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Personal Essay for Amherst, Brown, Hamilton, Middlebury, Princeton, Tufts


bplungis05 1 / -  
Dec 27, 2009   #1
Describe a character in fiction that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.

A man in a blue blazer walks through the woods with his head hung low. He is solemn, grieving the tragic death of his girlfriend. His shoes stride slowly along the dirt path, carrying a man heavy with the burdens of guilt and the irreversible consequences of his actions. He continues to walk until he is out of frame, and then runs back to press "STOP" on his school issued camera. The man in the blue blazer is my creation, a character I developed and also portrayed in my movie for my fall film class. He began only as a device to enhance a school project, but by the end of my assignment, the man in the blue blazer had grown to become a lasting reminder of how I must approach my world.

He was born from a simple assignment to shoot a film project in black and white. I wanted this video to be my best submission yet, so came up with the idea of developing a character with an intriguing backstory to highlight my film. I envisioned a nameless man, silently suffering from a great loss, conveying depth and emotion beyond my previous films.

As I began to layout the storyboards, I saw that most pieces of the film came together quickly. Locations and key shots fell into place, leaving the story as the only remaining loose end. I spent hours at a time wrestling with different ideas, all on a story I expected to write with ease. With each draft, I managed only to create superficial caricatures of a man, lacking even simple human emotions. My writing lacked significance and creativity, but revealed to me my unwillingness to address my own fears.

I realized that while I had set a goal to explore a simple example of human complexity, I had shut out my own emotions for fear of truly learning about myself. Could I deal with a great loss? Could I display my true emotions to my friends and class? What would they think of me if I did? Never before had I addressed these questions, leaving me completely unsure of the answers I might find inside. I struggled with...I realized that I owed it to myself to examine my emotions. From there I became immersed in my project.

I found myself diving deeper and deeper into ideas I had always shied away from, unveiling more and more about myself. Often I found myself slowing down, coming to another mental barrier and wondering if I should continue on farther. Each time, I took the risk and broke down those mental obstacles and kept exploring. Eventually the search within became intoxicating. As I continued, the man with the blue blazer began to come into focus. I saw the story develop into something deeper than I had ever imagined. My ideas moved from grief and sorrow to guilt and blame.

The story finalized, but in the two hours it took to film the project, my search continued. Alone in the woods with my thoughts and my emotions, I could not simply perform as my character. Instead, I found myself becoming the man in the blue blazer: feeling every emotion, expounding on every thought as if it were real.

On the day of the final class, my shoes moved slowly along the linoleum tiling down a long hallway, carrying a man heavy with the fears of embarrassment and rejection. I walk through the classroom door with my head hung low. I am solemn. The man with the blue blazer is my creation, he is my vehicle to speak through, and through him I am about to reveal myself to my classmates. I could hardly look up while the movie was playing, desperately trying to avert my eyes from the screen and the faces of those watching. The music faded out, the screen went black, and I finally lifted up my head. There was a long pause and then the discussion began. I received inspiring about how the class had connected to the character in the movie. Unknowingly they had all connected with me.

What began as an unnamed shadow, the man in the blue blaze has now come to share his name with mine. He became more than a simple character, helping me to initiate the great loss of my personal fears. The connection I found in this simple man has opened up infinite opportunities of true understanding. I must now continue down the path that he has shown me with my head held high, taking risks and challenging myself to learn about myself an the world in which I live.

Thanks for all your help in advance!

NonSequitur 3 / 15  
Dec 27, 2009   #2
WOW.
what a creative approach. what a simple, and yet elegant essay.

you are going to go to great places with this essay. i really really love it.
jayp - / 1  
Dec 27, 2009   #3
Really great piece!

A couple suggestions

so came up with the idea of developing a character with an intriguing backstory to highlight my film.

"so I came up..."

On the day of the final class

Maybe "On the final day of class"
In that paragraph you should check your tenses.

The man with the blue blazer is my creation, he is my vehicle to speak through, and through

The man with the blue blazer is my creation, my vehicle to speak through, and through him

This sentence is a bit awkward:

I received inspiring about how the class had connected to the character in the movie.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 2, 2010   #4
...portrayed in my a movie for my fall film class.

I envisioned a nameless man, silently suffering from a great loss, conveying depth of emotion beyond that which is po rtrayed in my previous films. ---- I am not sure what I think was wrong with the way you had it.. this is just an idea.

Nice! this sure is a good approach for someone involved with film studies.


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