Carla Click

Amateur Goes to School

Motion pictures had played a central role in US culture, arts, and entertainment for nearly ninety years before formal educational programs focused on cinema emerged in institutions of higher learning. By the late 1980s, however, universities and colleges across the country had launched film production and studies courses with degrees in the “cinematic arts.” Carla Click, originally from Garland, Texas, came to the University of Texas at Austin for the Radio-Television-Film program.

UT’s department of Radio-Television-Film started as an extension of the theatre program in the 1960s and served as one of several factors leading to Austin’s reputation as a hub for independent filmmaking in the 1990s. The high profile success of Austin film directors Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez actively challenged the definition of “indie” film culture, further complicating notions of narrative form and aesthetics and blurring the distinction between amateur, student, and professional.

Ms. Click arrived in Austin at just this pivotal moment in the history of film education and filmmaking. Beginning day one, students in the RTF program work on semester long productions. Ms. Click worked as director of photography for two group projects presented here, The Hurter (1990) and The Quest (1991), and wrote and directed Peanuts (1990) as an individual project. Read More

As is typical in amateur productions, in The Hurter, Carla and her classmates play the roles of many of the victims, and because many of the shots don’t include their faces, the students were able to play multiple roles. Ms. Click also provided voice work for the film. Reflecting on her time as a student filmmaker at UT, Click sees how her projects reflected the era in which they were made: “‘Generation X’ is a term that had come out…the children of this time period are looking at how the world is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen…And now I get to sit on my sofa and watch a country be bombed [in the Gulf War].” Click says the characters, and by turn the filmmakers, were exploring “where we fit in this, and how do we tell the stories. It’s an interesting [snapshot] of what a young filmmaker… would be thinking.” (Hear Carla Click talk about film school in her own words in the gallery below!)

Proceed to Further Watching.