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Would you like to see my son's college app essay?

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Thanks to those of you who helped him edit it!!! I had a friend here help him with the final edit, and this is what he came up with. I'm proud of his efforts.


The question was quite broad--just write a two page essay about your life and education, and, since he is trying to go into the Cinema program, say something about your desire to go into film. Here it is--it's formatted correctly on word, but here the indentations don't show up:


Education and Life: A Personal Statement


I remember going to see “Superman Returns†with my mom. We sat in the front row. The opening title sequence alone was incredible. It was the sort of thing that makes you want to close your eyes but you can’t. It looked so much larger than life and I felt like I was being pushed back into my seat. I was enthralled by the magic of it all.

Since I was little I have always loved going to the movies. I would beg my mom to take me to the theater whenever a new movie came out. Sometimes she would take me out of school a little early so we could go see whatever was playing. Whether it was “Mighty Joe Youngâ€, “Galaxy Questâ€, “George of the Jungleâ€, or “The Lion Kingâ€, I was always excited to see what was on the screen.

I went from being a fan of movies to being interested in how they were made. I became a student then, familiarizing myself by watching films from various genres. I started watching movies directed by people I had never heard of before- David Lean, Sergio Leone, Cecil B. DeMille, and William Friedkin, to name a few.

The big, visual-effects-driven movies were what first attracted me to filmmaking but as I grew and learned more from what I watched I came to have respect and admiration for smaller, lesser-known films. I learned from “Barry Lyndon†that a series of looks between two people could tell an audience more than pages and pages of dialogue ever could. I learned from “The Third Man†how lighting and sound effects can cause tension and suspense. I learned from “Full Metal Jacket†that movies could make their audiences think deeply about issues of morality.



During high school I had the opportunity to help put together a video journal of my church’s youth mission trip. That experience exposed me to the time and devotion it takes to make a movie, even a simple one. The project involved filming, scanning hours of footage, figuring out the story we wanted to tell with that footage, and piecing it together. I absolutely loved every second of it. I saw in myself the potential to be a good filmmaker.

The area of filmmaking I want to pursue is directing. I admire how directors can take a story from paper and fearlessly tell it the way they see it visually in their heads. I love how they can terrify, thrill, sadden, and inspire the people who go see their creations.

I feel Virginia Commonwealth University is the best place for me to pursue my dreams and intentions. While attending a meeting at the Cinema School during an Open House, I saw everything I wanted to do right before my eyes. They had cameras, green screens, dollies and other equipment I had only heard about. It made me eager to start learning immediately.

From what I have experienced filmmaking is difficult. Coming up with an original idea, knowing what story you want to tell and fighting for it, turning that idea into a reality and bringing it to the big screen, all require passion, drive, heart and commitment. I can’t think of anything else I would rather learn how to do.

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Yeah, it would prolly be good to tell you that we don't know if he's accepted yet!


And, I realize it's not the best essay. The opening is a little rough, but it's the best he can do, and he worked hard on it, so, even if he's not successful, I know he tried his best, and that's a good thing.

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