Class of 2020: South Africa, Star Wars and Jared Lemelin

Name: Jared Lemelin 
Major: Film, Television and Digital Media
Class: Senior
Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga, California  

Coming to Texas Christian University was an easy decision for Jared Lemelin, but not for the reasons one would guess. He said it’s normal to be attracted to a campus that’s beautiful like TCU, but he wanted something more from his college experience. Lemelin knew his heart was set on studying film, but he hadn’t quite found the perfect fit. After visiting the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media (FTDM) at the Bob Schieffer College of Communication, he said it all clicked for him. This place was going to offer him something no other school had – opportunity.  

Now a senior, Lemelin smiles when asked to think back to the start of his time at TCU. He remembers walking away from his first FTDM class and thinking, This is what I’ve always wanted to do and film has been one of the few things that’s been able to hold my attention for more than a couple hours.” Since then, he’s learned a lot about himself. From solidifying his passion for film to experiencing the different stages of college independence, Lemelin found a home at TCU.  

One opportunity that topped Lemelin’s bucket list was the study abroad program that FTDM offers. Last summer, he filmed the wildlife conservation initiatives taking place on the Amakhala Game Reserve in South Africa. “It was something that consumed all of my time and energy because I’d already made it a personal goal of mine to have raw wildlife footage like that,” he said. “When you get hands-on experience with professional photographers and videographers and they teach you all their skills while on the job it really humbles you. In the most literal sense of the word, it was wild.” Lemelin has since made it his mission to go back to Africa once he graduates and continue to work toward a future position with the National Geographic Wildlife Watch team.  

Lemelin said his sophomore Cinematography class is to thank for his continued love of video production, but that’s not where it really began for him. Lemelin is a movie guru and when asked what his favorite movie of all time is, he said that each of the Stars Wars films is undoubtedly the reason why he fell in love with the world of film in the first place.   

Lemelin also made it a point to say that not only did he find his home at TCU, but also in Texas. “Not trying to be controversial here, but Texas truly does state pride better than anywhere else,” he said. “It will be hard to leave a place where I’ve met my best friends and biggest role models.” 

Whether Lemelin is running late because he was watching too many Chris Pratt movies or pulling out dozens of SD cards from the bottom of his backpack, he always has film in the back of his mind. “As long as I can be behind a camera or around a camera, I know I will be content,” he said.  

Lemelin’s story proves that if there’s passion mixed with a little bit of determination, life will provide you with countless opportunities.   

Click here for more information on the Film, Television and Digital Media department.