Paul graduated from the Film School this past weekend...I would attach a picture, except that true to form, I ran home to get the camera, arriving minutes after the grand entrance, to find that the camera was completely uncharged...so, only a very small and shadowy picture on my phone! There were no caps and gowns however, so you can close your eyes and imagine Paul shaking hands with some dude you don't know, and you pretty much have the picture!
Graduation was followed by the "premier" of this years thesis films, and then a swanky party at the sound stages where many people complimented him on his Director of Photography work on his friend's film "Goodbye Pluto."
I am very proud of Paul. He got what he came for--a great education. Two years ago he knew nothing about film-making, and today he can compete with many professionals in terms of his skills.
But it also feels like coming off a show..theatre or film. You get a good product, but the cost is emotionally high--the result of interpersonal conflicts and a sometimes seemingly unfair rewards system. The party line, offered by the most successful alumni and the dean of the film school, is that all the bruises will fade within a year or two and there will be nothing but fond memories and a supportive group of friends buoying each other up in the badlands of L.A.
Having spent some time on a few sets myself, I can't corroborate the warm fuzzy feelings from many of my own experience...it's a little more complicated...and has more to do with becoming a little inured to the pain, and able to spout an enlightened philosophy that you sometimes even believe.
But I'm willing to hope they are right.