I AM
BRENDAN FELTRUP-EXUM


I use film to express exemplified moments of one's character that I consider to be inspirational

I began to explore creating films that incorporated visual effects and practical special effects to satisfy my inventive need and my longing to craft something believable like a magician’s trick.

As a kid, I learned to design and construct objects for use in my films in my father’s wood shop. I began to build props and camera mounts to film miniatures. With my interest in technical constructs, I built and programmed robotic creatures to move throughout my fantasy worlds using Lego Mindstorms.

Watching films, I discovered a world where an audience member can connect deeply with a character through a brief journey and feel like it was almost an eternity. Films like Star Wars and Indiana Jones depicting bold exploration with incredible heart pounding excitement enhanced the already instilled sense of adventure in my youth. I remember wanting to become an archeologist after witnessing the exhilarating grandiosity of action wrapped in a historically significant battle of good vs. evil depicted in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Living in Florida for many years the tales of pirates and shipwrecked sunken treasures tantalized my active mind. Even after discovering the life of an archeologist was not nearly as exciting as the film depicted it, I still wanted to pursue the field, because the thirst for adventure had already been implanted. Before launching into my Masters of Fine Arts in film production, I pursued higher education in archeology, with the intent that I would dive into a field of nautical archeology. After considerable soul searching, I knew my heart was calling me to film production for so many more reasons than simply an archeological quest. Within the landscape of film, I can fulfill all of my desires for adventure.

My longing to create and make a vivid landscape of imagery became exciting and sometimes even dangerous. As a child, I purchased doll house kits from the local thrift store to build miniature military bases. Action figurines would wage epic wars between the doll house sets with the use of fireworks to mimic missile attacks.

These battles most often concluded with burning doll houses and melted figurines. Chemistry helped me to make homemade explosives for larger effects. I later learned that these experiments were called special effects in the film industry. Special effects, or as they were at one time called “tricks”, were related to magic. These technical art forms used in cinematography and film-making help to develop a genuine alternative reality encouraging the audience to further suspend their disbelief. Special effects are visual or mechanical processes that simulate an event that might be either impractical or hazardous to actually perform.

Various forms of special effects include camera tricks, atmospheric effects (smoke, wind, water, etc.), and even pyrotechnics. This experimentation ultimately led me to become a licensed pyrotechnician. Now I can safely create the effects I so desired, having worked my way up from fireworks shows to extensive flame effects and even exploding automobiles.