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Dean's Desk Assoc. Dean Media Counsel Winning Women Into the Future Rethinkers Faculty Spotlight Alumni News Film Editor

Passion, experience drive filmmaker’s storytelling and directing techniques

by Heather Heleloa Public Relations ‘09

‘Mark Baldwin (RTVF ‘81)

Mark Baldwin (RTVF ’81) began his fling in the film industry as an eager and talented Cal State Fullerton student. His passion for film, coupled with unique creative skills, provided him the ability to translate that passion into a successful career.

Throughout his education, Baldwin enjoyed learning the technical aspects of production and editorial procedures. However, it was his love for storytelling via film and filmmaking that was nurtured and intensified with the help of one of Baldwin’s most cherished professors, Dr. Larry Ward.

“Dr. Ward is a tremendous filmmaker, teacher, and human being,” Baldwin said. “It was really his prompting that got me into the documentary film world.”

During a class meeting, Ward introduced Baldwin to visiting professional and accomplished documentarian, Arthur Barron. Baldwin would later work for Barron as an assistant editor, then as a researcher.

After graduation, Baldwin pursued work in documentary films. As he grew in experience, he attempted work with a variety of genres in order to expand his prospects and discover which area of entertainment he enjoyed working with the most.

While Baldwin has worn many hats in his career - director, producer, actor and voiceover artist - he finds the most fulfillment in his work as an editor.

“Editing is an indispensable component of filmmaking,” Baldwin said. “I work alongside the director, producers, sound and music professionals to shape the audiences’ emotions and experience.”

Baldwin has worked with such television shows as “Picket Fences,” “Chicago Hope,” “Ally Mc Beal,” “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” and “CSI: Miami,” just to name a few.

In 1997, he was nominated for a primetime Emmy for Outstanding Editing for a Series for his work on “Chicago Hope.”

“I have been fortunate enough to work on many entertainment outlets, from drama and comedy to action,” he said. “It is important to keep all your options open.”

After nearly 30 years in the entertainment business, Baldwin has continued to achieve success in an area of work that he loves.

While working on the hit show “CSI: Miami” Baldwin met producer/ director Danny Cannon. Their introduction led to what would become a flourishing and collaborative professional relationship. They are currently working together on the CBS Primetime series “Eleventh Hour.”

“Everything Danny Cannon puts on film is carefully designed to tell a story,” Baldwin said. “Whether on the big or small screen, I really think there is no better director working today.”

But life isn’t all work and no play. While studying Spanish at the Instituto de Lengua Española in Costa Rica, Baldwin met phonetics professor -- and his future wife -- Hannia. Together they have a daughter, Natalia Baldwin León.

“If I have learned anything that I can pass on to those who follow behind me, I repeat a familiar adage, ‘You must stand up and live before you can sit down and write,’” said Baldwin. “It is important to have a personal life from which you draw inspiration.”

‘Get your kicks on Route 66’

Relics of the famous thoroughfare still hearken nostalgia aficionados

Open wide: Dr. Andi Stein poses in the mouth of the blue whale in what used to be a water park in Catoosa, Okla., along the famous Route 66.

Dr. Andi Stein (Journalism) has many varied interests, but among her favorites are travel and Disney. Last summer, she figured out a way to combine the two when she took a trip inspired by a Disney movie.

The film was “Cars,” which chronicles the adventures of a racecar named Lightning McQueen who finds himself stranded in a town that was once part of Route 66. After seeing the movie several times, Stein was curious to learn more about the “Mother Road” and joined 26 others on a Route 66 bus tour sponsored by Trafalgar Tours. Over the course of two weeks, the group got a history lesson about Route 66.

“We started in Chicago where Route 66 originated and ended in Santa Monica where a plaque commemorates the end of the road,” she said. Along the way, the group stopped to view some of the places that made the route famous in its heyday during the early part of the 20th century and inspired the song, “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.”

Route 66 was officially decommissioned in 1985 when it was replaced by a series of freeways, Stein explained, but many of the relics of the road are still intact. These include Meramec Caverns, a complex of caves in Stanton, Mo.; the Blue Whale, a former water park in Catoosa,Okla.; the Cadillac Ranch, an art piece consisting of 10 Cadillacs planted nose-down in a wheat field in Amarillo, Texas; the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, N.M., known for its brightly-lit neon sign; and the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Ariz., where each room is shaped like a teepee and a sign outside the motel proclaims, “Have You Slept in a Wigwam Lately?”

Stein gave a talk about her trip at the Fullerton Public Library as part of the library’s “Town and Gown” lecture series, co-sponsored by the CSUF University Club.

Approximately 100 people showed up to learn about Route 66 and share their own memories of the road. “People had all kinds of stories about their own experiences traveling across the country on Route 66. It was amazing to see how many are still interested in the mystique of the Mother Road,” Stein said.

“The best part of it all was that I got to show everyone my vacation pictures under the guise of an academic presentation. That really was a kick!”

Davis ‘walks the streets’ of London, teaching film

On the map: Professor Bob Davis proudly displays a street in London named after him.

Professor Bob Davis (RTVF) spent the fall 2008 semester teaching “The Language of Film” and “World Cinema” in the London Semester Abroad program. The program is under the auspices of Foundation International Education with connections to Imperial College in London.

Most of the students were from Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Long Beach. Others were from Loyola Marymount, University of Wisconsin, Baylor, Stanford, St. Olaf, and “other places I’ve never heard of,” according to Davis.

Besides learning about film, students were immersed in different cultures. There was time for visits to the Saatchi Gallery where “we saw a mind-blowing exhibit of contemporary Chinese painting and sculpture – an imaginary city made out of doggy chews filled an entire room.” Two other paintings were made with the ashes of incense collected in temples, and “some superflat pre-post-communist family portraits in which mother, father, brother and sister are indistinguishable,” Davis explained.

Students saw Francis Bacon at the Tate, medieval portraiture at the National Gallery, the $220 million Damien Hirst sale at Christie’s, and they heard concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, and the Barbican. Also included in the cultural exposure, according to Davis, were the London Film Festival, the British Museum Westminster Abbey, and, of course, the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Davis concluded, “I definitely recommend this to our students!”

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