My statement concerns my application to this university to major in Film and Drama. My studies will be a logical follow-on from my passionate lifelong interest in film/drama, stemming from being brought up in a family deeply involved in that business. All my life – from the day I was born – my father has been a film producer. That not only fostered a natural interest for me in films, but as I watched actors performing in the making of my father’s films, it made me realise I too enjoyed acting and longed to be acting along with them. I even used to learn the scripts and silently join in with the actors as they played their parts. I once auditioned for the lead role in a movie made by a family friend, which was such a thrill. It was the most exciting day of my life!
My existing experience / involvement in the film industry also includes an internship in Hong Kong and China, during which I was the lead cameraman for a film celebrating the 10th anniversary of the prestigious Hebe Haven Yacht Club. That was yet another opportunity to be “hands-on” and a further stepping stone in my ambitions. The film was about a 24-hour charity dinghy race, fundraising for the Hong Kong Children’s Cancer Foundation. That experience showed me how projects that do not bring monetary gain can nonetheless be so rewarding, as well as helping me along the path towards my objective of building a career in the film industry; an objective that is coming ever nearer as I am approaching the time I will be majoring in film and drama in university.
I believe my experiences and personal involvement in the film industry have thoroughly cemented my long-held resolve to make my career in that world. From around the age of 14 years I have virtually every evening watched and enjoyed a film, viewing films of all types and genres, from the early silent movies to the latest blockbusters, as well as the low-budget special interest or “art” movies. I have learned a lot from that, and have gained the ability to view them critically, observing the acting and directing techniques with an almost professional interest.
I suppose that out of all the films I have seen, my favorite director is (Sir) Ridley Scott, whose quite unique style of directing has been a strong influence on other film directors. Having said that he is my favorite director, the film that has affected me the most so far has been Forrest Gump, directed by Robert Zemeckis, and which featured superb acting by Tom Hanks in the lead role, excellent visual effects and a memorable soundtrack, which was commercially successful in its own right. I am bursting with enthusiasm and ideas and simply cannot wait to be professionally and actively involved in the business, which is why this major is so, so very important to me.
Each one of us has – somewhere in our past – that one person who has been the most influential in shaping our life. Sometimes it’s not a conscious thing; we may have to give the idea some thought, but then almost certainly that one person will appear from our memories of the past. However, I don’t have to dredge through my memory banks. I have always known and am still very much aware how my father is that very special person. Even though he occasionally had business problems and times were then difficult for a while as a consequence, he still ensured that I had a really good education, and constantly reminded me of the importance of his philosophies of life, which are:
- Be patient, especially in times of adversity – perseverance will reap rewards;
- Hard work always pays; never give up whatever the circumstances.
When I think back over the years of my upbringing, I always knew that whatever problems I had, my father would be there to help me not only to overcome them, but to show me how to move on afterward, having become a better person for that experience. I can’t imagine how I would have fared without him. They say that parenting is a skill that no one teaches yet must be learned – that man has it in shed loads!
As a consequence of that upbringing, in just about all aspects of my life I have been influenced and guided by my father’s ethos to do my best and always try as hard as I possibly could. That will be my philosophy and my work ethic at this university. I will take maximum advantage of the education I will obtain here, with the objective of being better qualified to enjoy a successful career in the film business that I know awaits me.
At this moment in time I am torn between my long-held interest in directing and my equally strong interest and what I believe is a natural talent for acting. Perhaps my studies as they progress will help me to focus on where my primary goals truly are, so that I can concentrate my efforts in that field of the film industry. Or perhaps I will be really fortunate and be able to combine the two, following in the footsteps of people like Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Sean Penn, Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson and Clint Eastwood, to mention just a few.
Without question, my father has been almost singularly responsible for shaping me as an individual to become the person I am today, and to have created a son who is, or will soon be, fully capable of embarking on a career in the same business he has been a part of for all those years. If people think of me in the future as only half the man he is, I will be proud to have achieved that much.