Nick Beaulieu wanted experience working on a film production crew. Unfortunately, there are not many of those in Omaha, Nebraska. So what did he do? He packed his car and set out for Los Angeles.
Beaulieu, a senior journalism and public relations major in the College of Communication, Fine Arts, and Media, was a contributing writer and editor for the documentary The Last Tear, a film about Asian woman that were forced into slavery by the Japanese imperial army.
The women in the film are now in their 80s and 90s, and their story has gone mostly untold. Beaulieu’s largest responsibility was assisting the Korean translators as they converted the dialogue to English.
“This is some delicate history,” Beaulieu said. “I felt a huge responsibility because I was translating her words for the people in our country to understand.”
He also assisted editing and has an essay in the photo book that was made alongside the film.
Things worked out for Beaulieu once he reached California, but it was not because he had planned it that way. Mark Allen, a UNO alum, spoke to Beaulieu’s principles in public relations class about his time working on television production sets in Los Angeles.
“I was just fascinated that he come from UNO and he went and did that,” Beaulieu said.
Allen put Beaulieu in touch with some of his contacts on the coast, but there were not any guarantees that he was going to find work on a film production team. He met with a magazine editor, which led to a dinner meeting, which led to conversations about a film that he (editor) was also working on.
“I go into the office and the entire documentary team was there, and it’s all students. Someone from Harvard, students from Korea, a cameraman from France,” he said. “I was in awe because that was what I wanted to do.”
One opportunity-seizing moment after another, Beaulieu ended up being an official credited contributor to the film and book.
The trip almost did not happen. “It was kind of a leap of faith,” he said. “I had a couch to sleep on for free, so at least I had that going for me.”
“A part of me was saying, ‘You’re going to spend a lot of money, you’ll come back broke,’ but I just accepted that uncomfortable and went through with it.”