Jury Duty | Cameron Beyl
Cameron Beyl is an award-winning director and writer whose work has been featured in film festivals, museums, and online media outlets like The Huffington Post, Vice Creators Project, and Slate - and now he's on the 2019 PRINDIE jury.
His ongoing video essay project, The Director Series has also established him as a prominent voice in the world of online film scholarship, earning a citation by Indiewire as a "significant contribution" to the discipline as well as a spot on Sight & Sound's 2017 "Best Of" List for the medium.
Since graduating from Emerson College in 2008, Cameron has gone on to build a diverse body of work that includes microbudget features, original shorts, music videos, and commissioned corporate content. He is currently in post-production on an architecture documentary while also prepping a new theatrical feature for production.
What attracted you to the PRINDIE: Princeton independent film festival?
What attracts me to PRINDIE is its dedication to bringing excellent international and domestic films to the Princeton community. The collegiate backdrop of the festival provides a prime setting for the kind of intellectual and emotional discovery that films outside the
mainstream American perspective can bring. I fondly remember my time as a film student in Boston, where there were opportunities to see eye-opening films I’d never been exposed to before back home, whether they were cultural repertory institutions like the Brattle Theater over by Harvard or academic venues like Boston University or my alma mater, Emerson College. There’s something about that collegiate atmosphere — the encouragement of curiosity, the value of an open mind — that allows for international and arthouse cinema to thrive, and PRINDIE has placed itself in a prime position to carry on that tradition by helping to influence some of tomorrow’s brightest minds.
What is your favorite movie/ what is your favorite type of movie? (action,drama, etc.)
My favorite type of movie isn’t necessarily related to any particular genre, although I do find myself drawn more to thrillers and dramas than others. If anything, my favorite type of movie makes it immediately apparent that I’m in the hands of a passionate filmmaker executing a confident vision. It’s why I’m drawn to independent films over studio output, because someone had to fight tooth and nail to get that indie made. You hear stories about indie filmmakers maxing out their credit cards or listing their own homes as collateral on a bank loan in order to finance their projects— no one at the studio level is ever going to put that kind of personal skin in the game, and I find I respond very much to that passion and energy. I’d much rather watch someone fail miserably while they swing for the fences instead of the umpteenth big budget superhero film made by committee.
Besides Film, what are your passions?
I think it’s important to have passions beyond film, because they help to broaden your overall worldview and make your appreciation for cinema that much deeper. For instance, I’m very much interested in architecture— specifically the built environment’s impact on culture and the arts. You wouldn’t necessarily know it from my social media feed, but I’m also a huge politics and news junkie, which I believe probably feeds into a larger fascination with history. Finally, while I wouldn’t necessarily call it a passion, I have a deep, abiding love for the craft of live theater. I grew up in that world for several years before and during my personal discovery of cinema, and it was a natural transition, what with the performers and the technical crew working behind the scenes. Any time I’m in an auditorium or even backstage, it just feels like home.