I’d say I got into movies at a very young age. To the point where I can’t even remember how old. All I can remember is never playing with toys or any of that other stuff kids enjoy. I didn’t have any siblings, not too many friends in the neighborhood, and was a home body kid anyway (some things never change even at 25). For the most part I feel like I got placed in front of the t.v. a lot so I didn’t annoy my elders, which is understandable, I feel like I was (and still am pretty annoying). Anyway, a lot of the stuff I watched in my much earlier years consisted of Barney and Winnie the Pooh. I swear I even question why I was so obsessed with Barney, as well as any other kids who love the show. I mean really, it’s very pedophilic and weird, but that’s a different story entirely. Winnie the Pooh I loved the different characters. Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree was my favorite, cause nothing was funnier than seeing Pooh getting fat and stuck in the hole with his ass sticking out in Rabbit’s kitchen, only for Rabbit to decorate his ass so he didn’t have to look at it in that way all of the time. Plus all of the characters are amazing. Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Gopher, etc. If you were a child and didn’t speak Tigger lingo on the occasion, I pity you.
From there, my movie fascination extended to, of course, Disney movies. According to my mom the first movie I ever saw in the theater was The Lion King. I highly doubt this is true. Mostly because I feel like if I had seen Lion King in the movie theater as my first time experience I would have a lot more love for that movie than I actually do (I honestly just find it okay). And besides, the first movie I ever remember seeing in the theater was Pocahontas. I remember going to it with my aunt and my cousins (and I think their cousins were with too). We were pretty up close to the screen and I remember be so damn amazed at the size. Of course like all little kids and Disney movies you laughed loud as hell and squirmed around having the time of your life. I remember loving the animals the most and really digging the Just Around the River Bend sequence, and being fascinated with Pocahontas’ blue necklace for some reason and wondering what it felt like to touch (I always thought it would have been squishy, but then when I realized how badly her necklace broke at the end all the pieces that went flying, that wasn’t the case). So yeah, that was my first cinematic experience. But prior to that, I remember the Disney films I watched the most were Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid (no joke I was in fricken love with Ariel and was so convinced I was going to marry her one day), and eventually Toy Story, and I did watch The Lion King frequently (even if I didn’t love it).
Amongst the Disney I watched as a kid, I eventually incorporated live-action films. Some of my favorites of those were Harriet the Spy, Matilda, Twister, and The Sound of Music. With the Disney films it was of course the amazing characters that came with it, but more than anything I loved the music involved. I’m sure many can vouch for me that they were the biggest thing that stuck with you. Some of the songs were really deep or just really catchy. With the three live action films they allowed me to really play pretend with the world around me. I insisted on having the same spy gear Harriet did in the movie (I threw a fit once because my grandma didn’t get me the same notebook). I would run around the house and outside spying on my family and my dog Cuddles, anyone in the neighborhood, and writing random stuff in my notebook. With Matilda, I was always staring at objects the way she stared down that cereal in order to make it move. I’m sure if my family ever caught me just staring at inanimate objects that way, they must have been concerned. Though I remember being very weary of starting preschool because of how despicable Miss Trunchbull was, and I went in expecting my teacher be just as villainous. I was wrong, but not entirely, cause my preschool teacher was actually a cranky old bitch. Finally with Twister, that was always the favorite with my cousins and I. We had a fascination with tornadoes due to that movie and always put on fake new reports saying tornadoes were in the area and reported incidents from the movie. Fun fact: I legit thought a tornado was almost like a monster and had eyes that followed people if they tried to get away. I mean seriously, watch Twister and the way it would always divert into the direction where our heroes were, how could a child NOT think that? Sound of Music I just loved the music and the happiness of it all, and then you get the Nazi stuff that a child is just completely oblivious too.
While most parents probably wouldn’t even let their young children watch PG-13 movies, I was allowed to watch those and certain R-rated movies by the time I was 5 or 6. The first R-rated horror movie I ever watched (and the first horror movie I ever saw that got me in love with horror) was I Know What You Did Last Summer. I watched with my mom and my aunt and they were both concerned as hell about me the whole time asking me if I still wanted to watch it or if I was getting scared. To which I replied no. I loved the movie. Though I’d be lying if I said that for the longest time after that I was scared shitless that Ben Willis (the man with the hook) was hiding in the dark corner of my room (almost similar to how he hid in Sarah Michelle Gellar’s closet and was watching her in the movie). But it wasn’t all bad, I found a new game I invented to play with friends in school. It was like tag, but instead we chased each other with our hands shaped like a hook trying to kill each other. So that was fun. Other more adult/teen movies I indulged in during childhood were Drive Me Crazy, Can’t Hardly Wait, Austin Powers, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Dick, My Best Friend’s Wedding. So with those movie it got me into what teen years could possibly be like and it also began my self-education of sex. Truthfully I never got “the talk” so I owe my great thanks to film for educating me about sex and potentially saving me from a boring and uninteresting talk with adults who would make it sound more weird than the movies made it look. Besides I Know What You Did Last Summer, I would say my biggest leap into adult movies (and by adult I mean R-rated you pervs), was South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. I had seen commercials for it and assumed it was a fun cartoon. Funny enough so did my mom so that’s why she rented it. Well imagine her shock when these cute little cartoon children started saying the word “fuck” every five minutes. Needless to say I discovered the tv show and became addicted after that. It’s safe to say that after the South Park movie there was no going back.
And really from there on out, I was just devouring movies of all kind. Horror, comedy, drama, action, chick flicks (screw you if think that’s something to be ashamed about), Disney, musicals, etc. As a kid I started going to movies a lot, but as I grew older it became more of a habit, and now it’s become an addiction. I literally feel like a part of me is missing if I’m not watching a movie or can’t go see one. It’s become my own habit to see a movie in the theater every week that I wanna see. If there isn’t one, then it’s not a big deal. As most people know, I am a huge movie addict. I suppose that could be putting it mildly, I don’t know. Back at my house in my hometown, all I have left there are my VHS tapes, and the majority of them are my childhood cartoon movies (Barney, Winnie the Pooh, and various Disney movies). Right my favorite genre is horror, no matter how awful or lame it looks, I HAVE to see it in the theater. There are certain setbacks that came from being so obsessed with movies. The fact that I enjoy (even just watch) chick-flicks, romances, musicals has resulted in people making certain assumptions about me, and there are those that consider me lazy or boring because that’s what I like to do is be at home or if I go out it’s just watch movies. To those people I say fuck you. Movies don’t determine your sexuality, personality or any of that shit. I’m sure these exact same people have way worse activities or habits that they deserve more harsher judgment on.
But anyway, now as a 25-year-old adult and money is a bigger issue than it is when you’re younger and even in your early twenties. Movies can be pretty pricey, whether it’s purchasing a movie or going to the theater. I don’t make a lot of money, but I do always save what I can to contribute towards my contribution film. Movies make me happy, and there are really few things that do. But when you compare going to/buying movies to other things that are much more pricey, it is pennies compared to say going out and blowing money on alcohol that basically goes to waste in the end. Because unlike alcohol and the feeling you get from that, it only lasts shorty (and you regret it the next day). With movies, I find myself having a lasting effect on what I’ve seen (no matter how many times I’ve seen it. Even if it’s a bad movie, there’s an impression that’s left on you that for some reason I still can’t regret seeing it.
There are so many things I’m thankful to film for. It gave me opportunity to become creative; as a kid it was using my imagination and getting lost in the world of the films I saw and characters I was introduced to. Film is the reason that I was inspired to become a writer despite the great amount of book I’ve read from childhood to the present. Film is where I draw most of my inspiration. I’ve written two of my own scripts (they probably won’t go anywhere to be made, but I had fun writing them and people who have read them, loved them). I’m proud of the stories I write due to this inspiration, and I write film reviews of the movies I’ve seen and share them (even though I doubt very many read them cause who really pays attention to reviews? but i do it anyway). It is due to my love of horror films that I’ve been given the opportunity to travel. I’ve been the Flashback Weekend horror convention in Chicago 2 years in a row now and have some of my favorite celebrities from film, including my biggest celebrity crush (Scout Taylor-Compton), and actors from my all time favorite horror film (Scream). It’s an amazing experience and feeling to be surrounded by all of the film-related aspects and the people who love it just as much as you do. But that’s a different story I can get into some other time. I met by best friend Ali in college all because I discovered our mutual love for film. No one understands my love for it like she dies, and we update each other on everything movie related, have had movie night up the ass, and quote movies to each other very frequently. It’s literally the glue that holds us together much of the time. I’ve also met some amazing friends on social media due to horror and they’re some of the closest friends I have. I’ve met a few of them in real life even. My good friend Kevin Sommerfield is a horror filmmaker of some pretty fun slasher films, I’ve visited different times and keep in touch with every day. As a matter of fact I helped produce his and his friend Steve Goltz’s first full-length horror film called Don’t Go To the Reunion. I legit have my own credit page in the opening credits and end credits. As a result of that I went to the premiere at a horror film festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (this was also the trip I met and stayed with Kevin for the first time). The experience seeing a film on the big screen that you had a big hand in with a large audience and seeing your name on the big screen is such an amazing feeling.
I would say that I owe so much of my love for film to my family for placing me in front of that t.v. with that pedophile of a purple dinosaur and that adorable, fat, honey-loving bear. It all lead to Disney, to live-action films, and gradually maturing up my list at a young age, and taking me to the movies even when money was tight. It all gradually progressed to me and my love for film, the world they take me to, the thoughts I have after wards, my passion for not just film but for writing and gaining the creativity I needed to realize my dream and love for writing. Even the experiences I’ve encountered and the people I’ve met. Who knows how much further my love for film will take me? I never really thought of it till just now as I write this how much film has shaped me as a person and where I’m going, what I’ve done, and what I’ll do with my life.