Thursday, February 23, 2012

A day with Cinemagic and 007

Yesterday I took 13 kids on a field trip to visit Pepperdine University, where the Cinemagic folks put together a cool presentation for young filmmakers. Cinemagic is an Irish group that started as a film festival and has grown to be an educational powerhouse for young filmmakers in the UK. Now they make regular trips to the US to do presentations.

So naturally, when I heard about the opportunity, I jumped on. I will be assigning short film scripts later this year, and hopefully following that up with mini films, so I chose the kids who went by who wanted to be project leaders on the assignment.

We saw three short films - one from a Pepperdine film student and two from teenagers in the Cinemagic group. That was some really impressive filmmaking from high-school age kids. The college kid's film was fun, and he followed up with a Q&A, which I know did my kids some good. They learned a lot. I did chuckle a bit when the director talked about how this 10-minute film took him an incredibly long time to write - two weeks.

At one point the presenters asked how many of us want to make films. I raised my hand, as did most of the kids in the room. How many want to be writers? Of course I raised my hand. How many of you want to make comedies? I raised my hand. One of my students said "Put your hand down, Miss, you don't do comedy." So much they don't know.

We got to sit in the control room while a group of college kids put together a show called Buenos Noches, Pepperdine. That was cool. Never been in a control room before.

But then came the kicker. The one and only Pierce Motherfucking Brosnan showed up and sat right fucking in front of me to do a Q&A. They showed some clips from Manions of America, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Ghost Writer, and Goldeneye. During the scene from Mrs. Doubtfire, during which he stood in all his hottest glory, tight chest exposed on a diving board for all to see, the older Pierce called out: "I'm still the same!"

Here he is right in front of me, talking on the phone to Joe Sargent, getting permission to show Manions to the kiddies. I did not take this picture, but the student who did was kind enough to send it to me:

He's still so damn cool. 

He really pushed the kids to stay in school because he wishes he had, and he talked about the process of working with a great director. He said the best thing a director can do is leave him alone and let him do his thing.

So it was a nifty experience. The kids seem to have gotten a lot out of it.


  1. So that's his middle name...

    You're a damn cool teacher; that's a once in a lifetime experience you gave them!


    I can read lips from photographs. I know what he was saying:

    "Yes, Blake...Emily Blake - the screenwriter - she was sitting right behind me!!!!

  2. Great post.

    "Pierce Motherfucking Brosnan" drops in unannounced? The teacher of the class visiting the film school is secretly an up-and-coming pro screenwriter?

    Only in LA (or in this case, Malibu)...

  3. For the record, he didn't drop by unannounced. Sorry if I implied that. He was scheduled to appear.

    But thanks, both of you. One day when I work with Brosnan I'll have to tell him all about it.


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