About the Author
My name is Ben, nice to meet you. This is a section to get to know the author of this website a little.
When my mother went into labor with me, she and my father were at the drive-in movie theater, yes the drive-ins and how I miss them, watching the movie Ghostbusters. That film will forever hold a special place in my heart. But when my parents told me this, it was the cherry on top of the feelings of passion I had inside of knowing what I wanted to do with my life.
I was halfway through college when it hit me. A trailer for the new Star Wars film aired during a sit-com during the debut of the film. You know, that exciting period of time, usually the week of, when the film premieres and it's time to watch that film you've been waiting what feels like forever for. I thought to myself, "Wow, someone paid a lot of money to put that there ... wouldn't that be a cool job! I'm studying marketing. Wait, why don't I just work in movies?! I'll always love them!" Since that day, it's been official. I started looking into film schools, enrolled and moved to Hollywood a couple years later, the very week after I graduated college.
This decision completely made sense. All my life no big life decision really did. When I was a child I remember crying to my mother about all my friends knowing what they wanted to be when they grew up and not me. I remember seriously feeling lost and completely distraught with pain about that as it was VERY important to me, 5 year old me, or so. Movies make me happy. Telling a heart felt, well-written story brings the utmost joy to my life.
I always knew about movies and the world of film, but not like this; this was now a career. So I started to study the movies I watched during the remainder of my college years. My friends now knew me as the movie guy as I started to collect everything I got my hands on. Working at Ruby Tuesday, my weekends would consist of getting off work early in the morning as the restaurant business works that way, going to Wal-Mart, picking up the latest DVD of whatever I found interesting, stopping to get something to eat, and then going home to watch my new DVD while I ate. That following Tuesday, I’d head over to Best Buy and load up on whatever new movie was hot off the press, in addition to whatever else I found interesting. My room quickly filled with DVD’s. I discovered the films of Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, James Dean, amongst countless others. This is also the time I fell in love with my girl, Marilyn Monroe. Anyone who knows me, that’s probably the first thing they’ll tell you. Well, that was when we met. I watched her in Niagara and the rest is history. I learned what the basic structure of a movie is in general and developed some interests in particular genres. One of my favorite comedies I discovered then and is still a favorite today.
When I got to film school, I met like-minded people who had been like I was for their entire lives where I had only been a couple years. It was so refreshing to meet so many people with the same interests. This is where I learned to fight for my passions in life as many discussions about art, which translated to life, took place. Story structure, production design, costumes, camera work, I finally got a hold of what makes film work. I was brand new in the actual city of Hollywood, watching all kinds of films with Q&A’s afterwards, learning about historic landmarks pertinent to the world of film, I was in heaven.
During school I got a taste of how to work on a movie set. After I graduated I continued to work in such capacities. This was all during the recession, so it was here that I proved to myself and to those close to me that I meant what I said that I was passionate about all of this, that I can go the distance if I put my mind to it. My family kept begging me to come home all the way back to Wisconsin, but I refused and chose to stay and fight. I had an internship on the famous lot of Paramount Pictures and I was determined to keep it. So I was now on the grind, not just to "make it in Hollywood" (figuratively as well as literally), but for survival as well. I was working at Blockbuster while interning at Paramount, struggling to keep my head above water. Hours were cut due to the recession and I was only making enough to buy soap, eat a little, and then spend the rest of my time at the movie theater. Had I put something towards rent, there goes everything. So I slept in my car. Let me tell you, cold birdbaths over the sink aren't fun! It was a very discreet time of my life and by far the lowest point. I remember crying in the front seat of my 2 door Monte Carlo, with all of my stuff literally packed to the ceiling with no room for anything else. This was my home on wheels and my life for the next 6 months. My love of film kept me going. Love got me through.
Looking for work became 2nd nature. I think I passed around literally hundreds of resumes, nothing in return though. I applied for anything remotely doable. I even remember applying for an office job at an adult entertainment company. No word, nothing, zilch. I received a couple interviews, "we'll keep your resume on file", yada yada yada. Then Drew Barrymore's Whip It debuted, and I was eager to see her take on Hollywood as a new director. I had already been giving little paragraphs on Flixster via Facebook and all my friends would comment about what I was saying. So I decided to professionally critique Drew Barrymore's latest effort. I enjoyed the feeling it gave me of expressing myself within my field of interest. The feeling of having a voice and that some people might want to listen to what I have to share and express. So I tried it again with a few favorites like Planet of the Apes, Abre Los Ojos, and my favorite movie of that year, Inglourious Basterds. Pretty soon I had friends telling me, "Oh Ben you're so crazy, but totally spot on, G.I. Joe was terrible!" It just felt natural to express how I felt about whatever new film was out and then to incorporate older titles to not forget where I came from in a sense. So I just kept doing what felt natural. It really felt like I had to professionally share what I felt with others.
When I would hang out with friends, you know, just catching up or to go hang out somewhere; randomly, out of nowhere, one of them would say, "oh yeah I read what you said about Inception, I totally get where you were coming from!" Or "Yeah Ben, I loved what you said about Iron Man, I totally agree!" "Thanks for sharing this Ben, I love your point of view on film!" I would wish someone a happy birthday on his or her Facebook and they'd respond with, "Thanks Ben! Oh by the way, I love reading your reviews/what you said about (insert movie title)!" All random comments, all out of nowhere, this put the biggest smile on my face. The fact that people were listening to what I had to share. So I just kept at it, and years later, working a day job, eating again (thank God), here I am, at it professionally and passionately.
This was my "Rocky Moment" in life, as I know that I have what it takes. I'm now working towards helping others realize that they have it within themselves as well. During this time a couple of my Spanish girlfriends informed me that "lindo" is Spanish for "cute", and my nickname just came about.
Since then I’ve worked in all areas of film, production, post production, distribution. I’m always working on flourishing my passion, helping to inspire others in the process. Marilyn Monroe is my favorite actor. Sidney Lumet’s original 12 Angry Men (1957) starring Henry Fonda is my favorite movie. Billy Wilder & Woody Allen are my favorite directors. I’m always into the artsy things of life: theater, art, ballet, classical music, new languages and cultures, travel, etc. I’m a hopeless romantic where the psychology of human behavior, in particular with human relationships always fascinate me. Probably why I love to write, I find it very therapeutic as I get to express myself. But I’m forever and always a fan of good writing with any story I experience.
Thank you for reading. Hopefully something I create will make your life a little better than before.