Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Student finds fame in filmmaking


Walking down the streets of France, Alex Beatty found himself in the same bustle as an Alabama football game day as the small city was crammed with people. Yet the chatter was not about rivalries or predicting which team would take home the victory. Beatty, a senior majoring in telecommunicaton and film, had found himself in France for the Cannes Film Festival for the second year in a row.

“Being there for two and a half weeks was a great learning experience that inspired me to continue and want to do bigger projects,” Beatty said.

The Cannes festival is an acclaimed film festival that places blockbuster directors, amateur filmmakers and aspiring beginners elbow to elbow. Beatty’s film, “Rise,” was selected last year for the festival. While there, he went to workshops, saw early screenings of films and networked.

“It was a once in a lifetime experience I never thought I’d have again,” Beatty said.

After trying out broadcasting, Beatty got into filmmaking. He started his own film production company in tenth grade to give his name an association as he did films for schools, weddings and churches. Over the past years, Beatty has submitted to various competitions and received numerous awards in different categories.

“We all have high expectations, and I like to challenge myself,” Beatty said. “Competitions are nice because they have a deadline and it gets people motivated.”

With index cards always on hand, Beatty jots down ideas as they pop up. His films don’t come from one source of inspiration, but instead draw upon a collaboration of different ideas scribbled on notecards. For his current film, “Glimpse,” Beatty spent three days in his room writing things that came to mind and watching videos that explored similar ideas until he mapped out how he wanted his story to develop.

“I like to do a lot of different categories of film,” Beatty said. “There’s nothing in particular that inspires me. I like reading stories that are based on true events and finding one that hasn’t yet been told on film then try and make it relatable to people.”

Beatty was the director of photography for “Zom Com,” a student and faculty production at the University. The project was Beatty’s biggest, as they shot for 12 days straight all over Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. Adam Schwartz, an assistant professor of media production, worked with him and said Beatty acted as a professional.

“Alex has a very strong drive and motivation to succeed, something that cannot be taught,” Scwartz said. “His passion and energy is contagious and makes you want to do the best that you can.”

Beatty has experience in almost all positions on a film crew. He said this gives him a better perspective as a director, as he can work better with his crew and help others when they need it. Beatty said he makes sure things are done to their best. He has experience with special effects, but if he cannot do it right or find someone who can do it right, Beatty won’t do it.

“I try to keep it as real and professional as possible,” Beatty said. “I try and do what I can do to help further the story and not take away from it.”

Beatty said trying to balance all of his projects and his schoolwork can be challenging. He knows his teachers well and works with them if he has a film due. A lot of times it means late nights and filming on weekends, but in the end he said he likes knowing he’s doing everything he can to be ahead of the game and his class.

Beatty said he does not know where he’s going with his career, but he looks forward to future projects. He suggested other students get experience and get involved with their passions.

“Take a chance while in college because now is the time to experiment,” Beatty said. “Get as much experience as you can.”

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