How Africa Changed a Young Man from New Mexico
BY ROBBY BROWN, MESA, USA — For the holidays, I traveled home to New Mexico to be with my family. The town where I live, Farmington, there is a well-known very wealthy man, Mr. Bolack, who is known for the museum he left behind in his house. My friends and I went to this museum to check it out; it’s about eight (8!) enormous rooms filled with taxidermied animals that he hunted and killed, or at least assisted in capturing as he got older. As we entered "The African Room," one of my best friends shouted “Hey! He's been to Africa!” and pointed to me. I was smiling like a fool. The guide didn't care and continued but as my friends and I held back I was pointing out everything that we actually got to see on the trip! (The only thing we missed were the big cats.) I'd whisper stories to them and tell them about things like how close we were to the rhinos, that monkeys ran between us, that elephants were inches from us. I'm incredibly proud of this project and have no doubt it changed my life. I will always be indebted for that.
The day after tomorrow is a brand new year and I feel like it’s going to be beautiful. If you were to ask me a year ago what I wanted to do in ‘06, what I want to accomplish, I'd give you some lame answer because I never really had any goals or figured I would amount to much. But look what happened! I don't know if any of us would have been able to foresee that this group of passionate filmmakers would come together through a community college to shoot and finish two great films! Films in Africa! I mean really, who would have thought?! I think 2006 will be a year that I will remember for the rest of my life. Its significance will remind me of where I was where I am and how I got to be there. I believe the FilmZambia project really set me up for a career and life that I will love in the film industry.
Since we've returned, I've been fortunate to find numerous job opportunities and chances to grow. I've been able to shoot a pilot reality TV show, 20-minute interview pieces and work out videos—AND GETTING PAID!!! I owe everything to this crew and this beautiful experience. I'm able to take the knowledge and passion and confidence that I have gained into the new year and face any challenges knowing that I'll come out okay on the other end. After problem-solving in Africa, I know how to adapt and solve problems as they arise. 2006 has been an amazing life-changing year, thanks to MCC, Cyndi, the crew and the trust and support that we have built.
Who would have thought?