• Alicia Leo

I Am My Content

Updated: May 27, 2020

About 3 months ago I went on an interview for an internship that I did not get offered. This isn't a sob story - don't worry. I'm not going to tell you why I should've gotten hired, or what I think went wrong on the interview. I want to share a moment in that interview that resonated with me and gave me a different outlook on my content.

Amongst other things, this particular interviewer asked me about my senior capstone film. This was something that I got excited about because nobody had yet asked me about it in an interview. I gave him my pitch which essentially coincided with the statement below:

Within non-nuclear families, there is often a sense of competition of who is the favorite parent. Leah, a 16-year-old girl must spend weekends with her father, Pete, whom she has a broken relationship with. While Leah begins to believe that their next door neighbor, Rose, is a serial killer, Pete tries to win over his daughter’s affection by helping her investigate.

He then asked me if I was interested in only horror films, or if I was interested in comedy as well. He said it did not matter, but he was curious. Everything I had said prior to that had shown that I am interested in creating light-hearted content, but this film did not sound like it was in the slightest.

Spoiler Alert:

Blossom was not a horror film. It actually ended on a light-hearted note.

But that interaction made me think about my experience making that film, and my other experiences and aspirations as a whole. My group members wanted the story to take a darker turn, and I just didn't feel that making just another student horror film was going to do us justice.

Why not tell a silly story for a change?

The way I perceive myself and the content that I aspire to create is light-hearted. I love romantic comedy movies and shows that can make me cry at times but prove that there's good and happiness in the world. There's so much negativity in the news that can already give us our fair share of bad people and stories. I just don't want more of it and if I can choose to make someone smile with my content I'm going to do that.

When my interviewer had asked me that question, I looked back on my other experiences and realized I had already made that conscious decision to work on light-hearted content in all of my other endeavors. I worked for a content marketing company that made the "Stories of Care" campaign with Walgreens, worked on a feature film that was a story that tugged at your heart but also made you feel good, and worked at Late Night with Seth Meyers where they take the darkness of the news and somehow make it enjoyable and funny. In each of those jobs, I was just an intern - a helper. And I had no say in the actual content but had the ability to make a difference in the production. I chose to associate myself with projects that made me feel good.

But for Blossom, I was the writer of that film. It challenged me in so many ways and made me a better filmmaker and storyteller. But the part of this film that taught me the most was the development and planning aspect. I had written the original untitled script a year prior. It was put into a pool and my group took a chance on me to revise and develop it a little further. This was a challenge to work with 5 others and an advisor because everyone had their own idea of what the story should have been.

More often than not, it came to murder. For some reason murder is very popular in student films, and I cannot understand why since it's so hard to pull off for a low-budget production. And from the very little blood and gore, we had in our film, it was somehow still hard to pull off.

Clearly from what I stated before about romantic comedies and lighthearted content, I was not on the murder boat. I really do enjoy writing, but being the only writer when you have 5 other people in your ear telling you what they want is really difficult. I found from this experience that I think being on the development and planning end of production is probably where my interests fall. And that's okay.

Knowing now that I won't always have the luxury of picking my projects, I look back on Blossom with gratitude. I got an amazing experience to take my original idea, develop it further with a group and see my story play itself out on screen. And one day when I get the luxury to pick my projects again, I'm going to pick the lighthearted content that I believe can do a little something for the world.

If you're reading this and you'd like to know a little more about Blossom, you can find my project page HERE.

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