Friday, October 25, 2013

An essay by a remarkable student with a remarkable title: "I want to be a mommy." (an essay for a college application)

This Essay was written by Brett Kushner.

My Film School Essay

As a child, I wanted to create something. I wanted to take charge; be the one to make decisions; to lead the way. I'm sure you know where I'm going with this. That's right: I wanted to be a mommy. After much education, however, especially an anatomy class or two, I realized my dreams were futile and I began to seek out a new area of interest that did not involve any kind of surgery. 

I entered high school as an actor. At the time, I was even considered the best actor in my forensics class. At the end of my freshman year, my forensics class required groups of four to make a short narrative film. As an actor, I was able to watch my original inspiration, Adam Fairholm, make Sleeper, the highly regarded short narrative that is still shown as the ideal film in forensics class. Adam was a grade above me and taught me how to fully utilize a mini-DV camcorder and Adobe Premier. I have always been very computer literate, so I picked up this new skill quite quickly. Since then, I have loved every moment of amateur filmmaking. I continued to watch Adam Fairholm create teasers and trailers for the school plays, and I would go home and try to recreate his After Effects techniques. I knew that he would graduate a year before I would, and that I could take his place one day. Scouring the internet for as much information I as I could find, I learned that being a filmmaker was much more complicated, in some respects, than being a mommy; however, I knew that I was up for the challenge. Junior year rolled around and I had been creating many videos for personal use, friends, class projects, etc. In fact, a rumor had spread around the school that I could help with any video assignments. People that I had never even seen at Saint Thomas would come up to me, greet me by name, and then ask, or sometimes beg, for me to help them with a last minute project. These tasks certainly helped me improve my skills because I never turned down a request, and I never settled for a mediocre piece of work. I experimented with blue screen, animation, music videos, hidden cameras, DVD's, Macromedia Flash, After Effects, and many other tools. With a motto "Nothing is impossible with filmmaking," I would go to great lengths to see my vision on the screen. When I applied to the Duke's T.I.P. Filmmaking In California summer program, I thought I had no chance of acceptance. I was thrilled to find I was wrong. During my two-week stay on the Chapman University campus, I was able to learn more about film than I had for three years. The two weeks culminated with a gala, showcasing the films we were able to make. I presented Put It In Reverse, a short narrative filmed entirely in reverse and then played at -100% speed using the Avid. This created an effect showing the main character acting normally, while the world around him was in reverse. This required much pre-production and choreography with the actors, and it worked out superbly. After my arrival back in Florida, I acquired a position as intern editor at RMS, the leader in private television networks. With my own editing bay, I learned about many of the real-life hardware that a professional editor might use. I started out using their Avid Media Composer, cutting down music videos. Now I am using In-Sync's Speed Razor, working at the same level as the other editors there. I constantly put out content that is broadcasted throughout the day across the country in stores such as FYE, Music Nation, Sam Goody, Advance Auto Parts, and upcoming Office Depot and Autonation. The highlight of my internship was visiting an Advance Auto Parts in Tallahassee and seeing my work playing there. I work at RMS three times a week, and I always look forward to it. All of my technical experience, however, means nothing compared to my creativity. My technical abilities are just a beneficial edge, since they are all learnable in time. What greatly advantages me is my creative spark. I have always been taught to think outside the box. In eighth grade I began "The Annals of Brett" that soon became a bi-monthly newsletter read around the world. Besides my friends and family, my newsletter was subscribed to from Michigan, California, Denmark, and even Taiwan. The Annals were my first real outlet for creativity as I was able to write on any humorous idea that I could think of. My next forte was acting. I started as a stage manager, but by the end of eighth grade and beyond, I acquired all parts from dramatic to comedic, major to minor roles, whether it be for school, camp, or forms of community theater. Meanwhile, I started a band, the PHB's or Pretty Hot Barbers, which produced the two hits "Tangerine" and "The Brett Song" that have become quite popular amongst friends. I also learned programming languages such as PHP that certainly provided a means to express myself. On my web page, with PHP, I started "Brett's Schedule Matching and Lookup" that allows Saint Thomas students to input their schedule before the year starts and find out whom they share classes with. 

EDITOR's NOTE:  This was a precursor of Facebook

After the success of that service (594 students or roughly thirty percent of my school), I created "Brett's Friend Rankings?or how to lose a bunch of friends" that ranks my friends based on a point system that I can update freely. Luckily I have not lost any friends yet. What drives me to create such pieces of work is the understanding that they will help or touch others. That is why I want to pursue my dream of a film career. 

Film can affect another more greatly than any other medium. People lose themselves in film and I want to be a part of that experience. With my creativity and my early practical experience, I know that I can successfully continue to learn about my passion and continue to share it with the world. I want my work to influence the world, just like mothers want their children to. I guess I wasn't so far off as a child; I guess I still do want to be a mommy.

[NOTE TO STUDENTS: yes, you can submit your essays here  – why not see your work in print?]

This essay was written in 2003 by Brett Kushner

1 comment:

  1. This is a well-written essay that effectively connects experience with narrative. It is not a dry resume listing skills, talents, and accomplishments, but rather an engaging narrative about how the student impacted her community, and how the student's experiences impacted her. Also how the student broadens her academic learning outside of the classroom; stepping over and beyond. Introspection is key in such essays. All written in a clear voice and highlighting touches of humor.

    What I would like to see, however, would be a description of a failure and what was learned from it. We are all imperfect no matter how well we try to gloss over what we've done wrong. To me, briefly interjecting a failure and expanding on what you gained from it shows a sense of humility and strong analysis in of itself. Colleges do not necessarily want perfect students, but students who can get up after falling and help others up as well.