When Kevin Otte, KLN '15 went to Los Angeles with the Klein College of Media and Communication study away program, he went searching for video editing internships with sports networks like Fox Sports.
Life has a funny way of subverting expectations.
Through networking and by making connections, Otte met Academy Award-nominated film editor Tina Imahara, and his life changed dramatically. Just a few years later, a documentary film for which Otte worked as associate editor, "Mike Wallace Is Here," will premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
The film is made entirely of archival footage that follows the life and career of storied journalist and host of "60 Minutes" Mike Wallace. Director Avi Belkin wanted to highlight the man who became known for his no-holds-barred style of reporting. Today's political atmosphere and antipathy toward journalism serve as a backdrop for the film.
This is Otte's first time going to Sundance.
"It's definitely been on my bucket list," Otte said. "I've been to Tribeca [Film Fest] before. That seems very commercialized in a way. I'm excited to go to one of the big ones in the world to see what it's all about."
The film is in competition for best documentary with the chance for more awards at the end of the festival, but Otte is just happy to be there.
To Otte, the most important part of Sundance is the opportunity for discussions with distributors and executives. Companies like Netflix and Hulu often make deals with filmmakers to distribute the films on their platforms at the annual festival.
Otte thinks his film has a good chance of being picked up. Delirio Films, the company that is producing the film, has already sold another film that is premiering at Sundance, "Ask Dr. Ruth," to Hulu.
He said it could take months for "Mike Wallace Is Here" to end its festival cycle and finally be distributed to a wide audience.
It's been a quick rise for the young editor, taking him less than four years after graduation to make it to Sundance. When he was at Temple, he worked behind the scenes with TUTV, working on shows like "Baker Dave's Cooking Show" and filming sporting events.
If he had the chance to go back in time and tell a young Otte what he would be doing with his career right now, he said he'd be a happy person.
"My only long-term goal is to always keep learning and never become complacent at a job. I don't know if I will be in documentary forever," he said. "As long as I'm in post-production, I'm happy. It doesn't feel like a job."