When Joel Marsh was 13 years old his grandmother gave him his first video camera. He and his best friend, Ben Crowell, played with it regularly, dreaming of the day when they would make films for a living. Now, at last, that day is here.
Crowell and Marsh recently found out that their most recent film, One Step Forward, will be screening at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Marsh, a 2008 graduate of Natick High School,is now a senior at Northeastern University. Crowell is a senior at California Arts.
“I came to Northeastern four years ago, rather than attend art school, because I was interested in film, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it for a living,” Marsh said. “I wanted a more comprehensive education that would allow me to try other things. I have loved every second of my time at Northeastern.”
Marsh will be pursuing a master’s degree in the fall at the University of California, but first, he and Crowell will travel to France to enjoy their most recent success.
"One Step Forward" is love in reverse,” Marsh explained. “It starts with a man in the woods and works backwards to a proposal. I originally wanted to work back to the birth of the man’s daughter, but we decided on the proposal as a man on one knee is universally understood.”
The film which is roughly four minutes in length is a very accessible happy short about a man after he proposes. It’s told in reverse leaving the viewer in awe of the surprise ending.
Both Crowell and Marsh have traveled overseas before, but never for such exciting reasons.
“I will be leaving in early May to for Israel,” Marsh explained. “And then I will go onto France from there. We plan to hand out lots of promotional materials and hope to get them into the right hands.”
A Northeastern alum anonymously donated the money so Marsh could make the trip.
“This is my first giant film festival experience and it is such an honor to be able to be there,” Marsh said.
Marsh’s end goal is to make feature films.
“I love narrative storytelling, “ Marsh said. “When Ben and I were making up improvised shorts at 13, I knew I loved stories. I am also involved with comedy and drama so I like to incorporate a bit of that also.”
Marsh is president of the improvisational team at Northeastern, and is loosely connected to a local TV station as well. He has participated in both the drama and music departments.
Marsh was a member of the speech team while at Natick High School which helped to bring him to where he is today.
“The speech team was really competitive acting,” Marsh said. “Understanding the actors role has been huge in learning to be a director.”
Marsh has loved everything about his time at Northeastern, but is looking forward to the next chapter in his life.
“I love to live,” Marsh said. “I love stories, and comedy and to be active. I am a big hiker, and I plan to travel around Europe this summer after returning from the festival and before going onto graduate school. No one is going to motivate you, but you. I love to do everything and I love that this is happening.”
For more information to view "One Step Forward" and to learn of the many awards this film and others have won visit www.joelmarshfilms.com