Campus Conversation, Full Sail’s newest lecture series, kicked off last month to a great reception from students and faculty. For this month’s discussion, we welcomed to campus Henry Maldonado, President of Maitland’s Enzian Theater.
During the presentation, Henry spoke with Entertainment Business and Music Business Program Director Jackie Otero about his long and fruitful career in the broadcasting industry – and how, even in retirement, he continues to find joy in working as a creative businessman.
Henry graduated from Boston University in 1970 with a degree in broadcasting and film, but struggled initially to find a job in his field. He settled for a position teaching Spanish, but was “very afraid [he] would be successful at it and never do film again.” So he volunteered as a teacher’s assistant at Emerson College, where he was assigned to work with a director at a local TV station. After six months, the director hired him to work at the station as a film editor.
At the station, Henry explains, “I learned the power of the cut. The trick to film editing is not the equipment; it’s how the images work together, and how you make a point out of putting three or four images together.”
After excelling in his editing position, Henry was quickly “snared” into becoming a manager – a position he held, at various companies, for the next 30 years.
“I had an epiphany,” he says. “I saw something, as I was getting more mature, that really turned my life around. It’s something called ‘money.’ If I kept film editing my entire life, I was going to do okay, but I wasn’t going to have a great pension, or the other things that a lot of my bosses had. I have to be very honest with you, I was not interested in spending the rest of my life trying to slide by.”
Henry notes that, despite his quest to live and retire comfortably, he never abandoned his passion for the art of film. “I’ve always told people I work with, who accuse me of betraying my principles, my philosophy is: If we do really well, we’ll keep the suits out of our hair. Then we can do whatever we want.”
Throughout his career, Henry has worked as executive producer, vice president, program manager, and general manager at television stations in four different states. He’s also produced more than 100 short films.
When he retired, he was approached by the owners of Enzian, the Maitland theater which showcases first-run independent films and hosts the annual Florida Film Festival. “They took me out to dinner and asked if I would be president. They needed someone to come in with good ideas.”
Over the past few years, those good ideas have taken many shapes and forms – and together, they’ve helped Henry and his team realize a larger, more cohesive objective. “The art of showing movies is a craft in and of itself, on top of the movies that you’re showing. The art of running Enzian doesn’t come from the films we show. The art of running Enzian is doing things that make you fall in love with the theater, that make you feel like Enzian is really special.”
To view the interview in its entirety, check out the video below.