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Like most American kids growing up in the 1970s, I was very interested and influenced by movies. One of my
earliest is of watching scenes from Jason and the Argonauts in the front room of the next door neighbors house
when I was 3 years old. There are a number of movies I had a strong affinity for in my early childhood. Some of the
movies I most enjoyed from that time were the Kurt Russell Disney films (The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Now
You See Him Now You Don't), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Kirk Douglas), The Sound of Music, and Charlie and
the Chocolate Factory. My very favorite movies of that time were Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins (I've
been a life-long fan of Dick Van Dyke). I was a bit older kid when the "disaster" films such as The Poseidon
Adventure, The Towering Inferno, and Earthquake became the all the rage. These movies were a fun experience, but
had little substance. Then there was the era of Steven Spielberg. I was at a perfect age to be fully drawn into the
early Spielberg successes of Jaws and Close Encounters, and was part of the prime demographic (12 year old male)
when George Lucas originally released the massive hit Star Wars.

All of these movements in the movie culture of the 1970s had an effect on me, and consistantly demonstrated the
new trend toward the grander films which were drawing extremely broad audiences. This in itself was enough to
maintain the entertainment interest of any pre adolecent boy, but I was fortunate to find an even more important
influence on my knowledge and interest in the film world at this time of my life. This influence was the friendship
that I developed beginning in the 3rd grade with Curtis Briggs. I was new to the neighborhood and he was one of
the first good friends I made. Curtis was my same age, but had an incredibly sophisticated, passionate
understanding and interest in movies. I had never met anyone speak about movies the way Curtis did. He didn't
necessarily talk about current movies, but spoke mostly about old Hollywood and his favorite actors (Clint Eastwood,
Lon Chaney, Steve McQueen). There was nothing Curtis liked more than movies, and as we grew up it remained
something we both continued to be passionate about. Thanks to Curtis I developed an understanding of film history
and was exposed to film genres I otherwise wouldn't have been.

At the age of 10 or 11 I became involved in professional acting. I spent the first couple of years doing only stage
work, but eventually became involved in film, television, and voice over work as well. Acting was my main hobby
(along with little league football and skiing) until the age of about 16, when my interest waned. Through these
experiences I was able to learn a great deal about the behind the scenes aspects of acting, modeling, photography,
and film production. The behind the scenes aspects of the film industry began to be more interesting to me than
the acting. Thanks to my experiences in film and the continued influence of Curtis Briggs, I was motivated to begin
attending the films and seminars of the earliest version of the Sundance Film Festival (then called the U.S. Film
Festival) in Park City. At that time, the Festival was not on most peoples' radar, even here in Salt Lake. It was almost
exclusively attended by avid film buffs, and one could merely drive up to Park City, see what was playing at one of
the venues, and walk right in. Things couldn't be more different now. Even lining up for hours when tickets are first
offered months in advance doesn't guarantee you entrance to your desired showing any more. Back in the early
days Curtis and I even joined in on round table seminars at the Festival where discussions were held amongst film
makers on topics such as scriptwriting, shopping a script, gathering crew, and especially raising money. It was fun.
We were always a good ten years younger than anyone else, but surpisingly, we were treated like we legitimately
belonged. There is almost no way a "nobody" could sit in on those type of Festival seminars today, and I feel lucky to
have experienced those first years of the Festival in such an intimate way.

Curtis and I often discussed making our careers in film making. We even made a couple of weak attempts at making
little "action" reels with our Super 8 cameras while still in Junior High School. We both eventually went on to work
many years in the film making business, but only Curtis retained the dream of becoming a filmmaker and truly
made a career of it. After spending years away from the business of film in order to finish High School and serve an
LDS mission, I returned to it in the mid-1980s. I began working as a low-level production assistant, but went on to
work in a variety of positions, gaining experience in casting, transport, production contracts, and some limited
camera work. Eventually I ended up as a Locations Manager, managing all aspects of scouting, selecting, and
securing locations, as well as assisting production shot at those locations. It was a fun and interesting number of
jobs to have while a college student, though it required I take large amounts of time off from my schooling. In 1992 I
was forced to make a final decision as to whether to continue seeking a career in film making or not. My girlfriend
(and now wife) had made a decision to begin her graduate studies at the University of Hawaii, and I needed to
decide whether to stay in Utah (where there is a healthy film making industry) and continue working in film, follow
Tee to Hawaii and elevate our relationship (look to get married), or enter graduate school elsewhere. Well, my
decision wasn't very tough, and I've never once regretted leaving the film industry for good in order to move with Tee
and marry her the following year. Curtis went on to attend the country's most prestigious film school, the American
Film Institute, and makes film for a living to this day.

I remain a fan of movies, and independent films in particular, but the number of films I'm able to see has falling off
dramatically since having children. In the past 3 years I have only seen a movie at the theater 3 times! I do try and
watch movies on DVD at home, but even that only happens about once every other month or so. It's sad, but I'm
sure others of you can empathize.

This page has been created in order to document what I've been viewing, and to publish some comments on it.
You'll find links to my Amazon movie "listmania," lists of the DVDs I own, books on movies/moviemaking I've
enjoyed, as well as ongoing critiques. If you have a good recommendation or a comment/question about anything
you read here, feel free to write me at
brad@backtobrads.com
My DVDs (movies)
Recent Reviews
My DVDs (music)
Listmania
My DVDs (special interest)
Online Movie Database
My DVDs (for kids)
Movie/Hollywood Links:
Ain't It Cool News
Film Jerk
Box Office Mojo
Film Threat
Hollywood Bitch Slap
Movie City Geek
Famous Idiot
Related Books:
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