Q4 2021

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26 C I N E M O N T A G E U N I O N M A D E By Mark Chandley A s an adopted Filipino growing up in St. Louis, Mo., I didn't have a lot of evidence that people who looked like me worked in the business. I loved film and television as much as the next guy, but my true love was, and still is, video games. I fell in l o v e w i t h s to r y te l l i n g th ro ug h gam es, whic h I b e l i e v e i s s o m e w h a t u n i q u e t o m y g e n e r a - tion because I grew up w i t h t h e m e d i u m a s i t matured narratively. If I w a s n' t o u t w a tc h i n g C a r d i n a l s b a s e b a l l o r camping and hiking with t h e B o y S c o u t s , I w a s plopped in front of a TV, hypnotized by expansive i n t e r a c t i v e u n i v e r s e s like those in "Mass Ef- fect," "Fallout," and "Red Dead Redemption." From a young age, I wanted to work in crim- inal justice. It started as a desire to be a detective, t h e n a l a w y e r, t h e n a fo re n s i c p syc h o l o g i s t . By high school, I was hyper-aware of ter- rorism on the global stage. The Boston Marathon bombings were forever seared into my mind, and ISIS was on the rise. This sparked my patriotism, so I went to Penn State to study counter-terrorism and intelligence analysis. M y c o l l e ge c a p s t o n e c o u r s e w a s a creative analysis of the potential threats and benefits that quantum computing and the singularity poses for society. I chose Fallout THE AUTHOR NEARLY TOOK A JOB WITH THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY – UNTIL HIS LOVE OF STORYTELLING TOOK OVER to write in narrative form and fell in love with writing, which hatched my dream of becoming a screenwriter. As college concluded, I interviewed at many of the spooky three-letter govern- ment agencies and got far with the National Security Agency. That said, the security clearance process (polygraphs, background checks) can take up to a year to complete. I didn't want to put my life on hold any longer and realized my interest in counter-terror- ism was partly because it looked cool on TV. Sure, I wanted to serve my country, but once confronted with what I wanted to do with my life, I took a leap of faith. I decided to pursue writing. Luckily, I went viral for a joke GoFundMe campaign I created, which would supposed- ly free an entitled "Bachelor" contestant's nanny in 2017 (it's a whole other story), and I was able to use that to get my first job as a social-media assistant for a new unscript- ed/lifestyle production company. I wore a lot of hats in this role. My job evolved into an office/set PA to as- sociate producer. I had an itch for storytelling that wasn't being scratched b y w r i t i n g p i e c e s t o camera or voice - overs fo r B - ro l l . W h e n I l e f t unscripted, I took a day j o b i n p r i va te i nv e s t i - g a t i o n s f o r i n s u r a n c e f ra u d to p a y t h e b i l l s. But to keep my foot in the industry, I also took an internship at Eclectic P i c t u r e s a n d l e a r n e d the ar t of script-read- i n g a n d c o v e ra ge ( t h e document that provides a s u m m a r y, a n a l y s i s and recommendation of literary material submit- ted to studios). Script analysis came naturally to me due to my intelligence analysis background. Even though I wasn't analyzing terrorist at- tacks, motivations, or methodology, I used the skill set to break down plot, structure, and character. And loved doing it! I took my samples and carved out a niche career in the world of freelance story analysis. I was fortunate to include the likes of HBO, Anonymous Content, and United SEE PAGE 81 P H O T O : C O U R T E S Y M A R K C H A N D L E Y

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