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Nutmeg Gazette: “My Love for Cats and Cinema Hasn’t Changed in 17 Years” - Amanda Wall

June 7, 2018

 

The two earliest memories I can deliberately recall are both from when I was about three. One of them is my dad bringing home a little kitten that fit into the palm of his hand and the other is watching Fantasia with my three siblings in the family living room.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. WALL FAMILY LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

 

SUPERIMPOSE: 17 years later-January 2018

 

AMANDA is sitting on the couch eating her most recent stovetop concoction with an old tortoiseshell cat sleeping against her leg. She’s watching Day for Night while trying to ignore her YOUNGER SISTER.

 

YOUNGER SISTER

Only film snobs watch movies in French!

 

Well, if we’re operating under that logic then the entire population of France is made up of film snobs.

I’ve loved watching movie for as long as I can remember. I always got really excited when my mom or dad came home with a new DVD because a new DVD meant a new movie PLUS behind-the-scenes featurettes! Given the sheer number of times I watched Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and the featurettes as a kid it’s a miracle the DVD is still in one piece. Even though I was always watching movies and digging for “The Making of” featurettes I never really thought about pursuing a career in film until high school.

 

I’ve always been a bookworm and have been writing short (and not-so-short) stories since I learned how to hold a pencil. My favorite subject in school was always language arts and was really considering becoming an English teacher. I was looking at small liberal arts colleges with well-known literature and writing programs and my top two choices were Bennington College and Sarah Lawrence College. I was talking to one of my teachers about my college application adventures and he asked, “Have you considered studying film? You’re always talking about movies, you’re basically a walking Oscar history encyclopedia (I can name all 90 Best Picture winners in chronological order), and you’ve already laid a pretty solid foundation of film knowledge for yourself.”

Plot twist: he was right. I was accepted to both schools but was ultimately wooed by Sarah Lawrence’s proximity to New York City and its claim to fame for having a great writing AND film program. I sent in my deposit less than 24 hours after I attended admitted students’ day.

 

Just before the fall semester started, a student group called Reels on Wheels sent out a call for steering committee members for the 2016-2017 academic year. The group helped organize transportation for film students looking to shoot off campus along with hosting a film festival every semester. I was the only freshman accepted to the committee and the upperclassmen members of the committee really helped me acclimate to the school and get involved in the film department.

INT. SOUNDSTAGE – DAY

 

Amanda and another STUDENT are engaging in a SCREAMING match in front of a green screen.

PROFESSOR
Cut! We’re going to move rehearsals upstairs-we’re holding up the production class.

 

CUT TO:

 

 

INT. LIBRARY – NIGHT

 

Amanda reclines in an overstuffed chair, her fingers furiously flying across her laptop keyboard. Her eyes shift between her screen and a screenplay marred with blue pen on the chair’s armrest.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. SOUNDSTAGE CONTROL ROOM – NIGHT

 

All eight REELS ON WHEELS MEMBERS sit at a round table. ANDY, a blonde sophomore, connects an HDMI cable to his laptop. A numbered list fills the TV screen at the front of the room.

 

AMANDA
Why is screening block A almost twice as long as blocks B and C?

ANDY
Block A has the feature film at the beginning.

 

NICK
That one damn film is throwing off the entire screening schedule.

 

AMANDA
And cutting into set-up time for the awards ceremony.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. WALL FAMILY LIVING ROOM – DAY

 

SUPERIMPOSE: A little over a year later-June 2018

 

Amanda sits on the couch with her trusty laptop. The old tortie cat sits a neighboring couch cushion. Amanda reaches over and strokes the cat’s ears. She PURRS loudly.

 

AMANDA
(muttering)
Can I still make my lame six degrees of Amanda Wall joke? Eh, I’ll just throw it in.

 

She types on a Microsoft Word document:

If there’s a film-related event happening on campus, there’s a 90% chance I’m either running it or helped organize it: I run the weekly film screenings, co-organize film screenings with other student groups, and produce the two biggest film festivals on campus as the Reels on Wheels co-chair. The only film screenings I’m not in charge of are the ones for film history classes but most of those are run by my faculty advisor so there’s only two degrees of separation there. Film extracurriculars at Sarah Lawrence is basically just six degrees of Amanda Wall.   

She pauses.

 

AMANDA

Is this too over the top for the Nutmeg Gazette?

 

-Amanda Wall
6/6/2018

 

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