December 10, 2007

An evening with Ron Howard.

Tonight was the embodiment of why I chose New York University over other graduate schools.

I had the pleasure of spending an evening in theater that seats around 100 people with Ron Howard.

Or Opie. Or Richard Cunningham. Or the master director.

Tonight he was master director. The evening's event focused around a pre-screening of his new film, Frost/Nixon (which I am not at liberty to discuss because he said so).

But just seeing the man who is behind Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Paper, and one of my favorite romantic/cultural films, Far and Away, was breath-taking.

I sat in the second row.

He was so...so...real.

And he reminded me of a man I go to church with back home named Dan.

But that's neither here nor there. The point is the collection of people there: political science graduate students, journalism students, film students, editors, directors, professors and fellow filmmakers was quite a cast, and Ron Howard was its star.

But he seemed just as nice and humble as he was uplifted, questioned and criticized for his work. I admire his thick skin.

I know it's not easy when your creative broadcast work is on the chopping block. Contrary to popular belief (which I once held), broadcast shooting/editing is not as easy as it looks. Editing can take hundreds of hours of work, and I'll never look at a film or a documentary or anything on the screen the same again. Howard's description of the editing process sounds incredibly grueling, and I can't imagine the influence of focus groups and so many voices on my work. But he seemed completely controlled and focused in his many answers to our many questions. He knows the direction of his films, but of course, that is his job, after all...

And while I cannot review the film, I can say that my night was starstruck, but in the most interesting way possible. Howard was so disarming that I hardly realized or remembered that he's created some of the best moments in current cinema. He just seemed like a nice man -- not the superhuman director man built up in my head. But he is him, too...

Posted by Amanda Cochran at December 10, 2007 10:36 PM | TrackBack
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