Elvis Changed My Life

Elvis changed my life. And I am not just talking about my unnatural fascination with wearing jumpsuits.

I took the weekend at the end of a work trip to make the pilgrimage to Graceland. I had to go. Many years ago I wanted to get into the University of Southern California film school. It’s a good school. George Lucas went there. They take 20 students from thousands of applicants.

You had to provide your portfolio but one of the key elements of the application was the “Film Analysis” – where you write 1000 words describing a film and why you would like to make a film like that one.

I spoke to some friends in the industry and they said I should do Citizen Kane; The Graduate, Gone with the Wind, The Godfather, etc …. listing out what I now understand to be the films regarded as the best films of all time. Only problem was I had never seen those films (sorry to the film buffs) – I like fun movies. So I was torn.

I made the decision to write about the only film I have ever watched 5 times – Vive Las Vegas with Elvis and Ann Margaret. Such a great film (not super intellectual 😃). My friends thought it was madness. But I had nothing to lose – what were the chances I would get in anyway?

Bingo! I got in. I went to USC Film and had a great time which led to a job as a Creative Executive at Warner Bros in LA working on the development of “The West Wing”. My career then took another turn which we do not have time for.

During my time at USC, I was speaking to the Dean and I asked her if she remembered my application. She said “Yes, I remember. I think you are probably the only student to ever put an Elvis movie in your application”.

I guess the moral of the story is you might as well go with your gut.

Thanks Elvis (for film school and all the jumpsuits)

[PS: My gut also tells me I should mention The Breakthrough Lawyer Online Microcredentials I am teaching at Bond University. GenAI; Legal Innovation & Hi-performance habits – all 3 courses tailored for lawyers. See link here https://bond.edu.au/microcredential/breakthrough-lawyer-program.]

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