Tag Archives: DePaul University

Making Beethoven Proud

PLAYING PIANO 1

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.  -Eleanor Roosevelt

There are those who scoff at the notion of “having a dream;” at the idea of following your passion. They say it is a foolish waste of time. They are the ones who follow the safe path. And I am very sorry for those people; because a life worth living is so much more than taking the cautious route and steering clear of daring choices. It is challenging yourself to try new things and when people smirk and ask, “What makes you think you can do these things?” you simply answer, “What makes you think I can’t?”

My son, Brian, has had a dream since he was a kid to become a filmmaker. He made movies on a $25 Digital Blue video camera we bought him for Christmas one year. He and his younger brother, Peter, and their friend, Alex, would post signs around the neighborhood announcing casting auditions for their upcoming projects. These signs also promised concessions which Alex’s mother learned while driving down the street one day, catching sight of one of the signs. We laughed when she informed me about the concessions and wondered if they were just planning on raiding our pantries for half-empty boxes of stale crackers and a few rogue pieces of old Easter candy hidden behind cans of tomato sauce. There was never a real need to worry, though, because no one ever showed up for their auditions. Ever. That didn’t deter them, though. The boys just ended up playing several parts. Or twins – that option was always on the table. And I believe that someday, those kids from long ago who laughed at ours for thinking they could be anything special will regret not having been a part of those early dreams.

Brian did pursue his dream. He is a filmmaker. And an award-winning one at that. He is now in the process of shooting his thesis film for his MFA degree and this short film will blow you away. It is a story of perseverance. It is a story of overcoming adversity. And it is a story of choosing to see the beauty in our world when only darkness surrounds you. It is the story of a young music prodigy who must come to terms with a devastating loss suffered following a brutal assault. It is a story of the power of the human spirit to rise and conquer.

I am immensely proud of him and his beautiful talent. His short film, Making Beethoven Proud, is making this mama very proud. 😌

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.  -Colin Powell

 

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What Goes Up…

 

ELEVATOR

 

Today, I am so excited to share with you my son, Brian’s, super-exciting project. As many of you already know, Brian is nearing the end of his Master’s Degree program in Cinema Directing at DePaul University. DePaul’s Cinema program has skyrocketed  in national rankings of film schools and is regularly ranked one of the top schools in the nation. Not bad for a program that is less than ten years old. The city of Chicago has become a film-set mecca and the huge Cinescape Soundstage is ground zero for most Chicago-based film and television productions.

As his final class project, Brian is directing a short film entitled, What Goes Up. It is a dark, atmospheric look at how one man’s choices in life affect his final moments. Brian is very proud of this film and made a decision to treat it as a serious, independent film, rather than just a class project. This decision has been as terrifying for him as it has been exhilarating because of the risks he is taking to make his concept a reality. He told me that when others heard his idea, they thought his vision would be impossible for a student to capture onscreen. Among other obstacles, it required outdoor filming on a rooftop with a gun, which, in turn required insurance, a permit, and Chicago police presence. He also needed to figure out how to create an elevator for a major part of the film. Brian was fortunate enough to find a Producer and Director of Photography who believed in his vision and made the impossible possible. They were able to rent the elevator set from the set of “Chicago PD” at Cinescape Soundstage. The finished product will be entered in film festivals from coast to coast and promises to be fantastic. And creepy. I am confident it will receive a lot of well-deserved recognition.

When this film is completed, What Goes Up, will represent the  physical embodiment of what started out as a simple idea he and a fellow student had when they put the pen to paper almost a year ago. This is what dreams are all about and you, dear readers, have the power to help this dream happen. I am calling out to my readers to check out Brian’s Kickstarter page and think about donating to his campaign. Even a donation as small as $5 is an option, and one he would be thrilled to receive. The following is his public appeal:

“We’ve been lucky enough to gain access to several beautiful filming locations, as well as find a talented and experienced crew. A film doesn’t come without its costs, so it’d be greatly appreciated if you would donate to our kick-starter campaign and help us cover rental, food, production design, and transportation costs. Please like and share this with your friends! Thank you!”

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/320657146/what-goes-up

And remember…

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.  – Walt Disney

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.  – Colin Powell

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. – Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

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Every Dream Begins With A Dreamer…

LIVE YOUR DREAM PIC“I got a lot of support from my parents.That’s the one thing I always appreciated. They didn’t tell me I was being stupid; they told me I was being funny”  – Jim Carrey

I love this quote. Speaking as a mother who has enthusiastically supported her children to follow their dreams (a trite expression, I know), I have often been on the receiving end of disapproving looks when asked about my kids’ studies. This is because their dreams are not about engineering, medicine or any other socially acceptable career. And, as much as they recognize the importance of being able to support themselves, as well as the appeal of earning a high income, I think my son, Peter, put it quite well when he said his goals in life are not confined to a paycheck. So, what exactly is it they want to do, you ask? Well….

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In the Meantime…

 
Okay, I know I’ve been slacking a bit on the blogging lately (so stop your nagging, already. I mean it).  I feel like I’ve got a lot going on right now – making sure my son, Brian, has all his financial business in order for the start of his graduate program at De Paul in a few short weeks, taking my daughter, Mary Kate, on various college visits, getting my other son, Peter, ready to move into his apartment in Iowa City in a couple of DAYS, squeezing in a trip to Door County, WI to relax and attend concerts at Birch Creek Music Performance Center to see Mary Kate perform in concert, planning my OTHER son, Mike’s, wedding rehearsal dinner (which, I know, shouldn’t be a big deal, but, believe me, it’s become complicated), buying a dress for the wedding (I’m starting to stress a little about that, but I know I’ll have a great dress that day – somehow), working, and, of course, juggling bills, bills, bills (something I’m sure everyone can relate to, right?).  Anyway, once my brain gets cleared, I’m confident that I’ll be much more prolific.
But, in the meantime, I came across this fun poll and thought I’d share it with you.  Enjoy…
 
WHAT EVENTS ARE YOU LOOKING MOST FORWARD TO AT THE 2012 LONDON OLYMPICS?
 
Swimming. Phelps is going to put the pot aside for a couple weeks!
Volleyball. Kicking my girlfriend out and throwin’ on the sweatpants!
Rowing. I’m not from the states.
Gymnastics. I dream of meeting a girl that limber someday…
Basketball. The NBA playoffs just were not enough for me!

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