Linnea Langkammer '14
MFA student at Temple University
How did you find Connecticut College?
I wanted to find a small liberal arts college where I could study two things I was very interested in: Film and Behavioral Neuroscience. I’d looked at other Colleges, and although I could find some great programs in film studies and neuroscience, Connecticut College was the only one with an emphasis in film production.
How/why did you major in Film Studies?
Despite my predisposition to study science, I had a passion for photography when I was younger. I figured that photography could balance out my interests in science. I quickly developed a love for the constant flow of film production. We were always making films when we were at Conn. I was never not making movies.
What was a defining experience for you as a student at Connecticut College?
I was part of a community in Film Studies at Conn. We had a deep, deep bond as we made films and talked about films together. My classmates were my best friends. I loved learning about the technical side of things. I was particularly interested in cinematography (cameras, grip equipment, lighting and gaffer tools, etc) and Film Studies at Conn teaches it all. I also worked in the Equipment Room for three years where I helped manage check-in and check-out of gear. I learned so much about every piece of equipment and felt like an important part of the community and filmmaking team that was our program.
The classes forced me to participate in my learning. I was more comfortable as a passive observer and notetaker before I arrived, but since Dr. Martin requires that you contribute in her classes I was able to learn more, and feel a part of the community.
What happened after Connecticut College and are you up to now?
I attended Temple University for three years for my Master of Fine Arts in Film Production. I wanted to spend more time exploring my process, my voice and my artistic visions. Some of my friends had to do other things with their lives – I got three more years making films and meeting more people.
Connecticut College instilled me with a desire to keep making films. With all the access to equipment and time in classes devoted to production – I never wanted to stop after I left. The experiences I got at Conn that integrated documentary, experimental, and fiction opened me up to new ideas and opportunities I never thought I’d have. My films tend to defy traditional labels and classifications because of it.
How did Film Studies at Connecticut College influence you in choosing your field of work?
Professor Morin and I discussed grad school during my junior year of college. At first it seemed overwhelming but he made it seem very possible. In my senior year, we discussed potential options for schools and how to go about applying. We discussed the many different types of film schools that were out there – Temple University was the right place for me.
What is the best piece of advice you were given for succeeding in your current field of work?
The best way to make films is to learn from your mistakes. I spent 3 months in Macedonia making a documentary. I learned so much about making films, being on the ground, doing logistical and technical stuff making a documentary. That was the first time I spent 3 months just being immersed in filmmaking. I messed up so much, but I also learned so much about making a better film for next time. You should always try to make the film the best it can be and also strive to make it better than your previous film.
What are your best memories of being a Film Studies major at Connecticut College?
So many of the best things happened late night in the editing room, when we were sleep-deprived and barely chugging along. We stayed up late working so hard that we’d have to find ways to unleash our energy. We’d have play fights, chasing each other around while others of us were sleeping under the desks. It was such a special place. In the middle of the night, we’d go to the Groton Townhouse, a local diner, as a group. We made friends with the waitresses as we discussed the crazy films we were working on. We’d edit all night long until Harris dining hall opened. We’d go get breakfast together and then march right back to the editing lab to continue working. It seemed to me that the best part of Film Studies at Connecticut College was the strong community bond we all shared. I’ll never forget the friends I made.