Dec. 18, 2013
Colin Marshall, a member of the Honor's College and one of five students recognized with an Outstanding Senior Award, graduated last weekend with a degree in media arts and technology. During his time at MSU, he traveled as a videographer on Ozzy Osburne's tour, served as video director at Impact89FM, worked as a student videographer in China and Bangladesh as part of the SpartansWill.360 crew and contributed to a documentary about living with less.
Sometimes I wonder how different my life would be right now had I signed an acceptance letter for another university. I'm a filmmaker, but MSU is no film school by comparison to its heavyweight competition in places like NYU, USC, and Full Sail University. I came here for the Michigan Film Incentive, hoping for a foot in the door with Hollywood. We all know how that went.
But would I have had similar opportunities? Probably not. I wouldn't have crossed paths with my peers and educators here, who have enabled me to take on projects I never thought I could. I wouldn't have traveled to more than 20 major U.S. cities and 20 total countries for film projects as a result of my Spartan status. I've traveled more places than both of my parents combined—for business at that—and I'm only 22 years old. So, what the heck? How does a student do this?
MSU Telecasters is a student group that makes student-produced television shows and web series, and I got my hands on TV gear through Telecasters light years before my courses allowed it. Telecasters got me involved in the filmmaking process—everything from on-location filmmaking to editing to producing.
I owe much of my growth to Telecasters hosting a venue to practice, practice, practice. Through networking with other students, a bit of freelancing, lots of hard work, and a sprinkle of right-place-right-time, I found myself in airplane seats next to some of my professors on the way to anywhere and everywhere. They pay close attention to what their students are doing.
It's amazing to know that MSU professors and educators trust students with serious film endeavors. I can say I played a major role in some extremely professional environments, and my portfolio is stronger than most students I know.
I've dedicated myself to becoming a great filmmaker, and I'm thankful that my MSU networks have seen my passion and granted me the opportunities to grow in ways I didn't perceive possible—not only as a filmmaker, but as a person. I feel undeniably grateful, and I hope to create similar opportunities for other hungry students some day.
So, would life have been better at a "real" film school? I doubt it. I really do.
Read the Lansing State Journal article to learn more about Colin and his experiences at MSU.
Photos by Kurt Stepnitz