Experts say it’s not where you attend college that determines your success, it’s what you do with the opportunities available. Higher education is what you make it and nobody knows that as well as SCAD Film and Television 2015 Alumnus, Andres Escobar.
A few months ago, Escobar received word his short senior film, “Sara,” which he produced, wrote, directed and edited, was accepted at the Short Film Corner for this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
“I was shocked,” Escobar said.
“This recognition was especially important to me because since I developed my passion for film, I always looked up to this great festival. I was literally creating my film thinking of Cannes.”
Escobar’s success did not happen overnight. Born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, Escobar’s first passion was not film, but golf. The sport soon became a huge part of his life and he started playing competitively when he was 12 years old.
It wasn’t until Escobar was a freshmen in high school that he began to express an interest in the arts. He started to watch and study films of all genres while simultaneously focusing on his athletic career.
Following graduation, Escobar moved to the United States with the help of his parents and uncle to find the best school for his higher education. Escobar moved to and visited several universities throughout the U.S., but Savannah and the sense community offered at SCAD stood out to him. His four years at SCAD provided a busy but memorable experience.
“I started studying my film courses as soon as I can and I found an internship within the first quarter to keep on learning the techniques,” Escobar said. “I tried to always be busy, so on top of my education and golf training I had an internship and the later a work-study position. It was tough to juggle all of this at the same time, but I am glad I was able to do it.”
Escobar said the film and television department provided him with all the essential tools needed to complete and develop his identity as a filmmaker, notably Professors Lubomir Kocka and Jonathan Alvord.
After Escobar graduated cum laude with a B.F.A. in film and television, he moved to New York City and started reaching out to other companies in the city to increase his exposure and experience as a filmmaker. He was eventually hired as an occasional lighting technician and grip for the American mass media company, Condé Nast.
“As I was working more and more over there, I reached out to the editing department and offered my services as video editor,” Escobar said.
“They really liked my knowledge of golf, editing techniques and my abilities with After Effects, and soon I started working continuously at CNE. I have been working mostly with Vogue and Golf Digest for the past couple of months.”
Escobar was recently selected to participate as a video editor for the MET Gala in New York City, a gig that gave him the chance to work with top editors from Vogue and edit content of Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Kylie Jenner and Wiz Khalifa.
“I was required to edit footage that a camera crew was shooting on site as quickly as possible so it could be uploaded almost real-time in online platforms,” Escobar said.
“It was all over around 2 a.m. The fast-paced environment and the constant collaboration was a great experience to have at this event and getting to see all these celebrities was also unique.”
Looking back at both his collegiate and professional career, Escobar said he would advise his freshmen self to constantly seek out different opportunities.
“Reaching out to the companies that you would most like to work for and show interest and motivation,” Escobar said.
“In my experience, that is what people like the most – knowing that someone is just as passionate as they are to complete a project or hold a certain position. I would say that it is also important to have your own voice and not let other people discourage you from your vision.”
Success aside, Escobar will be the first to admit he is very critical of his own work and is able to pick out mistakes in any of his projects. However, this only motivates him to work harder on his next one.
“It might sound cliché but I believe you have to give yourself room to fail and learn from your mistakes,” Escobar said.
“I truly think that it is better to experiment new ways of doing things, even if it involves failing a few times at the beginning than repeating someone else’s process to achieve decent results. I really appreciate innovation and new perspectives, and that is what I constantly try to do.”
Written by Emilie Kefalas.