Films are amazing things. They take us to new worlds. They show us things we’ve never seen and make us feel things we’ve never felt.

Most amazing is the power they have to shape our lives and the world around us.

One of the most life changing moments in my life was when I saw Requiem For A Dream when I was 19. I have never been the same since. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. It changed what a film could be and changed the way I live my life.

Over the years film’s have taken me to new places, given me so many different emotions and expanded the way I see the world.

Because of City of God I feel like I’ve been to the Favela’s of Brazil, I have gone to the front lines of Omaha beach on D-Day in Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story made me think all the toys in my room came alive when I wasn’t looking, The Perks of Being a Wallflower took me back to high school and The Truman Show made me think my life was a reality TV show.

It’s amazing to think how films have influenced general society as well.

Jaws makes people afraid to go to the beach because a shark may attack.

Films like Hotel Rwanda and Schindler’s List bring new interest and awareness of historical events.

Films attack the social issues of the day like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner with interracial relationships or Star Trek where they imagined a future where humans of all races would live together in peace.

Films explore sensitive topics like Juno exploring teenage pregnancy in a thoughtful and interesting way.

There are also those films that have changed the way we make films, like Star Wars, which help popularize blockbusters and helped bring Sci-Fi/Fantasy into the mainstream, Battleship Potemkin changed the way we edit, Toy Story brought computer animation into the forefront, Lord of the Rings used a combination of ‘old school’ practical effects like miniatures and new technology, like motion capture to bring fantastic worlds to life and Avatar brought 3-D into the 21st century.

Films have power that extends beyond entertainment. They have power to shape the world around us, to change the way we think.

So what are you going to do with the films you make? Only one way to find out.

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