In 7th grade, my parents told me I was adopted by my dad, meaning the man I knew as my dad up to that point was not my biological dad. My reaction was to put in our VHS copy of Look Who’s Talking. Movies were a language for me from an early age. When Kirstie Alley softens her heart to John Travolta at the end and lets him essentially become the talking baby’s father, I realized that the dad I knew was my dad, and this new information actually didn’t matter at all. It never upset me again.
The movie Goodwill Hunting came out in 1997 when I was a senior in high school—and it blew my mind. As I remember it, I was the most charming guy in school and everyone — my fellow students, my teachers, the school’s administrators, local politicians– just adored me. As we all know, memory is 100% accurate so you will have to take the previous sentence as concrete truth. Goodwill Hunting was a Dead Poets Society drama bred with the crude comic stylings of a Kevin Smith movie. It packed an emotional punch unlike anything I had experienced. It reminded me of how connected to movies I was and how much I wanted to make them.
I will go off to a prestigious film school, I told myself, and I will take the movie-making world by storm!
Approximately three years later I dropped out of college. (read more…)