Full Name: Patrick Seawright Brennan.
Originally From: Savannah.
Family: Parents, Carolyn Seawright Brennan (deceased) and Thomas Aloysius Brennan. “I am the youngest of six children. I have seven nieces, four nephews, two grandnieces, and one grandnephew. I live with two cats, Vincent and Theo.”
Job Title: Associate professor of English.
Degrees: Bachelor of fine arts in film and TV production from New York University; master of arts in English from the University of Florida; and a Ph. D. in English from the University of Florida.
Year he joined the Macon State faculty: 2002.
Some of his teaching career highlights are … “The most rewarding moments of my career come whenever students in my film or video classes tell me that since taking my class they can no longer watch movies in the same way. I like it when students recognize that the images that saturate our various screens - movie, TV, and computer - are not simply there, but that people and institutions have put them there to provoke certain reactions. I currently have the honor of serving as Macon State College’s coordinator of freshman English. I am also proud to have served as Macon State College’s representative to the University System of Georgia’s System Council on International Education and as the longtime chair of the Macon State College International Study and Travel Committee. Both positions allowed me to promote international education at Macon State College.”
He enjoys teaching at Macon State College because … “The students here really appreciate the opportunity to be in college. Most students at Macon State come into the classroom eager to learn. College is not just one more item on a checklist that they were handed at birth. As a result, Macon State classrooms are often lively spaces: students from different backgrounds use them to engage in open discussions about important issues and ideas. I enjoy being able to foster and direct these discussions. I also appreciate the wide variety of courses that I am able to teach. I teach students how to write college-level essays in College Composition I, how to analyze literature in College Composition II, how to analyze cinema in Perspectives on Society in Film and Survey of Film, and how to make their own movies in Principles of Video Production and Advanced Video Production. When I first read the job description for my current position at Macon State College, I thought to myself, “That job sounds as if it was made for me.” I guess it was.”
His favorite course to teach is … “Critical Thinking about Society in Film. I teach this class as an industrial history of Hollywood. We start with primitive cinema in the 1890’s and then look at films decade-by-decade until we reach the current era. This overarching structure gives students a good working knowledge of how technology has changed movies, how movies have changed social attitudes, and how shifting social attitudes have changed America. I know that many of the students who come through this class may never take another film class, so I try to make the most of it. I want them to consider not only how the movies have changed over the years, but also how the movies have changed us.”
One thing people don’t know about Macon State is … “We make movies here. We offer great classes in moviemaking: Digital Story Telling, Principles of Video Production, and Advanced Video Production. In Principles of Video Production, students learn how to make polished ten-minute documentaries. In Advanced Video Production, they get to write and direct their own ten-minute feature films. Every fall and spring we have a Fall Digital Video Festival or a Spring Digital Video Festival, where the entire campus and the general public can watch these movies on the big screen. Several students who have completed these classes have entered their video work in local and national film and video festivals. Some have taken prizes. In addition, some students from the NMAC (formerly CIT) program have gone on to attend graduate film programs or to start their own successful film and video production companies.”
One thing people don’t know about him is … “I interned for the television show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous during its first season on the air. Yes, I made coffee for Robin Leach. I also got to learn first-hand how a national TV program is put together.”
In his spare time he likes to … “Watch movies at home. I watch several feature films per week, some new, some old, many foreign. I am a huge movie buff and an avid reader. Surprise.”
The one person he’d most like to meet is … “Joan Crawford. Turner Classic Movies has dubbed her the ultimate movie star, and she really was. She came from appalling poverty to become the very definition of American glamour. And she was more than a self-made beauty: she was one of the few people in Hollywood who seemed to be able to keep what F. Scott Fitzgerald called ‘the whole equation of pictures’ in her head. She operated at the center of Hollywood power for five pivotal decades, acting with many of the biggest stars, working with some of the greatest directors, and maintaining close working relationships with prominent producers and studio heads. I’ve read several of Crawford’s interviews and she comes across as surprisingly insightful and candid. Still, one gets the impression that she knows more than she is telling. I would love to hear the uncensored version of her working life in Hollywood, an important history that she never fully recounted and that therefore has been lost.”
If he wasn’t a college professor he would be … “Once I decided to be a professor, I did not have a plan B. Maybe I could be a tour guide for the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. That way I could still spend my life recounting the rich history of Tinsel Town. And then, when I died, maybe I could be buried there among the stars.”