Interview With Birmingham Southern Filmmaker, Adam Cordelle
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Interview With Birmingham Southern Filmmaker, Adam Cordelle

He Likes "Lawrence of Arabia."

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Interview With Birmingham Southern Filmmaker, Adam Cordelle

“Young me wouldn’t expect my wanting to be a filmmaker,” laughed Birmingham-Southern senior and Media and Film Studies major, Adam Cordelle, after I asked him how his life had changed from his childhood expectations. “I was greedy. I wanted to get rich. I wanted to be a scientist, or a business man.”

That was something I had never expected to venture from this film geek’s lips. President of the BSC Film Club since my first days on campus, and a passionate nerd when it came to Japanese documentaries and vintage cinema, Cordelle always seemed to me like someone born somewhere between a clapperboard and a Kodak camera. He must have noticed my struggle imagining his artistic self, usually dressed in red flannel and large black frames, as a clean cut dude in a lab coat, or a gray suit because he continued to say why he made such an extreme jump.

“In high school, I watched critic comedians in high school, like Doug Walker. One [of these comedians] was a filmmaker. He did a video about why he [made films]. It made me start watching movies,” said Cordelle. “Then I watched Lawrence of Arabia and that changed everything.”

That cinematic masterpiece has made many casualties, but unlike Cordelle, most victims revert back to their dull aspirations in business or medicine after a few weeks. Nearly graduated with a degree in film studies, and planning to attend a master's program to perfect his craft, it’s clear Adam stayed with his new dream of filmmaking. However, this important decision did not cause self-confidence. When he first came to BSC, despite already knowing his career path, Cordelle struggled with high-school insecurities.

“When I was a young freshman, I was what you call a 'neck-beard.' I lacked confidence, and was extremely arrogant. I refused to learn social cues,” Cordelle remarked. “This school has helped me realize that my life isn’t as bad as I thought it was. It has helped me rethink my life in a better way. I think that’s the best thing about college--meeting a bunch of people in the same place, and interacting. People become better when they meet people from other ways of life.”

This environment has caused Cordelle to become more “introspective”--that feared, pretentious word that Cordelle reluctantly used to describe his journey from a lonely teen to an observant young man. How far had this self-reflection journeyed? I didn’t even look him in the eye as I tested this with my next question. Adam smiled a bit, pausing before he ventured a response.

“Professionally, or personally?” he asked.

“Both,” I replied.

“Professionally, I just want to [be remembered as someone who] made a good film,” said Cordelle.

“Personally, as someone who helped people. I hate it when people are like, ‘Oh, I’m a good person [now]'; like, when it’s an on and off switch. It’s not. It’s a constant, constant psychological thing. It’s a constant diligence. Nothing big, but I want to be remembered as someone who tried.”

When it comes to things that have touched Cordelle personally in his own life, the genuine joy he felt when his plane landed in England when he studied abroad last semester was on the top of his list.

“It had been something I looked forward to as a child. Actually seeing England from the airplane window was very overwhelming."

Adam is now applying to graduate programs where he hopes to study film. Unlike the trip to England, he might not know where this journey will lead him. Still, I think we can all agree that regardless of the place, or the path, this kid is going places.





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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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