Only seldom do you ever sit in an intermediate level filmmaking class and watch something that incandescently looks, feels and plays like it should be on a bigger, much more venerated screen. But watching 21-year-old film major Allison Bunce’s I Hate Linda does just that, and there’s a reason why.
Bunce is a San Diego native who moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film but not before a lot of soul searching. She initially went to College of Charleston in South Carolina as a communications major but, unsure of what she actually wanted to do as a career, she found herself scavenging for film and screenwriting classes.
“It wasn’t until I realized that it was what I wanted to do that I realized I had been doing it my whole life,” said Bunce.
She went on to talk about how important it was to find a community of creators when she went back to San Diego and joined the film club at a community college.
“I had never been around that many creatively driven people, and it was honestly inspiring,” she said.
In a career like film, validation seems to work as both a crutch and an asset, the latter to motivate and the former to debilitate. Bunce was aware of that the more she started getting comfortable with the idea of becoming a filmmaker. Once she started using validation as a crutch, as a reason to avoid taking risks and putting herself out there as an artist, it took two major events to pull her out of it.
“When I first got elected as president of the film club in San Diego it was a huge moment of like, ‘wow I might actually be good at this,’ and then when my friend submitted my first film, ‘b’, to this class James Franco was doing for filmmakers and I got accepted, it was another big moment. To have him look at my work and give me feedback was just like amazing.”
Once she rose out from her self doubting hole, she became lit with creative intuition and decided to give film a real shot by moving to Los Angeles. She now wants to use this medium, which encompasses so many visual elements she has already mastered to tell stories that aren’t being told.
“It’s like we keep getting the same stories over and over and they’re not that good,” she said. “Women and other underrepresented people need to be able to tell their own stories. I still don’t know exactly what I want to say but I want the chance to figure it out.”
That’s why Bunce’s films seem too big for PCC’s screen. Once she gets behind the camera, she’s not just framing the world so we see it like she does, she’s letting it change her. Because what it takes to make a good film, to find truth and depth in places you’d never think to look, is just the right amount of uncertainty.
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