One Year Later

I started the Writing for Film & Television program at the Vancouver Film School exactly a year ago today.

I don’t really remember that first day. I remember sitting at the back of the writing theatre while one of my friends added us all on Facebook so she could make a group for our class. The rest of the day was a blur. The rest of the year was a blur.

Numerous sources told me that this past year would go by quickly. Looking back, it did. What I was never warned about was how difficult it would be. It stressed me and stretched me. Many people might call their year at VFS the best one of their life so far. With the amount of challenge and struggle I faced I don’t think I can call it the best, but I can certainly call it the most rewarding.

Over the past year, I wrote and read countless scripts — features and pilots, sketches and web series, shorts and specs. I learned tips and tricks in Final Draft. I watched numerous shoots being set up from the fourth floor window. I was trapped in the school staircase along with many other students for about fifteen minutes one day while iZombie was being filmed in our lobby. I used terms and phrases such as “on the nose” and “organic” more than I ever thought I would. I started naturally pinpointing the midpoints and second act turns in films I watched “for fun”. The first set I was ever on was for a web episode that I wrote. I got my first glimpses into the entertainment world and loved every minute of it.

I got into a snowball fight with my friends in the sketchy park next to our school. I visited Seattle and popped into the OG Starbucks. I got into concert photography and began photographing for concertaddicts.com. I ran into the vocalist of one of my favourite bands not once, but twice. I hiked at Joffre Lake while eating a baguette. I survived and thrived in a long distance relationship. I was part of a flash mob pillow fight. I finally figured out the right settings for photographing fireworks. I learned insults in four languages. I lived for new experiences.

I walked suspension bridges. I took in views from the Vancouver lookout. I watched the sunset at Sunset Beach. I walked circles around Canada Place. I sipped coffee in Gastown. I witnessed some of the fattest seagulls I’ve ever seen at Granville Island. I discovered the beauty in Queen Elizabeth Park and Crab Park. I probably had a bit too much sugar at the PNE. I savoured every iconic taste of Vancouver.

I stayed up late over-analyzing. I stressed over the numbers in my bank account. I beat myself up over the quality of my first drafts. I compared myself to the writing styles’ of others. I missed my mom and my boyfriend and my best friends. I struggled and I survived and I kicked ass.

I did a lot of things over this past year. I made a lot of memories and I made a lot of friends. I’ve been back in Edmonton for three days and I miss Vancouver like hell. But after the year I’ve had, my mental state deserves this break.

I’m happy I chose writing as a path. I’m happy that I moved to Vancouver to educate myself further. I’m happy that I pushed myself past my breaking point a few times, because it was worth it. I’m happy to see my friends and family in Edmonton, but I’m also happy to move back to Vancouver in the near future.

I didn’t say goodbye when I boarded a YVR → YEG plane on Sunday. I said see ya later.

yay for diplomas!