Blockbusters Inspire Rising Filmmaker

Mariel Rossi deVries, Editer

By junior year, Robby Goldman’s admiration of cinema had led him to write and direct his own films. He is currently enrolled in Video 3 and has attended film making camps since 5th grade. Goldman said he aspires to someday direct blockbuster films in Hollywood.

“When I was young I would watch Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park. It just got me thinking: ‘This is so cool. I want to do this.’ Mainly George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg, those two are my biggest inspirations,” said Goldman. Even as a child, he appreciated how groundbreaking those early films were. His interest in large-scale cinema caused him to enroll in his first film making camp in the summer after grade 5.

In high school the young film maker attended a summer intensive camp at the School of Creative and Performing Arts [SOCAPA] in Los Angeles, where, according to Goldman, he did some of his best work. The school had camps for dance, photography and acting as well as film making. “We made 5 films over 2 years there. Last year I was in the advanced program where we did 2 films,” said Goldman.

According to Goldman, the LA camps helped him to develop his own technique and understand different limitations for his films. “I’m really blockbuster biased, so I really love Marvel things and I don’t really pay attention to the smaller things. There are kids there that love those smaller films so their thinking is in the vein of those films,” explained Goldman.

He noticed that some of his friends from camp who watched independent films had a different approach to directing and script writing. While observing their process, Goldman reflected on his own work and how he could synthesize different artistic perspectives. “My films last year were more blockbuster in that they were not the best dialogue or story but it looked good. I’ve been taking inspiration from my friends at camp to make the films more dramatic and character oriented,” said Goldman.

During his last year at SOCAPA, Goldman created 2 films. “These were the best two films I’ve made because the year before I did less serious, more playful things like attempts at actions which isn’t easy when people can’t fight,” said Goldman. He wrote, directed and edited a film in the style of Alfred Hitchcock that utilized music in place of dialogue.

In class, Goldman writes his group’s scripts, operates the camera and directs the actors during scenes. Goldman works with seniors Kiera Crandall and Ethan Khakmahd in Seligman’s video 3 class. “He is naturally a leader, it just comes easy to him,” said Crandall.

One of their projects, called Exquisite Corpse, was part of an ongoing competition. It was inspired by the film A Story Behind the Still about changing cinematography. Video 3 students build upon the work of previous years. According to Goldman, this was the first project where he was able to use outside actors. Their finished product included juniors Alexander Kolm, Olivia Morris, Noella Kastner and Leon Yushin.

“He was very good at improvising based on where the places were set. He had an idea in mind and if that place wasn’t exactly right, proportionally or the room size, it didn’t seem to phase him all that much. He improved based on what was around him,” said Kolm. In one of the action scenes, there wasn’t enough space for Yushin and Kolm to do a certain move so Goldman revised. “He took some stuff out but substituted them back in based on where we were recording.”

For his next project Goldman is planning a horror film. He wants to use the fear tactics of haunted house films rather than a creature feature style. “I’m going to take inspiration from these Indie horror movies and make a more grounded and meaningful piece,” said Goldman.

Video teacher Justin Seligman said that he has noticed Goldman taking on more responsibilities over his 3 years in the class. “Robby’s story lines have become more ambitious and more complicated. He often wears many hats: Director, editor, screenplay, post production, as well as cinematographer. He really shows dedication and leadership,” said Seligman.

Goldman hopes to attend film school at University of Southern California, considered the nucleus of the film industry. He said that his film style is more focused on conveying the plot clearly so that the audience can care about the story. He plans to have a career in the movie industry working with Marvel Studios and one day have his films make the box office.