Before university, Blake Howard had not entertained the idea that his love of movies could possibly turn into a viable career option. After university, the notion is becoming somewhat less fanciful.
Blake began his Bachelor of Arts (majoring in English and History) in 2004 and switched to a Film major part way through his degree.
He then pushed on towards film Honours with Dr Hamish Ford, graduating with Honours First Class in 2008 for his thesis What Makes A Mann: Cinematic Authorship and Masculinity.
Blake imagines that the process was the closest he would come to "giving birth".
"It took so much work and so much investment," he says.
Blake grew up on the Central Coast and studied at the University of Newcastle's Ourimbah campus.
After graduating he gravitated to Callaghan to offer tutoring and guest lectures and to work with the likes of Marj Kibby and Hamish Ford.
It was around this time he started in earnest to get his "stuff out there".
He and fellow researchers created the website CastleCo-op.com in 2009-10, broadly covering film, media and cultural issues with a "critical bent".
The next step was a move to Sydney where he could not make a living out of his passion for film, but where he could manage to strengthen his reputation in the industry through becoming a familiar face on the Sydney cinema scene.
Blake, whose day job is as a team leader in a financial institution, has co-hosted That Movie Show on 2UE with Dale Sinden for the past two years now. The 52-minute gig helps him justify at least four visits to the flicks each week. During the Sydney Film Festival this year that tally was considerably elevated as he notched up an incredible 27 films in 12 days.
Blake is also the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Graffiti with Punctuation, a "Film Geek Website, For Film Geeks, By Film Geeks."
Blake is proud of the team of disparate bloggers he and editor/co-founder Cameron Williams have put together for the website that has established some serious credentials throughout Australia and beyond.
Nicholas Brodie, Maria Lewis, Dave Grenfell, Andy Buckell and Lisa Malouf are among the line-up offering original content with professional polish. Blake and Maria Lewis also record a weekly podcast for the site, Pod Save Our Screen, which has been featured on the New and Noteworthy on iTunes for the past 22 weeks.
Blake's all-time favourite film is Michael Mann's Heat, and he regards No Country For Old Men, Apocalypse Now and The Dark Knight as being right up there.
"I'm a guy who likes guy movies about guys in crisis," he explains.
Blake's story is somewhat less dramatic than the films he loves: the movie geek protagonist indulges his passion at university and beyond, continuing to open doors for himself by exploring new mediums to critically analyse and, most importantly, enjoy films. Five stars.