As a younger youngster, Cal State Fullerton alumna Natalie Rodriguez recalled watching a wide range of movies along with her mom and grandmother, together with “The Sound of Music,” “West Facet Story” and the “Scream” franchise — her earliest reminiscence of movie.
Whereas Rodriguez’s ardour for movie developed at an early age, her inclination towards writing and storytelling got here later, at age 11, when she wrote her first quick story for a college venture.
“I keep in mind after I wrote that story, I’d run house after class and secretly add extra to it,” shared Rodriguez ’14 (B.A. radio-TV-film). “Because the characters within the story had been rising up, so was I and my instincts stored telling me I wanted to maneuver ahead with it. This plot truly later morphed into my first younger grownup novel, ‘Elephant.’”
Natalie Rodriguez ’14 (B.A. radio-TV-film)
Whereas learning at CSUF, Rodriguez interned on the Conan O’Brien present and Mandalay Photos manufacturing firm, the place she labored within the places of work of producers Matthew Rhodes and Academy Award-winner Cathy Schulman.
In 2017, Rodriguez took a serious step and based Extraordinary Photos, a manufacturing firm targeted on movies, tv and social concern tasks resembling psychological well being and restoration. “The Extraordinary Strange,” which particulars the psychological well being journey of a younger faculty pupil, was Rodriguez’s first directorial function movie.
“The primary character, Erica, has a historical past with anxiousness and panic assaults stemming from a traumatic previous expertise,” stated Rodriguez. “Her junior 12 months of school, she decides to maneuver throughout the nation to try to overcome a few of her triggers and worries, so she undergoes an inside journey simply as a lot as a bodily one.
“The movie touches closely on psychological well being, particularly the aftermath of tragedy or loss. How does one deal with it 5 years down the street?” Rodriguez continued. “A standard theme all through the movie is that Erica has all of the instruments to be impartial and pursue her objectives. In the end, she finds some peace with the place she’s at in her journey with the assistance of some friends alongside the best way.”
“The Extraordinary Strange,” which received Greatest Movie About Girls’s Empowerment on the 2019 Glendale Worldwide Movie Pageant, was impressed partly by Rodriguez’s personal struggles with psychological well being, however was initially met with skepticism.
“I began experiencing heavy anxiousness my junior 12 months of school and finally sought remedy,” shared Rodriguez. “As I continued to workshop the script, I spotted that Erica’s story might parallel my very own. It was extra of an intuitional pull and one thing I felt compelled to write down about.
“I had folks inform me that I’d fail, that nobody would watch a film about psychological well being,” added Rodriguez. “They instructed me to write down my Marvel movie as my first function — that solely made me need to comply with via with it much more and show them fallacious.”
Rodriguez credit CSUF for connecting her with very important mentors, resembling Professor of Cinema and Tv Arts Edward Fink.
“Ed Fink was the primary professor who learn a brief script of mine and instructed me to submit it to the CSU Media Arts Pageant,” she stated. “I used to be at all times going again to him for suggestions and recommendation concerning my work. He was the kind of one who if he didn’t have a solution, he would ask round or see if another person might assist me.”
Along with her work in movie, Rodriguez has written for publications like HuffPost and the Nervousness Useful resource Heart and has served as a panelist for occasions hosted by organizations together with Google, YouTube and Los Angeles Comedian Con.
Within the coming years, Rodriguez nonetheless sees herself on set, however hopes to broaden her repertoire by writing and directing for various genres of movie.
To be taught extra about CSUF’s cinema and tv arts choices, go to the division web site.