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  • Writer's pictureJacob Boelman

A Student at Heart

Updated: Feb 9




Here is a stack of notebooks I've filled over the last twenty or so years. They all are labeled "Notes" and go from copy "1" to about "28" before transitioning to my wonderful iPad app, Nubo, where I've taken my notes since 2020. In total honesty, I lost a few of the physical copies. The most tragic losses happened around 2016 with "Notes 18" and "19" (I am incredibly frustrated with misplacing these because they contained the studies I did on John Ford and Ingmar Bergman, two titans in the world of film). Every word written in these notebooks is dedicated to one thing: my pursuit to understand cinema.


My goal is to use this site to continue my journey. About a decade and a half ago, I started a blog called A Dreamer Walking. One could call it a predecessor to Dreamer's Edge. However, the goal for A Dreamer Walking was much simpler; I needed a testing device to see just how much I was digesting from my studies. I consider watching interviews on filmmaking and even taking notes a bit of a pastime; I thoroughly enjoy the process and don't find it too difficult. However, creating a persuasive essay where I must vocalize what I've learned to the general public is trickier. It is a challenge I've learned to embrace. To translate another artist's words and images into something you can understand, you must wrestle with them. Essay writing is perfect for this pursuit.


When my English Major mother taught me writing, she taught me the three key elements of great persuasive essays. You need a solid thesis to captivate your audience, a thought-through, substance-filled body to justify your views, and a conclusion to keep your readers thinking far after moving on. This is nothing new; it's the structure most Intro to Writing classes teach. Yet, my mother tended to push me to hone in, clarify, and strengthen my words so they could withstand scrutiny.


This is where A Dreamer Walking and Dreamer's Edge comes in. I wrote over 250 papers for A Dreamer Walking. There is no better way to know the strength of one's argument than to be willing to expose it to the world. I'm not trying to suggest everyone will agree with what I write on this site. Breaking norms and pushing limits is one of the missions of Dreamer's Edge. But being vulnerable enough to put yourself out there and allow others to see your views is critical to understanding their strength.


There is no attempt to establish a definitive view here. The great thing about art is it's interpretive. I want my perspective to be strong enough to withstand scrutiny and fluid enough to be swayed and grow. I hope that all the readers of this site feel free to comment and add to the discoveries being made. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new. No matter how well-known I get for my art, I hope to continue being a student at heart.


We stand on the shoulders of giants. The magic we wish to wield as filmmakers originates in the cinema of Melies, Chaplin, Ford, and countless other pioneers. I thoroughly enjoy watching commentaries and interviews and reading books on cinema because they represent lessons from the great artisans of our past. We can't expect to venture out into the unknown if we don't understand what has come before us. We never had a better opportunity to learn from our past than we do now. In almost all fields of study, we have been gifted with an unprecedented amount of information. This could quickly come across as overwhelming. Since we are also at the start of the AI generation, we face a temptation to cut corners, where we would forgo depth and substance for bullet points on style and technique. My goal is not to provide simple answers with my essays on cinema. I want to acknowledge these artists' complexities and the nuance of their storytelling. My hope is that you will find some powerful truths in some of my research. Maybe even a truth so intense you will be encouraged to dig deeper, like me, when I encounter profound moments from the filmmakers I'm studying. Every word I write is a battle to understand this art form just a little better in order to further my pursuits in this magical medium. Thank you for joining me. I'm looking forward to continuing the journey.

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