Thinking of changing your major?

Recently, because of actor availability, production was suspended on SALEM - the television show that I am co-cinematographer on. I flew back to Montana for a week and happily - was able to speak at the School of Film and Photography at Montana State University. The following is a letter I received from a student who may have changed his future based on that talk. I print it not to toot my horn as a speaker, rather publish it because I know there are a lot of you out there who are in the same place as Colton.

Hi Mark,

I'm sorry in sending this message rather late, but I've been so busy with the end of the semester! I know you're busy back on the set of your TV show, and I hope that's going well, but I really wanted to contact you. Last week you were a guest lecturer in the Film 100 class, and after your lecture I introduced myself to you. I was able to briefly express my gratitude then, but I'd like to more do so more fully! I took four years of film in high school and I absolutely loved it; I was pretty proficient according to my teachers, but I also went to a high school where I graduated with 23 students! As much as I enjoyed film and it was a first career choice for me, as time went on I decided it simply wasn't a practical decision. I came into college undeclared, but I was leaning toward a psychology or sociology degree for the applications they had in life. At the beginning of this semester, a couple of things fell into place and I ended up in the Film 100 class, which wasn't my original plan! As I continued on in the course, I realized that film was my passion and I shouldn't let the stress of future 'job security' hold me back from chasing my dreams. I declared a pre-film major, and since I finished all my core classes this semester, I'll be doing the remainder of the pre-film classes this fall!

Though I still had my doubts about my proficiency with the material, I was very encouraged by the lecture you gave. I realized as I was watching your video that my passion for storytelling made film a perfect fit for a major. Everything shown in your video and everything you talked about stimulated my interest to a degree that no other material I've covered in college has. It was such an encouragement and reassurance that I'm on the right path. Your words did more for me than I can explain and for that I thank you. I've looked at your site and watched all of the videos you have up as well as read your musings. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them and I truly hope I am able to work in the industry some day. My dream would be to be a director, but we'll see where the road takes me! Thank you again, for everything. I hope the work on your TV show goes well and I hope you're doing well yourself!

Warmest Regards,

Colton Tash

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