Enchanted by Alternate Realities

By Tessa Martinko

From a young age, I always adored movies and the alternate realities they created. I was always daydreaming about the characters in the books I was obsessed with, and was constantly watching the same movies over and over. My parents would laugh when I would develop hyper obsessions, deciding my life was the same as the characters I followed in stories or films. Having a very vivid imagination from a young age pushed me to always be painting, drawing, and crafting different creations. My room would suddenly transform into a mermaid’s palace, or an adventurer’s cabin. I wanted to exist in these unrealistic worlds so bad I tried to make them reality. My love for movies only escalated when my mom took me to see a late night showing of Jurassic Park. I was very scared but so intrigued. How did they create a dinosaur park? What was it like for the actors to exist in this imaginary world? How did they create these lifelike dinosaurs? These kinds of questions continued to peck at me after every movie I watched. Now I know I don’t only love films for the stories they tell, but the world altering realities they create.

Tessa Marinko Blog Photo camera2

Taking photos became a huge passion of mine, my high school photography teacher helped me realize how I can express myself within my photography. Throughout highschool I continued to do creative and documentary photography, building my skills and finally feeling like I had found a passion I could carry with me forever. When the time came around to start thinking about college I was lost. I had good grades, but didn’t gravitate towards any majors that were more practical. My photography teacher helped push me towards doing film, and I am so glad for his input in that situation. When I was accepted to Drexel University in Philadelphia I was extremely excited to declare Film and Television production as my major. Looking back, I was not ready for what was in store for me in the slightest. When I first entered Drexel as a freshman, I thought I wanted to focus on cameras. My self doubt fought me through classes, and I felt I didn’t have the same skills as the other students I worked with. As a sophomore I was asked to do art direction for a small school run television show, and I was nervous but said yes. Something clicked for me when I started working on the props and set decoration. I started thinking about all of the films I was obsessed with when I was younger, each created a mystical or mysterious world through their production design. Now in my third year at Drexel, I am very focused on set decoration and composition. It’s fun to be involved in the cinematography by deciding what’s in frame. I often think back to how I used to decorate my room to match the movies I liked, or created small props to make the magic of my imagination come to life. It’s inspiring to know I have carried these skills with me for a long time, I just had to discover them again through my love for film as a young adult. I am eager to see where the next year of school takes me, as well as grow my skill set here at JTWO Films.

Tessa Martinko is a third year student at Drexel University studying to get her Bachelors of Science in Film and Television Production. She is an aspiring Set Decorator and also dabbles in cinematography. Tessa has worked on both the east coast and west coast, gaining experience on commercials and shorts. She is eager to learn more about all elements of film through her internship at JTWO Films this spring and summer and apply those skills to her future goals in the industry.