Some people are lucky enough to find out what they’re passionate about long before the topic of college comes up. Ramses Mosley-Wise has had a love for film that grew into a love of filmmaking at the age of 12 years after movies helped him get through a difficult period in his life. Now 18, he now intends to pursue filmmaking as a career, and worked with fellow BAYCAT students to film the personal essay required by USC and UCLA to apply for their filmmaking programs.
As for where he wants to work someday? “I’m not entirely sure. Maybe if there’s a position open at BAYCAT?” he says with a smile. “Right now I just want to see where [film] takes me.”
The free classes at BAYCAT always let our youth express themselves through art, but for Ramses working on Zoom In: Episode 34 – Is This Justice? last term was a deep experience that solidified his decision to make movies his full-time pursuit.
“Being able to work on something like Is This Justice? makes me feel that I have a say in life. It gives the youth aspect on big subjects like juvenile incarceration. Often time teenagers are seen as, ‘Oh, they’re on their phones. They don’t care.’ Zoom In helps me get my voice out there. We’re not all obnoxious cell phone zombies.”
For Ramses, and other BAYCAT youth, talking about the complex topic of juvenile justice and incarceration happens on and off screen. One of his most memorable interactions was with lawyer Mary Kelly, who came to speak with the advanced film students.
“I had this stereotype in my head that all lawyers see the law as fair and just. But she was cool,” he said. “We were talking about being judged, and I called out white people by mistake, but she said, ‘white people like me?’ She was understanding without judging and helped me see past the stereotype.”
With his strong work ethic, it’s hard to tell that Ramses came to BAYCAT a little later than most. He joined the program this past summer after friend and fellow filmmaker Ginger Chen finally convinced him to try it.
“I regret not joining sooner. BAYCAT has been the best experience I could have hoped for. Access to equipment, friendship, it has let me open up the filmmaking side that I wanted to go explore.”
In his short time at BAYCAT, Ramses has come into his own as a filmmaker and joined the advanced class this term.
“I feel like I’ve taken on more responsibility as a director and editor last semester. The work for Is This Justice? felt more important. Not that the other work I did wasn’t important,” he amended. “I put in more passion.”
Although fired up about, Is This Justice?, and the upcoming Zoom In: Episode 35 – Educated Guess, everything comes back to his love of film, which he will follow all the way to Los Angeles. Or not.
“I take filmmaking very seriously. It’s helped me through a lot,” Ramses said. Although interested in moving to Southern California, he is leaning toward staying closer to home, and accepting an offer from Humboldt State University. “Plus, it’s affordable, and the college campus is gorgeous, [situated] between a beach and a forest.”
Although he will be leaving the program soon, Ramses hopes people continue to help keep BAYCAT’s programs free for youth like him. Why? “Because BAYCAT gives me love. And opportunities. A lot of organizations talk about how they empower youth, or give kids a give voice. BAYCAT actually does it. I could be laying in bed watching, ‘The Flash,’ but instead I’m making a film about superheroes in the community. It gives me purpose. Others should have that too.”
Come support Ramses and his fellow media producers at our next World Premiere on May 17 at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.