Second week of film school

Hello!

Some of you have requested an update, and I apologize for the delay. We finally have internet in the apartment, and I’m ready to share some of what I’ve been up to since last time.

In addition to the chaos of moving into my new “home,” I’ve spent a total of 17 hours at IKEA, caught a cold, completed my first week of classes at NYU and walked up and down so many stairs carrying furniture that my quads have regained some of the definition from my weightlifting days.

Did anyone say fourth floor with no elevator?

About 1/10 of all the stuff we carried up to our place haha.

The apartment currently looks like a construction site, but it’ll hopefully be ready for the blog by next week.

In the meantime, let’s talk about NYU! Or Tisch, as it is referred to by the insiders; the graduate film program that I’m so incredibly thankful to be a part of.

Sometimes I have to take a moment to just breathe, feel, taste and smell it; the fact that I’m here, in New York City, at one of the world’s best film schools. It doesn’t feel like that long ago that I wrote the post about how I was going to turn down the offer due to financial issues. But God is truly good.

We’re 36 students in the class, and through these first couple of weeks we’ve gone through long sessions of orientation, camera techs, lectures, editing techs and meetings together. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by all these amazing individuals and I can’t wait to get to know them even more.

Group selfie creds to Flynn.

We’ve also started producing our very first short films; four-minute, black and white narrative shorts with no dialogue or music, shot outdoors with only available light — on actual film. I do not expect it to be easy, but I see it as a great way to strip away bad habits and explore what true visual storytelling is.

We’ll start shooting next month, but we just checked out our equipment, so it’s getting real.

Snap by Kai Torres.

“Ehm, how does this work?”

“Like this?”

“Ah, there we go!”

It’s so great! But also very different from everything I’ve done in the past, and I realize that I have to adjust my work strategies a little.

At Augustana I had a reputation of always doing things way faster than most people ever found necessary — for better or for worse. I always tried to do as much as humanly possible before lunch, finish all my homework by 7 PM, submit assignments days or even weeks before they were due, keep the weekends free from homework and waste as little time as possible.

Why? Because I had to get my obligations out-of-the-way so that I could do the things I wanted to do — filmmaking. If I finished all my homework before dinner, I’d have the whole evening to shoot and edit film, and if I kept the weekends free I would have time to get somewhere with my projects outside school. Hence the constant sprinting to class, as opposed to — the normal and more socially respectable motion — walking. My papers may or may not have suffered from a few extra typos, and I may or may not have looked like a dork in a constant hurry.

Running GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

But here at Tisch I’ll basically be making films all day, so there’s no need to rush or “get done with the obligations to make film.” It feels so strange, and as a result I don’t yet know how to pace or schedule my days, haha. Well, it’s only been a week of actual classes, but after looking at the syllabi I realize that I’ll have to find a new workflow.

I’ll keep you updated! And thank you for stopping by.

Bless you,
Maria

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