I finally finished editing my 16-millimeter film and I am more than pleased with the final product. It’s so beautiful. I was dumbfounded when I picked up the raw footage from processing and saw the crisp images of my story flow across the laptop screen. I opened the original file, pressed play, and watched the story that I’d written and directed play. It was magic. I was watching something truly special. Seeing a cumbersome, old, could-break-at-any-moment camera produce such a beautiful clear moving image is surreal. Before that moment, I feared that the picture would come up black and I’d have to reshoot on that clunky old Bolex camera. Thank god I was wrong. The color is so rich and clear that it looks digital.

I’m grateful to my director of photography. My class was divided into groups of four to help each other with their projects, and I couldn’t have gotten better partners. My professor had us practice loading the film into the camera at the beginning of the semester. I got the hang of it pretty fast but was still nervous about the day I’d have to do a real shoot. I had never directed a short film longer than 30 seconds before this.

This was also my first time writing a screenplay. I loved that, too. I had to adjust to the format but my writing anxiety dissipated once I’d figured it out. Creating something as tangible as this film makes me really proud of myself. The company that processed it even gave me the negative. Of course there are a few things I wish I could change about the project, but it’s my first go at creating a narrative film, so I was bound to make some mistakes. I’m not gonna dwell on it. I’m really proud of me. ♦