The Film School Kid

By Holly Lisle

Most of the time I don’t talk about my kids. I feel uncomfortable putting them in a spotlight they didn’t ask for. However, I got a call from my daughter that thrilled me. She works full-time and long hours, is out on her own, and supports herself, but she has managed to work her schedule around so that she can also attend film school, (which she’s paying for herself).

She’s been working like wild since the middle of March. In that time, she studied film production, wrote her screenplay, cast her film, directed her actors and shot her film, as well as working various production jobs on other students’ films. She’s discovered that she’s an awesome script supervisor. Her sharp eye for detail lets her catch discontinuities that happen while shooting, like “pen moved from previous shot,” “actor’s sleeves different than previous shot,” etc.. Tiny little details that she can keep in her head. I’m envious as hell — I have to write my characters’ names on a sticky and stick it to my monitor just to get through a novel.

So, anyway. She sent me a picture.

film-kid-film

Two professional digital video cassettes that contain her raw footage. This picture takes my breath away.

She’s been working toward making movies since she was about nine years old. She shot one on her own a couple years ago, but couldn’t produce it — she didn’t have and couldn’t get the necessary equipment. She’s written countless scripts, stories, and book starts. She’s faced huge personal setbacks, and overcome them, and through all of that she’s never given up, never lost sight of her dream, never let the harsh, grueling jobs she held before her current job break her spirit or make her give up. She’s been on her own and self-supporting (and then some, since for a lot of that time she was supporting herself and someone else) since she was nineteen years old, and those two cans of film represent the next step in making her dream a reality.

By the time she turns twenty-three, in two months, she will have finished her first movie.

I didn’t complete my first book until I was twenty-five.

My kid. She did this on her own, and I’m incredibly proud.

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