Film Students Gain Entrance to UCLA

Cinematography is the process by which masterpieces are created. Three students from the Santa Monica College Film Club were chosen to attend UCLA this fall in the film program. UCLA only chooses 30 students nationwide, 15 from within their campus and 15 transfer students abroad.

Rachel Malkin, 19-years-old and president of the Film Club, and Victor Hugo Duran, 20-years-old and vice-president, two of the SMC students, discuss the elements used in film that made them part of the top 15 transfer students to attend UCLA.

"This is a very prestige's honor," said Duran, who plans on getting to the director's chair. Out of the 30 students chosen, Duran is very humble about how he was chosen.

"I think I was chosen just like everybody else, through my grades and my writing sample," he said. Duran wrote a short story about immigrants, concerning a guy who leaves his house in Mexico to come to the United States only to have everybody die on the journey, including his traveling buddy.

Malkin, who also wants to be a director, but intends on owning and operating a production company, said, "I can't wait to take advantage of the opportunities, to hook up with good people and make as many connections as possible."

The preparation for applying to UCLA began in November where the two students not only had to apply, but submit writing samples, a personal statement and two letters of recommendation.

"I felt Victor had a very creative writing piece, it was engaging, inspirational and personal," said Marina Gonzalez, a Scholar's Program counselor, who encourages her students to apply anywhere they want regardless of the small exclusive design natural of a program.

"A complete stranger encouraged my to apply to UCLA and I did, so I believe in my students to do the same thing," Gonzalez included.

According to his letter of recommendation for Malkin, Josh Kanin, a Professor of the cinema program at SMC stated that on the characteristics he saw in Malkin was originality and the ability to see things through.

"The worst thing you can be is indecisive on the set," said Kanin during the club discussion of "Parting Words".

Taken after the French film Breathless (1959), by Jean-Luc Goddard, "Parting Words" is a story about the conflicts of love. Will we or will we not make it with love? This is the question stars ask themselves after finding out they are journeying to different parts of the world for a year to many years.

Kanin, who also sits on the committee for Academy of Motion Pictures, worked closely with these students and was impressed with the short film Malkin presented.

Judging by her background, Malkin created the competition for UCLA. She shared her advice on her complete creativity for the project.

"I have known I wanted to direct since I was ten," said Malkin. "Surround yourself around people who are dedicated and dependable, do internships on real sets, and join the SMC film club."

By beating the competition, Duran and Malkin say their plans to get in the director's chair may require a hurtle or two, however they are confident were they will land.

"I hope to get noticed by my writing skills, like Billy Wylder. He became a director to protect his scripts and I would do thing same," said Malkin, she regards Sunset Boulevard as her favorite film.

Duran said about his journey, "Directing commercials, documentaries, and television-I am just determined, even if I have to start acting, whatever it takes."

While Kanin answered, "MTV is a great place to start."