Last night I attended the first class of Screenwriting Fundamentals taught by Randall Jahnson. I don’t think I’ve taken an in-person class with actual homework since … I actually can’t remember. It’s been that long. The class draws a mixed bag of folks – two retirees (Nike and Navy), a bartender, an actor, an instructional designer, a mother, an aspiring director and so on, who are into a mixed bag of genres – science fiction, comedy, film noir, drama, horror, romance and so on.
At the start of the class, we had to introduce ourselves and say what types of movies/television we were currently watching. It was the moment of establishing credibility in a room, and it happens in any group dynamics. Are you a true cinephile? Do you know all the smart films and the names of all the great auteurs? Do you have great taste? Do you have what it takes?
All I can say that it’s a good thing that we didn’t have to reveal our Netflix histories. People don’t need to see how many times I’ve watched Sense and Sensibility. It’s embarrassing.
But really, this is where I start to realize that I’ve really grown as a person. And why I believe so strongly in adult education. Learning at this age feels like a do-over. At 45, there’s an efficiency in the way you move about the world. You have less time, so you worry less about what others think. You speak up when you feel like it and aren’t afraid when you’re wrong. You’ve paid good money to learn, so that’s what you’re focused on. You push the insecurities down because the time you have in front of you is less than the time that’s already behind you. And that means something. At least that’s what I am starting to get. It’s never been a better time to take a risk.
These are things you don’t get when you’re in your twenties, and it sure feels great when you finally do.
Have a lovely day, and see you tomorrow.
PS. Ang Lee is just a genius. I mean, there is a thread of familiarity in Martin Scorsese’s canon, but Ang Lee? All over the place – Sense and Sensibility, Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Ice Storm, Eat Drink Man Woman, Hulk, The Wedding Banquet – I love that so much.
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TLDR: Be Cool
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