Graduation Year: 2023
Major: Media, with a concentration in Advertising
Interview by 21st Century Scholar, Cece Taylor
Why IUB? Tell us what you’ve found to be your favorite part about being a Hoosier.
My favorite part about being a Hoosier has been being a Groups and 21st Century Scholar and the athletic culture. I love that we’re a basketball state and that there’s a passion for it that creates a culture. You can find a basketball court anywhere on campus.
How does being a 21st Century Scholar impact your college experience/ How has the 21st Century Scholars program helped set you up for a successful academic and hopefully professional career?
Both the 21st Century Scholar Program and the Groups Program have offered me a support system that I needed in school, which helped me do all the other things that I’ve been involved with in school. I’ve benefited a lot from both programs.
What’s your involvement like at IU?
I’ve been a part of the student athletic board and I’ve played intramural basketball. I went to Los Angeles for a semester through the media school and I’m currently studying abroad in Spain through an ASPIRE Program.
Tell me about the process of getting into your major (and getting into film).
The NBA used to make these goofy commercials, so those influenced me. They just had a cool vibe I could be down with. However, I didn’t choose a major until my sophomore year. I went to LA, and I got involved in my work because that program centered around film. The LA culture is creative with supportive people surrounding you. This made me re-evaluate my passion and the possibility of incorporating media advertising into what I want to do in the future. I also love traveling abroad and being able to play college basketball where I'm studying.
Tell me about your film, what's it about? The inspiration behind it?
It’s called SUNDAY*. So, the movie’s plot is about a young man named Leo whose romantic endeavor fails and then gets into an accident, and he’s separated from his friends. It’s an action/thriller, but the kicker is that it’s a world with no sun. The director’s inspiration stemmed from some of his favorite films like Superbad. I came in as an actor, and it started small, from a little egg of a project with a 35-person crew. We worked on it for a year and were finally at the point of showing it to others. There was a Netflix director who was associated with the LA semester who watched it and said that it was crazy, but he loved it. This was an awesome experience! He’s someone who makes films with million-dollar budgets and says that he loves our films. I’m super thankful for programs like the LA Program because traveling can open your mind to new experiences.
Hardest part/ Something you’ve had to overcome?
I’m a very big planner, which is good at times, but I have an issue with not living in the moment. I can be in a really good spot, but I’m still looking months in advance. When I play basketball, though, I’m in the now. Soccer is the big sport in Spain. But when I go shoot sometimes kids are watching. They don’t know the fundamentals of basketball, so I’ll pull them aside and show them how to shoot a jumper or make a lay-up. It warms my heart. So, playing basketball is where I can let go.
What’s it been like submitting to film festivals, and at which ones will it be playing (where students can watch it)?
Submitting to these festivals keeps your blood pumping. Just seeing a physical thing that we’ve put our blood and effort into and trying to put it into festivals. We’ve submitted to Sundance, South by Southwest, and Slamdance, and we should hear back soon. Our film is playing on March 30th (2023), I believe, at the Buskirk Chumley in Bloomington, so that’s an opportunity for students to come and see it.
What are some things that are happening for you after graduation?
I think over the years, I’ve grown to find what I love, starting from media advertising and getting into the things that I’m doing now. I’m not quite sure what I’ll be doing after graduation, but I’ll end up somewhere in media. I recently interviewed with the Warriors, which was super cool, and even though I was super nervous during the interview, it was good to see that there are not that many barriers to these opportunities. You just need to keep an eye out (check out entertainmentcareers.net for media career opportunities).
Any advice to underclassmen, maybe those who want to go into the film industry?
My main piece of advice is to do and follow what you love. Take risks, don’t be scared, and push past any nervousness. There are so many opportunities available, you just have to be aware and keep pushing until you find them. For example, you can teach English abroad, so then you get to live here and travel wherever. I’ve been to Paris, Amsterdam, and Venice. If I can do it, then so can you.