Charles Ramirez-Berg, Radio-TV-Film

Photo by Jay B Sauceda

Like a good film, Charles Ramirez-Berg’s path to UT’s department of Radio-TV-Film had a few plot twists. He went from pre-med student to high school science teacher to journalist before becoming a distinguished teaching professor at UT.

Finally finding his niche, he now encourages students to seek out theirs.

“What I’m telling students is this: do you see how excited I get about movies? Well, you go out and find what you get excited about and do that,” Ramirez-Berg says. “I want students to find what they’re passionate about and go get it. When people do what they really love, good things generally happen, and the rest of society benefits from that.”

When he finally landed the role he wanted to keep, Ramirez-Berg had an epiphany. It took place in the Jester auditorium on his first day of teaching in 1983. Ramirez-Berg, then a doctoral student in film, was reading the syllabus to an introduction to film class when he paused for a second.

“I just stopped and thought, ‘Why am I talking like this?’” he says. “’I’m talking like a teacher, I’m not talking like me. Why are you acting like somebody else? Why don’t you act like yourself, be yourself?’ At that moment I put the notes away and just started talking about film and why I love film.”

Ever since then Ramirez-Berg has let his inhibitions go and just enjoyed teaching students about film, from Buster Keaton silents to Hitchcock thrillers and beyond.

“If this is what you always wanted to do, let yourself do it,” he says. “Let your guard down. If some people think it’s silly or funny or nerdy, that’s fine.”


Tags: , , , ,



Post a Comment