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Editor’s note: Life through film


Film has a special place in my heart.

I was captivated at an early age by Robin Williams and wanted to be just like him.

The way he could take the stage and make an audience laugh and forget about their problems was something that resonated with me. Whether it was his stand-up comedy or the characters he portrayed, like Mrs. Doubtfire, I wanted to be able to do what he did.

I studied acting and directing throughout high school. Making “Star Wars” fan fiction films with friends and teaching myself how to rotoscope, which was the lightsaber effect, I was hooked on all aspects of filmmaking.

I think it’s something that has been ingrained in my soul — to tell someone a story and escape —which is why I am thrilled the Nevada City Film Festival is just around the corner.

The festival starts Sept. 8 with a not-so-silent film called “A Trip to the Moon,” (page 5) at The Stone House. As you may know, silent films were the proverbial tip of the iceberg in film.

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Not being able to record sound and having to tell a story through only action and emotion is a core element of storytelling. I think there is so much to be said about silent films. It’s the age old expression “show, don’t tell” that I even try to utilize today.

Film has obviously evolved to a larger spectacle these days. We have big blockbuster action hits, controversial dramas dealing with current affairs, and documentaries giving us insight to the past, present and future.

Speaking of documentaries, this year’s festival will feature Jason Sussberg’s new film “Bill Nye: Science Guy” which follows the life and legacy of Bill Nye the Science Guy (pages 6-7). I had the pleasure of speaking with Sussberg about the film and learned even more about a childhood hero of mine.

The film follows Nye on his efforts to bring science back to the forefront of current topics such as: evolution, climate change and space exploration. Throughout the film viewers will learn about Nye’s life and legacy — from Nye’s time studying at Cornell with Carl Sagan to his family life and his message to the future generations.

I could not be more excited for this film, which you can see at the festival at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 11, at the Miners Foundry.

The Nevada City Film Festival isn’t just documentaries and silent films. Other highlights of this year’s festival include nearly 100 award-winning shorts and feature length films, virtual reality demonstrations, and an “After Dark” series of events with music and live comedy.

Film has taught me a lot about life and for me it’s not just about the movies, or the music, it’s the underlying stories being told and the people that dedicate their lives to making them.

Prospector Editor Sean Jordan can be reached at sjordan@theunion.com or call 530-477-4219.



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