Jessica Crowell Plus

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2014 MICA Film/Video graduate

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From a very young age I’ve had the urge to create and tell stories. In middle school, this passion evolved into my aspiration to become a filmmaker. I’ve always been an observant and heart-felt person, fascinated by imagination, memory, spirituality, and the beauty of people and nature. I feel compelled to counter the world’s overbearing focus on negativity and violence by expressing the good that does exist, even in the face of reality. Therefore, it is my purpose as a filmmaker, to express from my heart and show the positive and because I believe that seeing the good is the only way to create a much deserved value toward life.

Extended Bio:

I have lived in Baltimore my whole and have always wanted to be a filmmaker since I was in middle school. I became extremely curious and interested in the making of movies and I would never let my mom return our Blockbuster DVD rentals until I had watched all of the special features/behind the scenes footage on them. I also experienced a profound moment of my calling to become a filmmaker when I went to the Senator Theatre for the first time with my mom and saw "Finding Neverland" which was about J.M. Barrie's inspiration for creating my favorite story, "Peter Pan." By the time I was watching the last and most powerful scene of the movie, I knew I had to be a filmmaker and tell stories for the rest of my life. To this day "Finding Neverland" is my favorite film and is always my go-to movie for inspiration and motivation.

In my sophomore year of high school I finally found an outlet for my interest and passion for film at a summer film academy called, Filmsters Academy, run by award winning filmmakers Lee Anderson and Patti White. Filmsters is an intense two week program in which kids ages 11-18 pitch, write, direct, shoot, edit, and premiere their own films. Every year 10 films are made within the two weeks, and they are shown to a large audience at a concluding film festival in which family, friends, and other guests are invited to. I attended Filmsters for 3 summers and had the opportunity of being a director, writer, DP, and editor for 3 films. Without this incredible experience I would not be the filmmaker I am today because it was there that I gained a true understanding for filmmaking and my own creative expression. Since then, I've returned to the academy for two summers as an intern and staff member, having the opportunity to now teach filmmaking to the kids. I also must mention that Patti White is the mother of Trevor White who directed a recent independent film called, "Jamesy Boy." I had several opportunities of working with Trevor at the film academy, and when his film released in theaters this year it was so inspiring to see his name in the credits, knowing that he once began where I did at Filmsters.

As I mentioned in my cover letter, my love for filmmaking has continued to grow from that moment when I was twelve. Attending MICA helped me tremendously to advance in everything I had gained from Filmsters and I my passions have developed into a love for both documentary and narrative film after having countless opportunities to make my own films for class projects. (I even have a growing interest for 2D and stop motion animation and hope to explore it more in the future.) My Senior Thesis documentary, "Life Tracks," was about a subject very close to my heart and in honor of a person and a message that are extremely important to me. I was so happy with the final cut of the film and felt my vision for telling that story had become fully realized the way I wanted it to and in many great ways I didn't expect. I think it also strongly reflects my educational and creative journey through Filmsters and MICA, and my eagerness to now move forward. Something very special my mom said to me on my college graduation day was, "Now you can go and 'Find your Neverland'," as she placed a beautiful, inspirational necklace in my hand with a pendent of a fairy sitting in a small corked bottle filled with "fairy dust," symbolizing all the stories and ideas from my imagination that I have to release from my mind.

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