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Check Out Marc Van Holt’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marc Van Holt.

Hi Marc, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Like most children that grew up in the Middle East in conflict zones in the 1990s and 2000s, American movies and shows were my greatest escape from the brutal reality. Years later, I am here at my dream school, University of Southern California, creating art that can serve as a form of escapism and entertainment for a new generation of children. I am in my last year of my master’s degree in Film and Television Production at USC, collaborating with fellow Trojans on a short film narrating the convergence of two unlikely strangers who find friendship and hope in the midst of civil war in the Middle East.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
No journey is ever smooth, and mine is no exception. I’m grateful I get to attend the best film school in the country but it doesn’t make me feel great that I have a quarter of a million in student loan debt that keeps growing everyday. But lately, I have become numb to this burden, focused instead on the end goal. I like to remind myself to always put my best foot forward and let fate decide the consequences of my actions. Over the last few years, a variety of stressors in life have led to premature hair loss, and I recently underwent a hair transplant and several subsequent painful procedures to try to reverse the hair loss.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Using technology to tell stories is a talent of mine that I am passionate about developing and nurturing. As a freshman, I was featured in the Bay Area newspaper ‘The Inquirer’ as the very first student to make a 3D short film at my college. My love for technology and VFX has grown as I have progressed through my education. Currently, I’m working on an animated motion capture thesis film to be shot remotely. However, the achievement I am most proud of is not one of my projects specifically but rather my ability to earn my own success. Growing up, my parents made me work for everything I wanted. I have never had anything handed to me on a silver platter and I’m grateful for that.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
I spent my time in lockdown building a PC and then converting my walk-in closet to my own personal post-production office, or, as I refer to it, a “cloffice”. Quality learning and creating can still happen remotely, and this last year has shown me there are no limits to our resourcefulness, both my own and that of humanity as a whole.

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