One of the only things more heart-stopping than losing your OneCard on a fateful weekend night is watching one of Christopher Bird’s ’07 horror films.
You may have crossed paths with Bird in his usual perch in the Coles Tower lobby. If you approach his window, chances are you need a new OneCard.
Mondays in particular are busy for Bird, Bowdoin’s OneCard coordinator, who spends a typical day replacing cards that have gotten lost or broken over the weekend.
“You can draw your own conclusions about the weekend and why so many go missing,” said Bird, a Boston native.
In his free time, Bird creates horror films, a hobby he has pursued since he was a student in the visual arts department.
“I made one and submitted it to the Bowdoin Film Fest,” Bird said, noting that the plot dwelled on a person whose hands are cut off. Bird later created another film as part of an independent study project with Visual Arts Professor Mark Wethli, a project inspired by the popular folklore associated with the history of Adams Hall as a medical school.
“The idea was that some doctor there had created a Frankenstein and hid it away in the basement and then when they renovated the building it got loose and terrorized the poor descendant of that guy who happened to be a Bowdoin student,” Bird said.
After graduating, Bird spent a few years working as an intern for Bowdoin’s IT department. In 2010, a spot opened up in the OneCard Office and he has worked there ever since.
In his first years after graduating, Bird halted his artistic pursuits while he adjusted to life in the adult world. During the past few years, however, he has rekindled his passion with the help of some local film enthusiasts.
“Me and a couple of my friends who are locals and Bowdoin staff have put together a couple of short films over the last year or so,” Bird said.
More recently, he has begun work on a few longer films, including a sci-fi film and a horror film he compares to Jacob’s Ladder.
Bird said his love of filmmaking grew out of other artistic interests he explored in visual art classes such as photography and printmaking. Some of these projects had narrative elements that translated well into film.
In each class year, there are a couple frequent visitors to Bird’s office whose ID numbers he has memorized and can recite off the top of his head.
“I’ve definitely had people come in and I just quote them their ID number when they ask for a new card,” said Bird. “That doesn’t always go over very well.”
He recalls one student, now graduated, whose ID number he recited from memory.
“I did that once, and she did not lose another card for her last couple months at Bowdoin,” said Bird. “I don’t know if she was ashamed to come and get one or what the story was.”
When he’s not directly behind the camera, Bird said he enjoys having a job that allows him to interact with an abundance students on a daily basis.
“It adds a lot of variety and interest,” he said. “I always hear interesting things echoing through the Tower lobby as students come in and out.”