Class of 2020: Meet Hope Anderson
Name: Hope Anderson
Major: Film, Television and Digital Media
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Raised in Fort Worth by a family of Horned Frogs, Hope Anderson felt at home on Texas Christian University’s campus even before she began attending as a first-year student. Anderson has always loved watching movies and wondering how they are made, so film, television and digital media was an early choice and a natural fit.
As a habitual writer, Anderson hopes to use her degree to work on screenplays and scripts. Using the note application on her phone, she jots things down all the time — scripts in progress, one-shot stories and fragments of ideas. “I never turn my brain off,” she said. “[It’s] kind of an easy way for me to just… put everything out physically.” As one might guess, out of all the facets of her major, she leaned towards scriptwriting. She took production and industry classes, but she does not aspire to join the technical side of filmmaking — her passion is for the creative side.
Creative classes like Theory Acting for the Camera taught Anderson how to run scenes and determine what her character would think rather than what she would think as her character. Even though she is not looking into acting, these classes showed her how actors will work and thereby, how to write for them.
Anderson said that out of all the classes at TCU, she was most nervous to take Business of Media. She took it the first semester of her sophomore year. She was dreading the “business” part because she said numbers are not her strong suit — until she found that the class focused more on the legal, marketing and profit-making stages of producing films.
“The most surprising thing about my major was how convoluted the business side of the movie industry is. Most movie viewers do not know about the budgeting, the marketing and the legal activities that go into making a movie,” Anderson said. “Movies must be pitched, greenlit, and drafted several times before they are picked up by studios. Viewers also might not consider the amount required to pay the cast, crew and lawyers; one shot in a high-budget movie can cost one million dollars.”
“Business of Media taught me neat and important information about what to do after my scripts are written,” Anderson said. “Writers send their scripts to the right people and, if circumstances are kind, get the opportunity to sell a work to a studio — but for many writers, letting go of our cherished creation can be the most difficult part.”
Anderson has not pitched anything yet, but has a television show in the works. She took Dramatic Writing, which required a script, with scenes broken down, for a full-length pilot by the end of the semester. She said it was a helpful class for her career but, in a more concrete result, the class prompted her to think of the future of her show and thereby allowed her to develop a whole, serialized television show with plans for multiple seasons.
Anderson would suggest her major to first–year students not only because it is fun but also because of the flexibility it allows. From writers to those behind the cameras to those on the industry side, majors can choose to work in movies, television, digital media, social networking, and more. “A general career idea can turn so many different ways with my major. The sky is the limit and I love that,” she said. “Come in, have fun with it. You’re not going to be stuck with anything.”
On the weekends, Anderson’s favorite thing to do was reflect on the week with a few friends. They went to Poag Mahone’s Irish Pub and hung out for a while. “I just liked to forget that I was a student just for a little bit before I had to wash, rinse, and repeat for Monday,” she said. “With a chill atmosphere, a great staff, and a menu fit for a college budget, the pub was our favorite spot.”
Anderson enjoys listening to Beyoncé, who inspires her as a woman of color who has built a successful business empire outside of the music industry. In the same vein, Anderson said “Hustlers” was the best movie of 2019. She was surprised at how much it drew her in. She expected a superficial plot but she got a movie based on an interesting story and featuring women as more than just eye candy. “I’m a sucker for an all-female cast. I just love seeing other women on screen, doing well,” she said. “That movie had a lot of diversity in it, too. I really enjoyed that.”
As for the best movie of 2020, COVID-19 threw the industry into turmoil. Anderson looked forward to her favorite superhero, Black Widow, getting her own movie, but it has yet to be released. “I’m a huge comic book nerd,” she said. “I love Marvel movies. “Black Widow”… that’s what I’m waiting for. She deserves it, finally.”
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