I’m Sorry, Professor Capewell


I’m so sorry, Prof. Capewell. I truly apologize.

You see, George Capewell was one of my film professors at the University of Miami — in fact, he was my very first one. Intro to Film or some such was the course. And, being the big-ass film geek that I am, I did pretty well in his class. And, also, being one of the very, very, very few Black kids enrolled in the university’s film school at the time, I was, well, a standout.

Capewell and I developed a great relationship, and so it got to the point where I asked if he would read my recently completed screenplay, Music City Rhapsody. Despite the title, it was not a musical paean to Nashville; it was, rather, an American Pie-esque teen comedy about how I lost my virginity.

*sigh* Yeah, I know.

Furthermore, it was terrible. Of course I didn’t think that then. Back then I thought I’d written the greatest screenplay ever, and I foisted it upon my favorite professor and begged for his feedback.

I’m grateful that he actually read it and had some constructive criticism. But Capewell was also very encouraging, and he told me that I had talent and if I continued to write and hone my craft, I would get better.

Needless to say, I have gotten better.

Music City Rhapsody wasn’t my first script either. Thank God for that. My first script was a terrible high school comedy, the name of which I will not even reveal here. It was my version on American Graffiti — a slice of life story, but with mostly Black characters. Oy, was that one bad.

I recently read somewhere that it take about nine screenplays for a writer to find their groove. My just-completed script Roommates is No. 9 for me, and I can attest that something felt different as I was writing it. Perhaps I’ve found my groove.

And that is the script I would have rather shown my good buddy Prof. Capewell. Not the monotonous, episodic, aimless POS I shoved in his hand during my freshman year of college.

So again, I apologize, Prof. Capewell. I hope you can forgive me. Just know that I have indeed gotten better.

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