Why this project? Why now?

There’s a lot of work that goes into making a movie – short or long – and I know it’s a choice I make to do it, especially when it’s outside of my day job that keeps me and my children alive. Yes, I would love to be able to do this as my job full-time, but it’s also incredibly freeing to choose which projects to do and when. And no matter how much is going on at my day job, I am constantly, constantly, working on a creative project. I don’t see filmmaking or writing as “work” even though it’s hard. I don’t see it as work even though I know sometimes I’m sucking at it. To me it’s like breathing – it’s part of my autonomic system. It’s in my DNA.

The cover for my journal when I was 15

That knowledge was something I discovered when I dropped acid as a teenager and came home after a concert with hours more to go in my trip. All I wanted to do was write things down. I was a wildly moody teenager (or maybe that’s just being a teenager) and writing about the world and about what was going on in my head helped me survive from one day to the next. I truly believe that writing saved my life, and as it saved my life it became my life. So no matter what I’m doing, every day, I’m writing or reading or watching something that expands my knowledge of the world, of myself, of people, but mostly of storytelling. The goal changed as well from simply surviving to the next day to producing something for someone else to enjoy.

Recently, I wrote a short film about this moment in my childhood. ACID TEST will be in production at the end of January. So the question is: Why this project? Why now?

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Movie Mondays

I’m starting a new initiative to get this website rolling!

Welcome to MOVIE MONDAYS!  I will also be having WRITING WEDNESDAYS and PHOTO FRIDAYS.  Check in each week to see new posts regarding these topics.

So for my inaugural Movie Monday post, I want to focus on learning to make movies at film school versus on the job.

Today, August 5th, is the first day of a Teen Filmmaking Camp run by the organization I work for Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP) which is a great resource for indie filmmakers and people who want to see independent films and support indie filmmaking.  It’s a 5 day intensive program for kids ages 13-17 where Day 1 the kids learn the basics of story and come up with their script, Day 2 they break down the script into what they need to shoot the project and who will do what,  Days 3 and 4 are production, and Day 5 is post.  They screen the films for family and friends at the end of Day 5.  Phew!

On top of all this, my alma mater, USC, was just ranked the #1 Film School in the country by The Hollywood Reporter, a Los Angeles “trade” publication.

This all got me thinking, what is the “best” way to learn how to make movies?  Ultimately, there is no best because what’s best for me might be the worst for you or impossible to do because of money or family or whatever.  But people still argue the point and I’m sure with this list of film schools, there is further argument as to why USC is “the best” and the others are somewhere else on the top 25 list, or not on it at all.

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