Ben Deckard–Sundance: Make Your Own Experience

Ben Deckard and Elijah Wood at the Premier of Cooties
Ben Deckard and Elijah Wood at the premier of Cooties.

When planning for this trip, I was more stressed than excited. Never having flown before or been to a film festival, let alone one as famous as this one, I was worried about everything.  But after the first couple days I got used to the new environment.  I started seeing films that were incredibly interesting and inspiring, and feeling a freedom to make my own experience.

Trolley on Main Street in Park City, Utah.
Trolley on Main Street in Park City, Utah.

Every trip I’ve ever taken has been mainly mandated by the people that I was traveling with, but with this study away course, the instructors let me know that they were there if I needed them, but that I could make my own memory of this experience at a place where I felt really privileged to be.

Professors Hovet and Hall made it clear that they were interested in how I was doing, whether it had been checking up on me if I was sick, or asking me what I was seeing and my opinion was of the festival and the films. I really appreciated this freedom and enjoyed being responsible for myself and being able to do what I thought would make for a good memory of a fantastic festival.  I really thank my professors for that opportunity.

Class photo at the Yarrow Hotel Theatre, where WKU students lodged.
Class photo at the Yarrow Hotel Theatre, where WKU students lodged.

I saw a lot of films over the course of our ten day stay in Park City.  I was pleasantly surprised that every film I set out to watch I not only got into, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing. After every screening someone associated with the film, whether it be actors, directors, or producers would have a question and answer portion where I got to hear some really interesting and inspiring ideals behind the making of a film such as what it’s like for these people to be a part of Sundance. I got a lot out of this experience and I appreciate every moment.  All the memories I made really solidified my choice of a film major and made me enthusiastic about learning more about this art form that I grew up loving and will continue loving for the rest of my life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.