A young man struggling to find purpose in his life, isolates himself in his apartment. When his best friend comes over to finalize details for their upstate trip, he notices something strange. His sanity starts to unravel as their trip falls apart right in front of him.
The Young Man, based on myself, is an insecure man unraveling at a pace he can’t seem to keep up with. This nightmarish and surreal short film is an allegory of my experience with graduate school.
Around the end of my first year at the Design and Technology program, I felt an abundance of unhappiness. The experience of graduate school was met with disappointment. Everything about it fell short of my expectations.
The idea of reinvigorating my education, my skill set, and my curiosity to learn seemed, prior to entering the program, such an exciting idea. Yet, I encountered a program so disorganized, lacking any effort to actually teach, and unwilling to actually care about its community. It’s ironic that an institution, which bases its core beliefs on progressive education and community, doesn’t actually provide any resources that would further one’s ability to learn.
Many hours, turned days, turned weeks, turned months, were wasted believing that any decent change would occur. Perhaps if I just stuck through, put my head down, and charged through with an open mind I could make the most of this program, I thought to myself. Unfortunately, that was never going to happen. The core structure of nearly every class was to empower students to learn on their own, often leading to many questions asked and no answers given, unless they were YouTube tutorials that were “going to explain the concept better than I can.”
I learned virtually nothing from this program; the skill sets I did learn came from the internet, or peers that were way more helpful than any of the faculty. Despite this, I felt an insatiable desire to continue learning and furthering my education. Heading into the final year, I now understood that relying on this institution would get me nowhere.
This thesis project, my short film, is a deeply personal body of work. To the credit of this program, I never would have branched out on my own to do this. In an ironic turn of events, I thank this program for giving me the opportunity to create.
Written and directed by Kevin Ho
Produced by Kenzie Wilkin
Executive Produced by Kevin Ho, Yash Goyal, Gabriel Armstrong, Jacob Heimlich
Ben Banks as Young Man
Calvin Osorio as The Friend
Director of Photography, Gabriel Armstrong
Production Design, Yash Goyal
Original Music by Erik Björn
Editor, Kevin Ho