"Trying To Be Free...Is A Political Struggle"

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/53939130 w=600&h=337] (h/t to Basso Media)

As I'm thinking about how to construct this post I'm discovering that this is essentially an external continuation of a conversation I have in my head at least once a day. I came across this El-P interview with Basso Magazine and felt that he was echoing the thoughts and feelings that I sometimes struggle to put into neat little words. For those of you that aren't familiar with El-P he is a legendary, innovative and groundbreaking producer who started his career on the NYC hip hop scene with the amazing Company Flow rap group in the mid 90's. Company Flow knocked down the doors and changed the game. El-P went on to man the record label Def Jux and continue on a stellar path with a solo career. Simply put, El-P is on my Mt. Rushmore of inspirational artists.

What I found really engaging about this interview is the idea of freedom as an artist and the consequences that come along with reaching for it. In writing my feature script, "The Gunnery," freedom has emerged as the main theme of the narrative. I'm understanding more and more that this is a reflection of my own quest for that. In watching El-P's interview, it dawned on me that I'm searching for the freedom to think independently of the status quo or beyond the initial impression people get when they come across a particular topic. The funny thing is that I think I've done that my whole life, but with the onslaught of social media and immediate, often irrational, reactions I feel like part of that has been lost. In many cases, I see myself in the minority of how I interpret certain issues when compared to other viewpoints. I seem to generally have a non-mainstream approach to various things like popular films, politics and even sports. This becomes a tougher thing to navigate through when you place it in a social media context. Often times rather than having a conversation where diverse opinions are discussed it becomes a pissing contest or an exercise in demonizing the other person. I do want to make it clear this doesn't happen with everyone, but it takes place more than it should.  I want to be challenged rather than on the defensive. But when in watching the interview I'm reminded that this is the reason I pursued filmmaking. It is a sanctuary to place a thought in the world and hopefully inspire engaging, meaningful dialogue and possibly beneficial action. The very act of offering your voice to the world is an act of freedom and one that can't be taken for granted. There is a need for people to see diverse viewpoints. My hope is that I offer an uncensored, honest and intelligent one that pushes the conversation rather than detracts from it. There are few things more liberating than that.

Please watch the interview. It's dope and insightful and maybe you can check out some of El-P's work herehere, and here .