Duke Diary Dispatch: Hello, Hollywood!

A photo of Duke student Brooks Finby and a map of Los Angeles, California.

My passion for film and music was born out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Quarantined inside, I turned to movies and music for comfort, and the spark was lit. The more films I watched, the more I grew to appreciate the art form in all of its complexities. Now, you can catch me logging films and writing silly little reviews on Letterboxd (@bfinby1). My top four favorite films at the moment are Y Tu Mamá También, Princess Mononoke, Arrival, and City of God. In terms of music, the pandemic gave me more free time than ever to listen to music, allowing me to greatly expand my taste. I love making curated playlists and bimonthly song dumps on Spotify (@bfinby1). 

Outside of my studies, I am heavily involved in creative arts leadership at Duke. I serve as the Co-President of Duke Film Club (formerly DIFF), a writer and editor of The Fluke News, a member of Duke University Improv, and the Co-VP of Outreach and External Affairs for DuArts. My goal is to grow the creative community at Duke as much as possible and strengthen the institutional infrastructure to support students pursuing careers in the creative industries. 

This summer, I will be working for A24, the leading independent film company behind Everything Everywhere All At Once, Uncut Gems, and Midsommar. As one of two PR interns, I will be assisting their publicity team with press breaks, review round-ups, festival coverage, screening reports, note-taking on internal PR strategy meetings, and more. It was actually A24 films like The Florida Project, Moonlight, and Hereditary that inspired me to pursue film in the first place. I deeply admire A24 for how they bridge the gap between arthouse independent cinema and commercial popularity in a way that still respects and adheres to the full creative vision of its filmmakers. In addition to my internship, I will be working as a writer for Early Rising, an independent music journalism outlet that highlights up-and-coming artists. With Early Rising, I will be writing reviews, interviewing artists, covering concerts, and creating curated playlists. Eventually, I hope to expand into independent film journalism as well. 

A lot in store for this summer! Stay tuned :)