Here is a moment I’ll never forget. Over the last 4 years, I have participated in Campus Moviefest, the world’s largest student film festival. Each year, they came to Rutgers and provided students with everything they need to make a movie. Cameras, laptops, microphones; the works. Here’s the catch: You only have 7 days to make your film, and it must be under 5 minutes. Crazy! But that’s the way it was, and at the time, it was the only filmmaking opportunity that Rutgers had to offer. So we did it. And again. And again. Even after the competition was over each year, I would go back to the CMF guys and ask to do more. They loaned us 3D cameras, let us shoot the most ridiculous stuff, and even hired my crew and I for various freelance opportunities. Working for them throughout my entire college career was such a pleasurable experience. They are the nicest people in the world, and have provided so much opportunity for me to learn and grow as a filmmaker.
And now, here we are, accepting their “Poo Industries” Lifetime Achievement Award. It signifies 4 full years of producing winning films at our school and being invited to their large CMF Hollywood film festival each summer at Universal. It is the culmination of hours and hours of hard work, no sleep, pulling cast and crews out of bed at 3 AM in the morning, and pushing ourselves creatively and professionally at every twist and turn on this crazy filmmaking road.
Here is a small montage they put together and played for the entire black tie awards gala at Universal Studios:
Looking back, I never would have guessed that over the course of four years, I would write, direct, shoot, and produce over 10 fictional films and have ALL OF THEM screen in Hollywood, let alone the few that were invited to the Cannes Film Festival. Coming into Rutgers, a school which during my freshman year had no trace of a filmmaking curriculum, I thought my hopes were lost in a pipe dream. Then CMF came along and truly made everything possible for me. Now, with the help from my professors along with the energy that CMF brings each spring to the filmmaking community at Rutgers, my mission of my entire undergraduate career has come to fruition: Rutgers has created a BFA major in Digital Filmmaking. It was a long time coming, and I almost lost hope.
Because of all I’ve been able to accomplish and learn through Campus Moviefest, I not only have grown tremendously as a college filmmaker, but I am now in a position to pursue my masters in screenwriting and directing from one of the best institutions for the arts in the country: Columbia. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart CMF. Without you, I truly don’t know where my path would have taken me. Now, however, the road ahead of me couldn’t be any clearer.