Post-Grad Life: The Road Trip

[This article is part of a series. Read the first two pieces on 15Four and Z*Con].

This past semester was the most stress I’ve ever faced in school. I can remember multiple times where it felt like I was drowning in the amount of work I had to do. Senior year is expected to be tough, but I was holding down two part time jobs, trying to freelance, finishing up a double major, and preparing myself for the post-graduate life.

I distinctly remember one night when my roommates were out of the apartment and I was all alone. I hadn’t been home in a number of weeks, I’d had a tough schedule, and I was in the middle of writing an article on deadline.

The thought occurred to me that Red Lobster is bull&*#!

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Post-Grad Life: Film and Free Work

[This article is part of a series. Read the first piece on 15Four and the follow-up piece on Maine].

Around the same time I picked up the internship at 15Four, I got a call from Justin Chiet, an old friend and colleague from school. Chiet had been working on the behind the scenes videography for a crowd funded zombie film called Z*Con for a number of months. The production, headed by local director Michael Dougherty, had pitched a proof of concept to online donors in the hopes of funding their feature. The film was funded with a successful Indiegogo campaign and Chiet was booked to serve as the film’s camera operator.

Having worked with Chiet’s production company in the past, he invited me to work as a Grip/Electric swing on the film. Although crew would be working for free, Dougherty’s production company, Big Damn Films, is a registered 501©3, where any proceeds from his films goes to fundraising and advocacy for charities related to the film. Proceeds from Z*Con were going to the American Red Cross, Kids Need to Read, a to-be-named national animal rescue and Big Damn Films. I could take comfort in the idea that despite working for free, I was working for a good cause!

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Post-Grad Life: A Summer Internship

[This article is part of a series. Read the follow-up pieces on Z*Con and Maine].

After 17 years of rigor and toil, I’d had enough of the education system. From behind the counter at my video rental job, I called Towson University’s graduation office to give them a piece of my mind:

“Alright buddy, listen up! I’m ditching this cow pen and there is nothing you can do about it!

“Sir, you have the required number of credits to graduate. I’ll file your paperwork now.”

“Yeah, well, you tell everyone down there that Mark Burchick is flying the coop! Towson won’t ever forget the name!”

“Can you please spell your last name to insure the documentation is correct?”

“Yeah, that’s B as in Yeaaaaah Boyyyy! U as in Uhhh-huuuuh!”

Needless to say, I had devolved into a mess of a human being after so many years of structured preparation for “the real world.”

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