University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Film and Television Studies

UVM Film and Television Alumni Update: Colin Thompson '05 and Myles Jewell '05

FTS graduating senior Zach Pughe-Sanford '14 catches up with Colin and Myles about their first feature film

When Colin Thompson and Myles Jewell first met before college it didn’t seem like they would get to know each other all that well. Colin was headed off to Quinnipiac set to study sports journalism and Myles planned on studying English at UVM. However, when Colin transferred to UVM after his sophomore year that all changed. They became good friends and collaborated on many short films. Colin was always more of the writer and Myles enjoyed working behind the camera. Colin and Myles graduated a couple years before the Film and Television Studies major started but they took all the film classes offered and were part of the movement to start the now thriving FTS major.  After graduation, Myles went on to NYU for his MA in Cinema Studies and an advanced certificate in Documentary and Ethnographic Filmmaking.  Besides this most recent feature length project and many shorts, he runs film and video workshops for kids promoting media literacy through minimal resource filmmaking in Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Colin traveled to Costa Rica, interned at a sports marketing firm in Connecticut, and lived in NY for a year before moving out to Los Angeles. During his time in LA he’s written four feature scripts, including Loser’s Crown, two TV pilots and has starred in numerous short films.

Their latest endeavor together is the feature film, Loser’s Crown, written and directed by Colin, about a struggling music journalist in Los Angeles who moves back to Vermont indefinitely to try and reconnect with his dad. They have screened it in Los Angeles, San Francisco and right here in Vermont at the Roxy. After more screenings and feedback they plan to submit it to festivals across the country. As an intern working on this independent production, I learned a lot about what it takes to make a feature.

I talked briefly with them after wrapping on production about their thoughts on the industry and any advice for aspiring student filmmakers like myself. For Myles, the most important thing is to, “ask a billion questions and be really self-reliant.” He believes that you can always learn more and encourages anyone with interest to, “just make movies; it’s great experience and it will help you find a groove so that when you’re giving a chance you’re ready to excel at it.”

When I asked Colin, he paused, trying to find a way to successfully encapsulate everything he had learned. Then he did exactly that and said, “You need to have a patient sense of urgency.” I’ve thought about that almost every day since we talked and can’t come up with a better way to sum up the kind of attitude needed to succeed in the entertainment industry. After that he added, “Don’t let being scared intimidate you.” With all their insight, drive and interest in making movies, not to mention their incredibly close friendship, I see only success in their futures. Colin currently lives in Los Angeles and Myles is working in the New York City area. 

--Zach Pughe-Sanford (who goes by the name Zach Alexander for his film work) is a graduating senior who loves to create and collaborate on films that both entertain and engage people to think critically about the world. He’s moving to New York City in May and is still looking for a job. Watch his films here.