From Dystopia To Utopia… Or Theaters 9 to 19

It was a double header to remember, we grabbed the refillable popcorn and soda and settled in for Mad Max for a reality check in destroying resources and turning our sustainable world into a dangerous dystopia where the cruelty of men is evident in their drive to survive. The shots were beautiful and the composition helped tell the story in a very evocative way. Starting with close shots and then cutting to a wider frame told the story more than the dialogue for some parts. What really caught my attention is where they used Max as a car hood ornament and were stealing his blood via pipeline in pursuit of a war vehicle.

With a five minute break between show times we hurried across the cinema to see Tomorrowland, another story of depleting our resources here on earth. This film takes the converse approach and creates a riff in the time space continuum to create a utopian city to provide refuge for humans. Created by the most intelligent and artistic men and women, the inventions were stellar and you could see the way using a pin or a space ship inside the Eiffel Tower- whichever you prefer. This film had a great look back at the World’s Fair in the 60s and glided through time with such ease that I for one left the theater excited and inspired for the future that I will be a part of creating.

I think movies based around the basic concept of change and depletion of resources are important especially for today’s generation because they aren’t thinking about these things inside their technological bubbles. We still have yet to learn how to control technology instead of letting it control us and our lives. It is so important to teach the younger generation about living with nature and how to allow nature to thrive while embracing positive change not just for the earth but for mankind. Challenging the way we think and act as a community of men (and women) is the ultimate goal of any filmmaker in my opinion. You want to get butts in seats so that you can morph their thinking by the time those same butts get out of the seats.

Let The Festivals Begin!

Welcome to film festival season 2015! This year I will be working the Gasparilla International Film Festival as a volunteer which is very exciting because not only do I get to help continue a beloved Tampa film community tradition nine years in the running and learn more about how festivals come together, I also get to attend a plethora of screenings, Industry panels, and maybe even a party or two over the weekend. Festivals are great because it brings people from all over to a local community who are all like minded to network for new opportunities; festivals are also great learning experiences with workshops and conversations analysing films and what works in today’s market.

The last day of April marks the first day of the four day Sunscreen Film Festival for the tenth year. This festival is very special to me because it was the first festival that I had a film premiere at. In an effort to give back and reconnect with the film community in the Tampa/St. Pete area I will also volunteer to help with this festival as well, and in turn get a day pass to attend workshops and screenings. Festivals are such an exciting time it is easy to forget all the year round work that goes into them to create the magical experience (and economy boost) we have. I think that it would be such a dream to work on a festival every single year – even all year round. My goal in these next few months is to learn as much as possible about putting together a festival, who knows maybe I’ll be hosting one of my own one day!

Introductions Are Necessary!


 If you have stumbled here perhaps you have had the good sense to start at the beginning of the journey. I bid you good morrow and good luck on your travels through my adventures.

First a little bit about me: I am a twenty-four year old woman with a passion for exploring, writing, and images both still and moving. As an adolescent I spent my time writing, climbing trees, performing in plays, and playing on the beach. While I attended a magnet program in my high school years for theater, I also pursued a position on the school’s Lacrosse team and a longstanding job at the local movie theater where I fell in love with the moving image and photography.

When first looking at colleges I thought I would be a psych major. I toured a few Florida schools, looking at their programs and still exploring their more artsy sides. When straying off from a guided tour at the University of Tampa, my mother and I stumbled into a tall man wearing a pair of combat boots, a trench coat and a fedora smoking a cigarette. He quickly introduced himself as Tom Garrett and began hypnotizing us with stories about the Film & Media Arts program and how you took classes in filming narratives and even documentaries and experimental film – not that I knew what that was at the ripe age of seventeen. He even mentioned an acquaintance he has in Cannes and how he takes a group of students over to do internships every year.

I remember the most amazing feeling sweeping over me. I knew that I must learn everything I could from this man. He had found a way to do what he loved, travel, and touch the lives of others. One could say he inspired my future in a way he may have never known. Eventually Professor Tom Garrett became my advisor and taught me many things about life, professionalism, and the film industry as well.To this day I treasure the time I was able to spend at the University of Tampa.

I have been abroad twice at this point in my life and visited France, Italy, Belgium, and Great Britain. I spent three months living in Bergen Op Zoom, Netherlands where I was employed as an Au Pair to a lovely family and learned how easily I could live abroad and love every second of it. These experiences have shaped me into the person I am today and I am beyond determined to take many more trips in the future and eventually visit every country in the world.

This blog will take you along on my adventures – past, present, and future – as well as through the planning process of what it takes to be a travel writer and live on the road which has always been a dream of mine.

Dreams are meant to come true, if you see it and you want it bad enough you can make anything happen. Now if you are still with me, perhaps a little about you? I would love if my readers would share a bit about themselves and travels that they have done or wish to do.

xxx Sam