Kevin Feige, one of the greatest film producers of this century, gave a speech at the USC graduation for Cinema Arts this May. His speech wasn’t uplifting or mushy like many other graduation speeches. He began with the story of how he got into the USC film school, and how his application was rejected five times: ““If there are any of you here today who were accepted the first time you applied, I feel sorry for you.” He continues to say “[Rejection] will help you build up the tolerance, the resistance, and hopefully it makes it easier to keep going, keep trying.”
Sixth time’s a charm, right?
Not only was his speech very blunt, but he also finished it with telling the graduates how they will believe they are going to change the world coming right out of school, but that most likely isn’t going to happen . His point was not to make them unmotivated, but to tell them the realities of the film industry. They need to understand that working with famous producers and actors will come with time, but doing their job to the best of their ability is the first step they need to take to get to the next level. He emphasized that rejection is part of the film industry and how learning this fact now will help these young, eager filmmakers look past rejection and continue to pursue their dream.
In class we watched a video called This is Water that opened my eyes to the importance of perspective and awareness is in our lives. This video portrayed two young adults who eventually chose to look at the world with an optimistic view. The short film was located in a grocery store and included visible frustrations, annoyances, and petty, which make it difficult to be grateful of what we are given sometimes (This is Water). The choice to embrace our opportunities
is what our class emphasized through readings and discussions: how to choose happiness in this situation. In CTW 1 and 2 we read a book called Eating Animals by Jonathon Saffron Foer. This reading illustrated our country’s corrupt food system and the dangers it poses to our health and the health of the animals we eat. By publishing this book Foer hopes to gain awareness about the issue and trigger a desire to change the system (Foer).
Feige stresses that rejection is part of our world, but accepting it and pursuing your dreams is the solution. Feige and Foer want people to understand that life has its challenges, and that knowing the realities around you and how to act upon these realities can take you farther than expecting immediate success.
After reading Eating Animals, I believe awareness is one of the most vital tools I will acquire in my lifetime.
Understanding where our food comes from and how it’s made triggered a reaction where I decided to not eat mean in our cafeteria called Benson anymore. The vast amount of antibiotics and growth hormones that are put into the animals is an extremely serious matter, although no one seems to realize it. By eating meat with antibiotics we are passing these hormones through our system and into the environment. If we are resistant to antibiotics, many diseases will become deadly that are very treatable as of now (Foer).
The ways that factory farms plump up the animals with contaminated water is what keeps me from eating them. These animals are abused with growth hormones and terrible living conditions to begin with, already yielding unnatural meat, and on top of that enlarging them with bacteria infested water is extremely harmful. The meat we consume is not actually meat anymore, and learning this dreadful part of the industry is pulling my dietary choices strongly toward vegetarianism (Foer).
After watching the remaining hour of “Food Inc.” I found the corruption in our food system very frightening. I haven’t eaten meat in Benson since the beginning of first quarter, and although I have never been one to give up food, this choice has been one that I am proud of. Even though I may not be making a large difference in the grand scheme of things, doing it for myself was enough. I am not completely a vegetarian but only shopping at Whole Foods where
they have a rating on how they care for their meat is how I have married the problem with my solution.
This year I have learned to embrace the opportunities offered to me and discovered how I want to handle the information I have been given. I used to think ignorance is bliss, except whenI lean red that ignorance is not blissful if harm is being done. Being aware of my surroundings and the people I interact with will be beneficial in whatever I choose to do. Thank you CTW 1 and 2 for showing me how to take action and choose to perceive the world in a positive light.
Bibliography Food Inc. Dir. Robert Kenner. Perf. Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser. Magnolia Pictures, 2009. DVD.
Foer, Jonathan Safran. Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and, 2009. Print.
This Is Water. Dir. Matthew Freidell. Prod. Allie Dunning and Jeremy Dunning. By David Foster Wallace. Youtube. N.p., 30 Oct. 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKYJVV7HuZw>.
USC. “Kevin Feige: USC School Fo Cinematic Arts Mary Pickford Alumni Award.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmvLLYoY35Y>.