how did the class come about

I took over the class when Phil May left 3 years ago.  I didn’t know much about “hosting” a class but I knew that the class was fun and informative and everyone was supportive.  Cuesta College wanted the class to continue also and gave me a great deal of support.  So my efforts were to keep things going.  I encouraged input from everyone and invited anyone to bring in a film and share it with the group, we saw some great films.  Then I came up with the idea of using Pauline Kael as a barometer for a class (I’m going to refer to it as a series from now on).  I invited members to bring in a film that they thought Pauline Kael liked (sometimes it’s hard to know if she liked a film or not).  My friend Bob Brownson had introduced me to Kael and to honor Bob after his passing, I thought using Kael as a source of films would be a fun idea.  I remember that I started that series with McCabe and Mrs Miller, Toni hosted Six Degrees of Separation.  The next two sessions were based around the various creative processes to make a film: direction, screen writing, editing, make up, etc.  I invited artists from these “trades” to class and showed a film related to the subject.  One class, we had a make up artist and showed The Elephant Man and another, we had animator/layout artist, Karen Keller tell about the making of The Rescuers Down Under and watched it.  During the following session, I invited Dan Dominy, cinematographer, to share with the class his career and show his Emmy award winning adventure about rafting the Yangtze River.  Well, maybe it wasn’t in this order but that’s the essence of how the class has evolved.  It was during the class that Jim Dee told about operating an independent theater that I mentioned I wasn’t too happy about the Education Center and he offered the Palm as a venue for the class.  I talked to Cuesta and they agreed and we couldn’t be in a better location for the class: 12:30pm to 3:30pm each Wednesday for 8 weeks.

If you can recall more details, please feel free to add your comments.

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