Jean-Baptiste Hansali

BFA – Film and Media Arts

Second Semester Junior

Expected Graduation Spring 2022

As an international student from France, moving into another country was probably the biggest decision of my life. Surprisingly, the reason that brought me in the USA was never filmmaking; or at least not at first. Before college, and for as far as I can remember, I wanted to be a professional golfer. It was my goal, and at the time, nothing could have ever changed my mind. Back in high school, everybody knew me as the crazy kid who was waking up at 5a.m. to go practice at the driving range before school started. I truly believed I could do it, because I had something that no one else had: a crazy and passionate golf coach as a dad. He was with me all along: at every competition, at every practice, every day since the very beginning. 

Until then, I always considered art as a hobby, whether it is drawing, writing, or playing an instrument. It was an escape, a way of forgetting who I was, what I was doing, and where I was going. In 2016, the big plan of me going to the USA started. My parents sent me to Australia for about 6 months to improve my English. Everything that I was doing had one purpose. How could I even have thought of quitting? After all these hours of practice, this perpetual feeling of frustration and questioning kept growing. After my first semester at the University of Tampa, I quit playing golf. Filmmaking was the only thing I had left, and the only thing I ever wanted. Doubt invaded me, and I wasn’t sure of anything anymore. But as the days went by, I realized that everything I had done had given me the opportunity to do something that I love.

Today, I consider my strengths to be through cinematography, editing and storytelling. I learned how to develop my skills through editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects or Avid Media Composer. Composing an image has been my greatest interest recently. I try to perfect it every time I use a camera. After obtaining my BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in Film major, I plan to continue my master’s studies in California. In high school, I was studying science, and what interested me the most were the things that we don’t quite understand yet. 

Before college, I never took a film class in high school, and considering my studies in filmmaking seemed completely impossible to me. At UT, I discovered all aspects of filmmaking, from holding a camera, to the process of editing. Today, I see through films the means of telling stories by giving my own vision and perception of life. Cinema is a wide opening to the world, it is a sharing of emotions, a force of expression. Now, every time I come home, some friends from high school try to catch up with me. They ask me how good of a golf player I’ve become. It wasn’t obvious at first, now it appears as evident.