Paul Gordon, The Movie Mogul

Teen People, 20 Teens Who Will Change the World
March 2001
by Marc B. Zawel

Take One: “I want to make films with a purpose,” says Paul Gordon, the visionary behind Silhouettes of Times, a film about youth violence that’s scheduled to debut next fall on HBO’s 30 by 30: Kid Flicks. The University of Washington freshman made Silhouettes as a high school senior in response to the Columbine shootings. “My philosophy is, ‘the only thing you [should] shoot with is a camera,’” says Paul, who started making videos at age eight. “I’ve had kids tell me they wish they could have seen it before they picked on someone.”

Action: Paul has also lobbied Congress to increase awareness about organ donation, and in 1998 he raised $24,000 to help fund a liver transplant for 11-year-old Eric Graeve. “I wanted to make a difference not just with money, but personally,” says Paul. “I stayed at the hospital overnight as he got his surgery.”

Coming Attractions: Paul’s fund-raising efforts inspired him to produce a dramatic miniseries about “kids doing inspirational things,” which he hopes to sell to a major network. He also wrote a book, There is Still Hope Left in America’s Youth, to show that “there’s a lot of great kids doing a lot of great things.”

How He’ll Change the World: Paul wants to make films that “will encourage kids to reach out to one another. All I can do is give people the means to change themselves and change the world, in turn.”

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