The Journey Begins
The first post of my “stories” section begins where everything started: the University of Florida. There exists a special place in my heart for UF, as this is where my videography and photography plans commenced. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. One part of campus holds a deeper connection with eveything related to LOSMEDIASTUDIOS. “The Tunnel” is located underneath SW 13th Street, uniting the main part of campus and Norman Hall. Hundreds of students cross through it on a daily basis; some walking, some running, and others speeding through it with their bicycle.
Local artists and students use this tunnel as a form of artistic expression. I have seen “pro” and “anti” everything spraypainted on the walls and floor, and the occasional reminders that life is still “a box of chocolates”. This place seems to be immune from the grasps of the university administration, as long as there is nothing truly offensive. Now to be fair, I don’t know if there is any truly offensive material. I understand about 35% of the graffiti typography, so the message of the artist, I guess, depends on the viewer.
Being from New Jersey, I am very used to seeing graffiti everywhere. It’s a staple of living in a metropolitan area, where freedom of artistic expression runs rampant. Seeing and walking through this tunnel was a way of connecting back home with me, especially during those cold spells that fell upon Gainesville. It was walking through this tunnel that I had thought about LOSMEDIASTUDIOS. I was debating on starting another YouTube channel, and was truly abandoning the idea of anything in the media field.
Yes, I had dwelled here and there with film projects, but I found myself at odds with following my goals and dreams. It’s not easy when you have so much going on in life, and little time to do anything. As I walked towards the end of the tunnel, something in my mind sparked. I couldn’t let go of what I was passionate about, and the only way to make that passion become a reality would be to showcase life through film and photography. Like I previously stated, it wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. If people were expressing themselves on these hidden walls and floor, why shouldn’t I do it with an exposed medium?
The tunnel became an important part of my daily life on campus. In the coldest of days, I would walk through the tunnel just to experience the wind blasting cooler air on my face. In the summer, it served as a refuge from the Florida sun. It served as a meeting point for many group sessions and get-togethers. It was a small piece of home, away from home. I noticed that the tunnel was becoming a metaphorical compass. I could either go forward or backward. The scenery would be nice, but I controlled the direction. Depending on where I was heading that day, I always went forward. Thank you, UF/Artisitic Tunnel, for pushing me towards LOSMEDIASTUDIOS.