Student Snapshot- Tony Ashley

Tony Ashley
BFA Class of 2020

My name is Tony Ashley and I’m a BFA 3 in the College of Motion Picture Arts. I’m very lucky to have had a passion for filmmaking from such a young age. I remember my favorite part about having a DVD was the bonus features, I would watch them religiously. But, I grew up in Columbus, Ohio where the film communities are few and far between. Thankfully, I live in the age of the internet. I started researching like a madman. After receiving my first flip camera at 9, I finally started calling myself a filmmaker. When it was time to graduate high school, I was filming more than ever and I wanted to keep that going. So, I moved from Columbus to Tallahassee and enrolled in the CMPA st FSU.

Who is your favorite Filmmaker and What is your favorite movie?
My favorite film is the School of Rock, directed my none other than Richard Linklater. He’s able to capture a very specific emotion that not a lot of others can capture. There are three main things you’ll walk away with from a Linklater film. First, you’ll feel intensely bittersweet. Second, you’ll feel you’ve watched something that is nothing but honest. Lastly, you’ll feel that the small events in your life are exciting and worth living.

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on my thesis film at FSU. The film is about three young boys on a camping trip. They enter the forest with their preconceived and shallow ideas of masculinity, and leave with a deeper and more realistic understanding of masculinity. I’m making this film because this is something I wished I had watched as a young boy.

What does your typical day look like?
There are no typical days at the film school. Our schedules change from day to day and we’re always doing something different; that’s part of the fun. I can typically wake up and expect that my day is going to be unpredictable.

What has been the best part of film school so far?
The best part of film school so far is being on set where you’re in the trenches with your classmates. There’s always a moment on set when the magic becomes tangible. It’s after the director calls action and everything each person has worked so hard for becomes real and an actor nails the performance. It’s at the end of the day when it’s an all out race to get everything packed up in the grip truck. It’s the thirty seconds of complete silence when the boom operator calls for roomtone. Nothing else is like being on set.

Which faculty member has made the greatest impression on you and how?
Ron Honn is part of the reason I chose FSU in the first place. I met him my junior year of high school when he gave my family a tour of the film school. It’s been roughly fours years since then and he still inspires me and motivates me to keep doing “as much as it takes and as little as I can get away with”.

What do you think someone applying to the program should know about the FSU Film School?
Anyone applying to the program should know that it is incredibly rigorous and worth it. The faculty are amazing and you’ll get to know all of them personally.

Favorite Film School Moment?
My favorite film school moment was during the shooting of my F3. My crew and I had a huge challenge before us. This was to get all of our visual effects shots before lunch. We weren’t sure if we’d be able to pull it off. As soon as we started, everyone was focused and going full speed. We were working at an amazing pace. It was seconds before we had to break for lunch and we only had one more shot to get and it required the cast and crew to hit record and sprint to hide as fast as possible to make the visual effect work. It was the first moment of the day when everyone was able to sit. I called “cut” and the 1st AD called out “That’s lunch!” And everyone began to laugh and clap.

It’s late, you’re at the Film School working on something you need to finish before tomorrow: where are you and who are you with?
I’m in the post hall with half of my class, drinking coffee as if it were the nectar of God.