Cutting Celluloid (The May OC Issue)
By Mike V. Derderian
I was about to write about Brad Birds’ 2004 The Incredibles and tie it to the many mediums—literature, art, comics, video games, reality and songs—from which filmmakers draw inspiration.
After a meeting with the amazing stuff of On Campus I learned that this month’s issue is dedicated to school graduates. There are many movies that cover graduating from school, which is a transitional phase to a different way of life: University and later on life itself.
You have The Graduate (1967), Dance ‘Til Dawn (1988), Dead Poets Society (1989), Rudy (1993), Can’t Hardly Wait (1998) and of course Grease (1987) that I decided to review for you.
Some pass Tawjihee and some don’t; some have good grades and some don’t. My grades didn’t qualify me to study engineering or medicine—then again I never saw myself as an engineer or a doctor. Life is all about being you.
I wanted to study animation but somehow and for a stupid reason universities only took students from the scientific branch. Apparently you can’t animate a cartoon character unless you knew that 1 + 1 was 11.
For me imagination is not about physics and math it is about knowing how to imagine and no more. Still this obstacle did not hinder me from pursuing my dreams, a process that I am still doing till this day, and as sand grains sift through to the bottom of my hourglass.
I ended up studying English Literature that introduced me to writing, poetry, plays and playwrights; and of course the visionary William Blake and the highly imaginative William Shakespeare. Somehow I hated grammar and syntax.
Ask me 12 years ago what I wanted to do, after graduating from school, and I wouldn’t have had a clear answer. Now I do and the same will happen to you. But in order to do so you have to work hard (harder than others), know who you are (especially if you have seven characters within you) and most importantly never say you don’t know how to do it (don’t act the fool).
For the first piece that I wrote for a newspaper six years ago, I was sent to cover an art exhibition at the Spanish Cultural Center (Instituto Cervantes). When the managing editor asked me if I knew how to write an art review I said I did. Of course I lied through my teeth, but as I found myself gazing at the paintings, with the Spanish captions and Latin titles, I realized I can do it, and here I am writing the above words and cutting celluloid.
Still I am not there yet and neither are you. Once you believe that you are there the journey is over…yours just started so good luck.