Find Your Passion: Coming to Theaters Near You
By Tyra Jackson
Alex Beatty spends his days crafting stories that have made it to big screens in places like Hollywood and Cannes, France.
Unlike most filmmakers who could boast the same, Beatty, from Orlando, Fla., is a senior in college. The University of Alabama telecommunication and film major’s resume reads like one belonging to someone twice his age.
“I love the process of storytelling through film,” Beatty says. “It comes naturally to me to find something big and make it into something new.”
Beatty competed against thousands of students nationwide at the 2013 Campus MovieFest in California, where he took home an award for best editing for his film “Rise,” which also was selected from more than 60,000 short films to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
“Rise” tells the fictional story of a military unit hit by an improvised explosive device and the single uninjured soldier’s struggle to face the reality of the ensuing chaos.
The trip to Cannes was Beatty’s second; his short film “Here and Now,” about a young man growing up after the tragic loss of his mother, was selected for screening in 2012.
Beatty said he uses his films to shine light on tragic and emotional events. Storytelling through film was not always Beatty’s passion. When he chose to attend UA, he planned to focus on broadcast news.
“Little did I know that I would fall in love with film and not just the technical aspects of it, but everything,” Beatty says. “Film has the ability to tell a story just as a book or a news article, but filmmaking takes it even further with being able to develop a visual story that people can see to even further the personal experience.
“I have learned how to do that through UA’s film program. The film program is getting better and better each year with new equipment and the professors that have a passion for film themselves and going beyond the duties of a traditional professor.”
Beatty’s love for filmmaking has grown in recent years, but his production talent has been evident for much longer. He started his own production company, Project One Studios, as a junior in high school, and he continues to run the freelance business.
He is president of The Student Producers Association, is currently working on another short film and recently had the opportunity to help American Idol producers as a personal assistant.
“I got to help interview some of the contestants on Idol,” Beatty says. “At any given time there are three to four projects that I’m working on, and I just try to stay busy.”
He said his experience at UA has helped him develop and see success as a filmmaker.
“It’s easy to connect with people here at UA versus going to a bigger film school in California where there are so many people,” Beatty says. “I have been able to be really diverse with my work at UA.”
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Tyra Jackson is a junior journalism student from Selma, Ala. She is completing an independent study internship with the College of Communication and Information Sciences’ Dean’s Office.
This story is part of the Find Your Passion series. To learn more about how you can find your passion at The University of Alabama, please visit UA Undergraduate Admissions.