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The Power of Film

Photo Credit: Joe Leydon

Film has the power to extravagantly effect the views of an audience. They serve many purposes; to educate, comfort, inform, entertain, and more. No matter whether you use an HD Panasonic, a Nikon DLSR, or a handheld JVC camera, there is potential to create something great.

Photo Credit: Zondra Victor. HD Panasonic Camera used in SPUF DON‘s film set.

Photo Credit: Zondra Victor. Phil Sexton (@PhilTheEditor) directs SPUF DON’s video using Steady Cam equipment.

“Some films are for teaching; some are for entertainment,” said New Orleans native and film enthusiast, David Landry.

Sometimes, film can provide an escape from the real world.

“What I enjoy most about films is their ability to transport me to a different world…and their ability to see my own world with fresh eyes,” said film critic Joe Leydon.

Joe Leydon, also a New Orleans native, has been writing reviews since his high school days. He has many duties which include being a professor at the University of Houston and Houston Community Collegeand writing for online and print publications: Variety, Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, and Cowboys & Indians Magazine. Joe has been given the Houston Press Club Award for Best Commentary in 1985, 1986, and 2003 among many others.

Joe attributes his career choice as a film critic to his favorite movie, In the Heat of the Night. The film starts actor, Sidney Poitier and is famous for breaking breaking boundaries in the year 1967. The film was released shortly after the death of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. Considering the diversity of the roles played in the film, the outcome of its success was unpredictable. The film gave the message that there is a chance people of all colors and backgrounds could get along. This film was also the first major Hollywood film to light black actors in a flattering way. This credit can be given to the famous cinematographer, director, and screenwriter, Haskell Wexler.

Photo credit: Zondra Victor. A videographer on SPUF DON’s set shoots b-roll.

Movie director, James Cameron was inspired to become a filmmaker when he saw 2001: A Space Odyssey at 14 years old. He explained his view on film in an interview with The American Academy of Achievement.

Photo Credit: Zondra Victor. JVC Camcorder

“It can be something that has a profound impact on your imagination, on your appreciation of how music works with the images and so on,” said the filmmaker.

Joe Leydon experienced a similar epiphany when he saw his favorite film. One film had the power to determine his future even at the age of 15. Since then, he has continued to spread his love for film through his work.

“Films can entertain. Films can enlighten. Films can change us,” said Joe. “Films can make us want to change things. All of those are important purposes.”

For more information on Joe Leydon, visit him on Twitter @JoeLeydon.

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