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Nate Brunskill
Photograph by George Sakkestad

Nate Brunskill

Film Fanatic

By Christina Waters

BY THE TIME FILM BUFF NATE BRUNSKILL GRADUATES NEXT YEAR, he'll leave UCSC with a résumé any entrepreneur would kill for. An avowed control freak with a cinema scholar's nitpicking intellect, Brunskill enjoys a dream lifestyle. By day he's a film major and ace support techie for the Arts Division's computing cadre. But by night--at least on those nights when he's not actually at the movies--Brunskill meets with fellow filmies designing, producing and editing the slick UCSC film magazine, Eyecandy.

Now in its second year of production, the quarterly publication "for film freaks, by film freaks," packs good writing and a solid ad line. As editor-in-chief, Brunskill haunts every detail of the magazine--though he's quick to credit a team of fellow writers, creative sales reps and rad designers with making Eyecandy the emerging critical forum that it is.

"I've wanted to do this all my life," Brunskill admits with a Ben Affleck grin. The editor worked his way into the system, first as an intern, then as ad manager, and finally as writer/editor. Inheriting what was originally a newsprint journal, Brunskill helped take Eyecandy to the next level--going glossy--and brought his own analytic skills to the enhanced level of criticism that fills its pages.

"Writing is really the best thing." And his recent article braiding the subtexts of American Beauty and Fight Club proves it.

Like most bohemian journals, Eyecandy stays alive on a combination of ad sales and campus minigrants.

"There's no money in this! Yeah, the struggle for money is the worst thing. ... It's about getting to articulate the theory you've been thinking about and working on; we want to make academic theory more accessible to mainstream readers."

Nathan is not an unhappy camper. He loves his computing job. And he even loves some of the courses he's taking, like this quarter's Narrative Workshop. The class assignment is to create a linear narrative for digital video, and then convert it into nonlinear, multivocal, interactive form. Filmmaking for the post-Steven Soderbergh era.

A native of Turlock (and not afraid to admit it), Brunskill spends most of his spare time watching movies. He's a big Soderbergh fan, even though he has a few idiosyncratic gripes with Traffic. Some of his recent favorite films include Titus and American Psycho, just so you know where he's coming from.

In the hot-off-the-presses issue of Eyecandy (you can find it at the Nick), Brunskill finally gets to explore his personal obsession with the growing use of "cut-to-black" cinematic technique used at the end of films like Usual Suspects and Kids.

But what does Nate Brunskill want to do when he grows up? "I always wanted to be a film director, but now I'm thinking of graduate school." Brunskill is the real thing--an enlightened film addict who spins his passions through an inquiring lens. And he's never forgotten the second rule of Fight Club.

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Readers' Choice Awards

Best Food & Drink
Best Music & Nightlife
Best Goods & Services
Best Sports & Recreation
Best Arts
Best People & Places
Best Write-Ins

Critics' Choice Awards

Jesse Davis: All the Shoes That Fit
Stuart Finch: Rock Balancing Act
Isabel Piekarski: Latin Dance Sensation
Juan Cuellar: Compassionate Warrior
Warren Odell: Tour Guide to an Anomaly
Sarah Gerhardt: Woman Who Rides Mountains
Seema Weatherwax: Late-Blooming Photographer
Stephanie Smith: Student of the Sciences
Theo Paige: The Not.So.Mad Fiddler

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From the March 21-28, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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