Creativity Isn't Just For The Screen

Keep on pushin'. This has been my daily mantra for the past two weeks. I'm in the middle of my first director for hire project and it is a dream come true in many ways. It is merging my two favorite loves: sports and film. Before considering that I'm merging these two loves, the simple fact that I can write director for hire is a huge blessing. There are many incredibly talented and hard working filmmakers out there looking for a chance to be hired solely as a director where that opportunity has alluded them to his point. I'm aware of this and I'm humbled and thankful for the opportunity. This chance has also been a big learning experience that will only make me better.

The main lesson I've learned is the demand to be creative for things behind the scenes. I would say that 99% of the time our creativity is focused solely on what we see on the screen. I'm reminded going through this process that you need just as much creativity on the logistical side to even have a chance at being creative on the artistic side. This is especially true in work for hire because there are so many more variables that are out of your control that you still have to manage. You have contractual obligations. There are accounting departments. There could be insurance complications you have to work through. All of these factors demand a creative approach to negotiate in a successful manner. You have to be able to assess the situation, detail your options and make a decisive choice. Nobody is gonna care that you have to get insurance from three different places. No one watching your film is gonna care how you logistically navigated through a production day. The only thing the audience wants is entertainment and education. That is it. The one silver lining is these are skills that make you a strong director on the artistically as well. The key is understanding that your job isn't limited to the fun stuff.

Fortunately, I surrounded myself with a really good team that is dedicated to making this project the best it can be. This fact isn't a new discovery for me, but rather an affirmation of how important it is to collaborate with good natured, talented and hard working people. It doesn't matter if you're directing a work for hire, a personal passion project or a random YouTube video. Make sure that your team is strong and is dedicated to bringing your full vision to life. Good luck.




Homage to Bela (A Prelude...)

So I'm in the process of shooting another short film but this is going to be a little different from what I have done in the past. While I've been writing the feature for Osvaldo's, I have been itching to shoot something. You can't go too long without directing something if you want to improve on your craft; especially when it comes to directing. You have to keep your eye sharp, your ability to communicate through the camera must be refined and you have to remind yourself how to deal with people and various situations under pressure. The short I'm shooting is entitled "Homage to Bela...A Prelude." I'll break down the title for you. I saw a film by the great European director Bela Tarr and was inspired to do my own version of it. I thought his film captured a very specific reality of his country but in such a simple and powerful way. I was looking to do the same thing in terms of simple direction and camera work but containing an observation that is very specific to the issue of New York City. Bela's film is a great blueprint for me to accomplish that.

Gun violence amongst young men of color by men of color is very disturbing to me. What I find equally disturbing is the casual manner in which these incidents are received, processed and portrayed by everyday people and the media. People are desensitized to it. It is an accepted practice in our society now and that troubles me. This brings me to the second part of the title. Once Osvaldo's is done I am going to focus on my next project. I won't talk much about it now but it will be my take on gun violence in urban areas. It won't be some stereotypical bang bang hood classic thing, but rather an examination and indictment of all people involved: criminals, victims, community members, etc. I really want to put a mirror up to our collective faces regarding this topic. This short film is a prelude to the larger film. A trailer of sorts if you will. I'm really excited to get this film done.

Did I mention that it is a one shot, steadicam, 4-5 minute piece with a hundred (I hope) extras?! I'm always looking for ways to challenge myself and this is a new way to do that. It's gonna be fresh. I need extras. So hit me up if you wanna be a part of it. Did I mention that I was excited to do this?