I was recently contacted by a young person searching for advice as a writer looking for ways to grow as a writer into directing and producing in the film industry. Since this is a somewhat common trend, I figured it’s time to post my reply to be of help for others on the filmmaker journey!
Here it is…
Most everyone born in the later half of the 20th Century is familiar with the 1981 Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire (Best Picture, Best Original Music Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design + 3 additional nominations), featuring the story of runner Eric Liddell. The Olympic gold medal recipient has influenced many following his days on the track, leaving various quotes and statements in his interviews while also demonstrating them in his life of service. One such statement has proven to be a North Star, of sorts, for me, and the longer I work with industry professionals it proves itself over and over. Liddell said, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel his pleasure.”
Every year, thousands head to Los Angeles, CA with the hopes of becoming icons for the film industry. Those that are in the mix will you tell you it’s certainly not as easy as one would think. Overnight success is a rarity, and very few find the gleaming lights of public notoriety and stardom. If one wants to navigate properly through the maze of connections he or she can find help from those who have already found some success in the business.
Enter, Hollywood Connect. Hollywood Connect (HC) exists to “[equip] creative artists and professionals to thrive personally and professionally in the arts, media, and entertainment industries” (HC website). HC hosted a well-attended Q&A with Mr. Mark Atteberry recently, and in this gathering, Shun Lee Fong led discussion and then fielded several questions from the audience to get Mark’s responses. I took notes feverishly and thought to share the wisdom – with Mark’s approval, of course.
I was fortunate to work with fellow creatives at Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida to create an eye-catching backdrop for a recent conference, specifically, handling the lighting aspect. Jonathan…
It was an honor to work with a California team this year on the 168 Film Project as Executive Producer. Beyond this, I was able to fill in behind the scenes taking both photo an video, editing, and managing special FX. Here’s a brief overview of our week.
ARRIVAL: Producer Christopher Shawn Shaw met me at LAX, & from there we headed North to stay in Simi Valley, which would be our home base for 5 nights (until Tuesday morning). Prior to this point, Thor Ramsey and Torry Martin wrote our script and most legwork had been done on securing our locations and actors, etc.
DAY 1: Leaving about 7:30 am Friday, February 17, we headed to Redlands, CA, about a two-hour trek. Me, I always enjoy the mountains – a huge contrast from Florida – so the terrain helped the trip to go more quickly than I would have thought. At this point, I assumed an additional role for most of the production days – chauffeur to Mr. Shaw. This allowed him a little less stress as he thought through each shoot. As a producer, it’s critical to keep your director’s mind fresh.
Shooting took place at Kimberly Crest House and Gardens,
I was getting ready to work on a couple film productions at the start of the year, and a friend recommended that I try out Scenechronize, an online production management software. While not a seasoned veteran with it yet, I’ve got a few months under my belt, and I must say that the power that is offered is nothing short of amazing. There are differing levels of capabilities, too, from shorts for indies to full productions, and the pricing is relatively good for each level.