Our Final Good-byes to ‘The Montclarion’

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Published August 15, 2015
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The Montclarion
Claire Fishman, the photo editor for The Montclarion from Spring 2014 - Spring 2015
Claire Fishman, the photo editor for The Montclarion from Spring 2014 - Spring 2015

Claire Fishman, the photo editor for The Montclarion from Spring 2014 – Spring 2015

I knew when I first started at Montclair State that majoring in Filmmaking was not going to be easy. I was warned that making connections is all film school is really for. But I think one of the most amazing things about attending Montclair was that it wasn’t just that.
I’m continuously told that it’s easier (and potentially cheaper) to learn how to make a film by just making a film. Experience can’t be taught and some of my classmates worried that film school didn’t do anything but put them behind people who got into the business four years ago.
But when I entered Montclair, I didn’t know anything about filmmaking. I learned so much about the process in even just my first year and I don’t think I would’ve gotten that much experience in the real world without even knowing where to begin. Over the past four years here, I watched my passions and my interests bloom.
I realized that I wasn’t a great grip and I definitely wasn’t a camera person, but I also realized I could tell a pretty good story through directing and editing. Even in just this past semester alone, I followed down the path of art direction and I don’t believe I could’ve learned any of that if I wasn’t here.
It’s also true when people say that film school is good for connections; I’ve worked with a staggering amount of people over the years and through all of those experiences, I’ve found the coworkers I can rely on and who I’d drop everything to work with again.
But if there’s one thing alone I can take away from Montclair, it’s my self-confidence. It may have waivered, and it may still be waiving, but through my art I found a voice and I still believe my voice has something to say; though my professors may not understand it, I learned that professors aren’t always right.
My senior thesis film was a piece that was extremely close to myself, written directly from my heart and when the screenplay itself wasn’t received well, I almost abandoned it. I thought that maybe I didn’t have the ability to do it after all. But I realized something; my entire time at Montclair, I was advised to do things to appeal to a wide audience.
Of course, no one said that specifically, but it was the subtext of their advice. But I would not have made this film if it wasn’t mine. I would not change it to be what my professors wanted. It was my story, my voice and I made it for me.
That’s the most important thing I learned at this school; sometimes you just have to do what makes you happy, even if everyone else tells you its wrong. It’s bittersweet to be graduating from college. I’m ready to move on, but I’m definitely scared.
I know there will be four times as many people out there that won’t understand me and will disagree with me, who will make me feel inadequate. But I think I’m prepared to handle it. I hope you are, too.

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