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How I Found My Love for Film

Film is not something that you can get right away—you have to be exposed to the culture of different parts of the world, and learn, be inspired, by the many filmmakers who release the beloved movies that are shown onscreen. That's what film is for me if I had to describe it in one word—inspiration.

I didn't jump straight into filmmaking from the start. It grew from the part of me that loved writing as a kid. I wasn't one of those vocabulary-smart writers who wrote stories that readers barely understood with exotic use of language, but a writer who embraced a story for what it was, and spent night after night jotting down the stories I formed from biking alone around the city playgrounds or hiking through Audubon Canyon Ranch. A teacher of mine believed that the swarm of imagination in my head could serve as a career sometime in the future, and so my love grew like a butterfly in its chrysalis, except time passed slower, and its wings took longer to land at the place where it emerged with a new possession that changed its life forever.

My first camera, the Canon Rebel T2I was everything that I ever needed. It was my mother's old camera back in her 30's (a bit outdated, yes) and its features ignited an explosion of new ideas that I couldn't contain. It took me months and years to adapt to what I had, and finally, I decided to put it into action.

I find it quite amazing how much one can accomplish in half a year with the right mindset. For me, it was this dream that had me up all night, thinking about a website I could start, thinking about a contest I entered with a grainy film—but it all had me jittering with excitement. I knew how many flaws my skills had, and it was especially hard because there was no one there to teach me the aperture controls and the SD card functions with my camera. It was a journey I had to go on with no one's help.

Well, it's not like I had no one at all. Hundreds, thousands of filmmakers online inspired me to create films about simple things in my life, especially with quarantine, and to gain the skill to trigger emotions after watching Titanic (don't remind me how many times I've mentioned this movie) and animes like Your Name. That's inspiration—that's understanding that your close-ups are going to differ from Steven Spielberg's close-ups because of the styles. Sure, experience comes from the talent and eye many filmmakers have (some are born with the natural skill), but filmmaking is a community, a heart of its own that wouldn't exist if it weren't for others. Some filmmakers aren't as exposed as others (like me) to films that can change lives, but that's because the path you take is one different from any other, a path that won't need altering if you have the dream in your heart. That's the beauty of filmmaking that drew me in years ago.

This concept of dreams doesn't only apply to art. I believe that with time and inspiration, you'll one day be hit with a meteor of excitement because you found what will make you the person you want to be.

And so, I hope that all of your dreams will come true (not cliche.)

- Chloe


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