Zachary J. Mulligan

When my friends and I started to mess around with a video camera one day, performing goofy skits to upload to YouTube, I never realized that this would quickly become a potential career option for me.

I already possessed, and still do possess, a love for everything related to movies (particularly remembering obscure quotes from movies). As I became more involved in the video-making world, I discovered the wonders of music written for the screen (such as John Williams, Danny Elfman, and Hans Zimmer), the infinite possibilities of special effects in films, and the amounts of fun that I had when making a video with friends. Combine all three aspects together, and I was committed to filmmaking.

Luckily, I grew up next to the town that produced the legendary Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone series. Binghamton High School, where Serling  graduated from, hosts an annual contest to students K-12 called "The Rod Serling Video Festival." In 2009, 2010 and 2011, the entries that I submitted for those respective years won "Best Parody," "Best in Show," and "Best in Show" again - I was the first student in the Festival to place first in two consecutive years. While this was certainly a morale booster for me, it also opened me up to Ithaca College, where Serling had taught in the 70's until his death in 1975. The film program drew me in, and in the summer of 2011, I was packing my bags for IC.

Here at Ithaca College, there are many things that I have found I already knew, and many things that I have learned while I'm here. Foremost among them being I have learned to think with a more global mindset, particularly in the world of communications. I've learned about the expanding game known as social media, and how it has taken the world by storm and impacted people's lives to the point where people are naming their children "Facebook." If the social networking technology is here to stay, there is no need on my part to ignore it. I have learned that with change in technology, I need to learn to accept it and use it to it's advantage rather than to ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist.

Another aspect of the global-thinking mindset, I've seen first-hand the opportunities that there are for alumni of Ithaca College all over the world, and how the using of social media and networking can impact one's career. If the answer to opportunity lies in accepting new technology and ideas, count me in. For example, being a cinema concentration, I understand the power of photographs and their meaning, but I never knew how they impacted people around the world. To know how images affects the ideas of people is essential, especially in my career.

Finally, in order to get myself noticed in my field, I intend to use social media to advertise myself. My Facebook and Twitter pages are able to be read by anyone due to a lack of inappropriate and unprofessional material. I can offer links to my personal website, where I have a copy of my resume and contact information. Thanks to social media, this is possible.

The one thing Ithaca has taught me is to keep my eyes and ears open for opportunities, and I intend to do just that. I have learned that alumni have set out to do one thing, and have ended up, just as happy, doing another thing. At the moment, my plan is to try to become a film director, but by the people I meet and the places I go, I might just end up somewhere else.


My dream job is to become a major blockbuster director. Ever since I've seen how Christopher Nolan handles the blockbuster genre, with very smart and well thought out scripts and plot lines, I've been keen to see first hand how a major blockbuster film is made, with all its special effects and million dollar budgets. I think it would be a great experience to try directing a large scale movie that millions of people will turn out to see and, hopefully, enjoy.