I talked with the classmate from the screenwriting class during recess yesterday evening.
The lad is from Ireland. He was in finance for 13 years. Eight years in London. Another five on Wall Street. Still carrying a gruff Irish accent, he dons the same weathered baby-shit brown tee to the class. I would’ve never thought in a gazillion years that this lad in front of me used to be in suit and tie all day long for the most part of his adult life.
“I never wanted to be in finance.” He cut to the chase. “Money was good. But I was miserable.”
He pulled me in right away. A storyteller he is.
“I went there to make just enough money so I can live off later to write my own films and get them made cheap. I know my stories would never go through the studio pipeline. I have savings. Now I want to apply for film school to get ahead with my pursuit.”
“How do you like your film school experience?” He marched ahead with the big question.
I explained that if he wanted to write lots of scripts, UCLA Film School is a no-brainer. Because of its quarter-system. When I was there, I wrote one full-length feature script every ten weeks, along with other classes like Howard Suber’s Film Structure, and miscellaneous classes like producing, acting. I did feature and TV pilot in one quarter plus other classes and TA. It was sheer madness. But I learned about my limits and potentials.
He was concerned about the odds of getting in. Wall Street has its mark on him.
“There are thousands of applicants, right?”
“But you are a very good writer.”
I think he’s playing a good hand. Of course, there is luck and other x-factors. But how would you know if you don’t try?
We had to dash back, because the class had started. Scanning his baby-shit tee again, I beamed.
Good to meet you, Ex-Wall-Street-Wannabe-Filmmaker from Ireland.