Soul Food Cinema now has its first team member on board: Rebecca Christian, a third-year film-studies student, will report from Los Angeles once every quarter, discussing the latest developments in the world of faith and film. Rebecca writes her own blog (catholicinfilmschool.stblogs.com) that she manages to update on an almost daily basis. Soul Food Cinema Editor Mark Banks caught up with Rebecca via a London to San Diego Skype webcam call on 5th July 2008. Please note the spelling used in the following transcript is UK-English.
Interview starts with a minute of shared prayer, asking for the Lord’s blessings upon our conversation, our work, our lives, as well as for you – the readers.
SFC: Okay, Hi Rebecca, glad to talk to you face-to-face (kind of) finally. Why don’t you give us a quick overview of your faith and film background?
RC: Okay, well I’m from San Diego, born and bred. I’m an only child, was baptised and raised Catholic, but growing up we were only really ‘Sunday Catholics’; we didn’t really have a great understanding of the faith. I’ve been practising since my sophomore year in high school; when I was about 16 years old. So I’ve been a fully-fledged Catholic for about 3 years, put it that way.
SFC: And how does film school work for you? What year are you in there and what was your background getting into film school?
RC: Well I’m at Loyola Marymount at the moment, which is a Jesuit school. When I go back in August I’ll be in my third year of what is a 4-year course. I’m a screenwriting and theology double major; so I take some production classes, but the majority of my classes are on screenwriting. Before Loyola I went to a public high school (having transferred out from a Catholic high school), where they had a media programme. I studied video there and that got me into filmmaking.
SFC: And so did you have an interest in film making beforehand?
RC: No not really; I kind of fell into it. When I was much younger I wanted to be a scientist; I wanted to be a biologist at first, and then I wanted to be a journalist when I first got into high school. I had a drama teacher that had put together a newscast project, and he asked me if I wanted to do that, so I said yes, and so there’s this footage of me somewhere sitting in front of the camera doing this news reading to camera! And so I did that and I liked it, but I was more interested in the technical side really; I was more interested in loading up the tapes and sorting the equipment out. And at the same time as that I was taking a film studies course at my high school. So I was trying to figure out if somehow I could reconcile film making with journalism, and that led me into making documentaries for a while. On top of all of that I was also playing basketball on a scholarship, but I didn’t want to play college basketball, so in the end I settled on film studies.