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We love hearing about our fellow Imagination Connoisseurs’ journeys through geekdom. And Synthia Barlow has a particularly compelling story that looks like it may end with her submission to the 1st Annual Intergalactic Imagination Connoisseurs’ Film Festival this fall. We anxiously await her entry!

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Dear Rob,

Hi, my name is Synthia and I have been a fan for a short time and a long time. Please allow me to explain. I have known of your work from the movie you directed and I saw it 50 plus times since the first time I rented the movie on a whim. I saw Shatner on the cover, whom I love and respect, and me being a die-hard Trekkie since I was 10, I’m 48 now. I watched the movie and when one of the characters mentioned my all-time favorite group, a group that I loved and have even saved my life at one point in my youth, YES (the name of the classic rock group by the way), I was in love with the film.

A little about me, I’m 48 as I mentioned before, and I’m an amateur screenwriter you know since I haven’t sold anything, I have a few scripts that have won a couple of film festivals, and I’m still learning the craft. I’m a transitioning male to a female transgender person, so I was born a male, now becoming a female. I’m not ashamed of what and who I am, although I have lost a marriage and some friends and relatives along this journey.

I turned to the world of entertainment to heal the pain of loneliness and being unwanted. I started to write and learn the ways of storytelling and crafting imagination into a form of communication. I have always loved the art of film and all that it is and what it can be. It was what I needed to survive the dark times, the times when I couldn’t be myself and had to lie to the world. See after my marriage ended I was just surviving one day to the next. I had to be a man because housing and jobs and other opportunities weren’t really open to people who were like me being transgendered.

So, I started to write and study filmmaking and continued on.

I don’t know if it was fear of death from the invisible enemy (the virus) or the way it tore up our world both mentally and economically. Whatever it was I felt a deep feeling of mortality, thinking that if I touched the wrong thing or forgot to wash something, I would be another victim. I can remember how I have given up that part of me just to survive life.

Now I was regretting what I had done. I was missing a part of myself that I thought had gone away, that I thought I made go away to survive. I needed to be what I was, I needed to be her again. So began the slow process of once again beginning to transition both body and soul back to who I truly am.

Then came a point when my hours were cut severely due to the places around my city closing down, some for good. I was depressed and couldn’t write or create anything, I was hanging my head down both depressed and exhausted from all of the negative news coverage and warnings.

Then I heard a voice. A voice of a positive man came from my earphones and raised my head and I looked at my monitor and there he was…..Rob. I started to listen to this man. I wanted to learn more, his thoughts, and his ideas. Nice, he had a channel on Youtube, awesome, I will now follow.

After that, my creativity started to pop up again. I had extra time now, so I started using the video editing software that was honestly just sitting there, remember I was a writer not too much of a filmmaker, I would make a video, either music or just a short story. So I used stock footage either from a website or youtube. I would just put something together, just to do something.

I could still hear my friend, who was a director of indie movies here in Houston, always tell me, “Stop waiting for someone to discover you and go out and do it yourself.” Yeah I did contests and festivals, but I never went out and shot anything, so now I was going to do just that, but how was I going to do that?

I had grabbed what money I could and started to collect all the gear I could, so I could teach myself to shoot what I needed instead of what I could get. I watched Rob for motivation and positivity. I would eventually learn more about Rob and I would study his movie more. Shot after shot, and how I could be a better filmmaker.

When I found out about Rob’s film festival, I knew I had to do it, no matter what the cost. I wanted to show him that he was an inspiration to me. Flashforward to October 1st, today. I’m proud of what I have shot, is it Gone with the wind or Kramer vs Kramer….no, but I still made this movie.

It’s called “I’m Good.” I wrote it, shot it, made the music for it, I did everything. I hope people will enjoy it. I’m in the mists of making a horror movie, don’t worry I won’t act in it. I will write and shoot it. Sometime next year. Thanks and blessings to you Rob and your house.

Sincerely,

Synthia.

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