aren’t many people in Hollywood with a college degree. But
knowledge is king, and the more I have, the farther I’ll
in ‘the industry’ in Hollywood is something I’ve
just always wanted to do,” says Chris Chessmar, art director
and, at SMC, member of the honors society. “There’s
a certain mentality with people in film and TV: We don’t
relate to that 9-to-5 grind. But ask us to work 20-hour days and
we’ll find a way to get the work done somehow.” And
Chris brings the ‘can do’ philosophy of film production
crews to his approach to SMC.
a lot of research before I came here and, when I finally enrolled,
I headed straight for the Counseling offices,” says Chris.
“They’ve got great people to help you find out about
all your options. And I knew I couldn’t both work in films
and go to school, so I made my decision to study.” After
six years of steady paychecks from working in all the areas of
art and set design in films, Chris knew that deciding on going
to college would have some consequences. “Basically, I’m
broke!” he says with a laugh. “But through EOP&S, grants,
loans and scholarships, I can survive. I suppose I could work
at some burger joint,” he adds. “But I need to keep
totally focused and concentrate. I want that GPA to be as high
as I can make it.”
to transfer soon to UCLA’s film school. “I used to dream
about going there when I was a kid, and now I’m finally going
to be doing it,” he says. “I’m excited about going,
but I’m really going to miss SMC. Without the assistance
I’ve had here, there’s no way I would have made it.
And,” he continues, “I think the most important thing
I’ve learned here is that education doesn’t discriminate.
The people who are going to apply themselves are going to find
that they have all the advantages.”