My life changed the year I lived in Prague.
I was granted the lifetime opportunity to study filmmaking at one of five oldest film schools in the world, FAMU or the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
I had no idea how much my life was going to change just from living in Central Europe for only half a year, but I can say now that it was one of the best experiences of my entire life.
One of the biggest regrets I have is not bringing a camera with me that year.
What was I thinking? I know.
I was thinking that I would be having so much fun I might lose it or have it stolen. But my desire to capture my wild experiences outweighed my concerns, which led me to visit a camera store near where I had class and purchased a disposable camera.
I didn't know at the time that the camera may have been sitting in that shop for maybe a decade until I got my film processed and noticed how expired the film was.
But I quite like the look of the expired film, it fits with the whirlwind of a life I was living at the time.
Budapest was one of my favorite places that I visited.
Not only for their abundance of large Roman bath houses, but for how interesting of a city it was. It felt and looked strikingly similar to Prague in many ways, yet there was an intersection of culture that spread to Budapest from the East. This aspect gives Budapest an enriching texture that Prague's post-Soviet landscape can't offer.
Living in Prague changed my life for many reasons.
One of the main reasons being that I decided to choose this particular program because I had wanted to put my desire to enter into filmmaking to the test.
I knew that this program's rigorous end-task of completing a 16mm short film would be the ultimate decision-maker for if I truly wanted to pursue this path.
Upon both completion and working on our film, I realized that this is what I want to do.
I was very hesitant at first to accept the role of being the cinematographer on our project. I had no confidence in my abilities in the slightest, in fact I was very scared and nervous to do it. I would have never realized my love and inherent passion for capturing moving images if it weren't for my two friends I made the film with.
Working with Czech film students, actors, and professors on the film was also an experience I greatly enjoyed. The trans-lingual direction and communication was a beautiful exchange of both culture and art. As a former Anthropology major, it fulfilled me to bring two things I'm passionate about into reality that year.