My First Cinema Class

When I was sixteen my father went to the annual meeting of the Speech Association of America in Chicago. He took my mother and me with him. I was enchanted by the sessions that featured short student films and watched them all. It was inspiring. I was determined to make my own films.

When I got back home, I discovered that one of my friends had a super 8 movie camera. We talked about making films. We were fans of the new art of the music video. We decided to make a film to the music that we loved. My friend was an artist and she took the lead, writing and filming the first film that I ever worked on. It was exciting.

Later the next school year, we succeeded in convincing the administration to offer a class in film making. Since my father was the only person remotely qualified to teach the class, he was tasked to teach it. I was initially worried about taking yet another class under him. When I had taken his theater class, the other students were convinced that my A was the result of nepotism. In fact, it was the result of extreme enthusiasm. I worked twice as hard for my A as anyone else in the class did.

Imagine my excitement when he walked into class on the first day and said, “You all want to learn how to make films. So I’m going to start out by giving you all an A. Now, let’s learn how to make films.” It was one of the best gifts that my father ever gave me.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.