08192017

2017 Fab 40: Jeff Parkin

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Age: 51
City: Provo

Casting call As co-creator of “Studio C,” co-creator and director of “Pretty Darn Funny,” co-creator of “The Book of Jer3miah,” and the magician behind the BYU Vocal Point videos, Jeff has made a major impact on new media storytelling. He has also created two games for the National Science Foundation and is working on one about the Disneyland experience called “Darkride: Disneyland.”

Act one “I started making movies at 9 when my fifth grade substitute teacher, Amy Engar, showed us a Super-8 movie her son had made. I realized, ‘Hey! I could do that!’ And I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Encore “Watching my work with an audience and seeing them laugh, put their arm around their sweetheart or fight back tears and knowing that I had a small part in helping remind them of the beauties of being human and a part of this great big cool complicated human family.”

Break-a-leg advice “When people ask me if they can make a living being a filmmaker, I say, ‘If you can do anything else, do it. But if you have make movies, make movies.’ There’s nothing more powerful in art than authenticity. Honestly put your whole self into your work. Be vulnerable. That thing that makes you unique will make your work unique and that’s what will connect with the world.”

The show must go on “From fourth grade until my junior year in high school, I was bullied and beat up frequently. A kid who was small for his age and ran around making carnivals for the neighbor kids and filming Super-8 movies was an easy target. It’s had a lasting impact on my mental health and confidence, but it’s also made me more sensitive to those who are marginalized. It’s made me want to tell stories that help people understand there is goodness in the world despite harsh things. I work hard to instill that in my students.” Jeff is a professor in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts at BYU.

Meet all the members of the 2017 Fab 40 here.

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