world, societal, political, and a range of issues that we face in a modern world. One of my expectations for SXSW is that I will see films that evoke emotion in myself so that I can gain some tools for creating my own films and, in turn, being able to evoke that emotion in my audience. I also hope to talk with people about changing the world through film by networking and attending lectures and panels.
Tonight I saw the premiere of the film Demolition written by Bryan Sipe, directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, and starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The film was truly incredible. The characters in the film were each great representations of troubled people living in a modern world and each one had a unique way of pulling the audience into the story and identifying with their struggles. Having come to SXSW wondering about how to change the world through narrative filmmaking, seeing this film on the first night has given me so many insights into effective character and story development that proves that it can be done and, more importantly, how to do it.
I am very excited to attend more films tomorrow and to keep expanding my knowledge about this subject. SXSW is just littered with great opportunities for learning and I can’t wait to continue my journey.

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