Tompkins Cortland Community College

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Mick Thomas

Finding his 'Rhythm' at Tompkins CortlandMick Thomas

Candor native Mick Thomas always knew he enjoyed writing, but until he got to Tompkins Cortland, he never realized the crucial role writers play in filmmaking.

“I’ve always liked telling stories, and I guess I’m good at it; and I’ve never really had trouble writing. And I’ve always enjoyed films. Until Tompkins Cortland though, I never really realized who was behind the films. I saw them as this thing, but didn’t really understand how many people it really took to make one … and how important the writer was to the film.”

Mick, who is in the College’s Creative Writing program, found his focus and passion in screenwriting, and soon began working with students in the College’s Broadcast Production, Digital Cinema, and Photography programs to bring his ideas on film. His first forays were in low-budget horror, but eventually Mick wrote Rhythm, a neo-noir crime drama that he described as “unconventional” and “highly emotional.” There’s another way to describe it: award-winning.

Filmed by the College students using a combination of student and regional actors, Rhythm was awarded Best Student Film and Best Western New York Actor at the Buffalo Dreams Film Festival this past November.

“I really want to make this my living,” Mick says. “Writing, filmmaking, or any combination. I really enjoy it and really want to keep going forward.”