What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?
In junior high I saved up several hundred dollars and bought my first film camera. I mostly shot claymation and all sorts of explosions back then. At the time, I dreamed of becoming a film director, but shortly after college, doors opened up in the Nashville music world, so I spent a number of years as a songwriter and author. Because I had friends who were full-time videographers though, I would typically get roped into a handful of film/video projects every year. When digital filesharing started to rock the music industry and people pretty much quit buying music a few years back, I realized I was going to have to make a career transition. So I thought "Well, why not go back to my first love?" I relocated to LA temporarily, went through screenwriting classes, then came back home to Tennessee, bought some basic equipment, and launched into full-time video work. I still do songwriting on the side, and I'm always playing around with a book idea or two, but writing and directing comic web series & independent features is my endgame.
What’s your favorite submission to Zooppa?
I've written, shot, directed and edited a couple seasons of a webisodic comedy series called "Centricity U." that are available on youtube. The client is a music label that uses the series as a tool to market their artists to radio. Being able to write and create a whole series has been a lot of fun because there's room to develop character and extend storylines. My favorite piece I've made though, is actually the "Cupcake" spot I did for the D&D Next contest on Zooppa. My actor, Kai Vilhelmsen, is a comic genius. He brought so much nuance to the part. I'm pretty sure I've never laughed that much while shooting and editing a project.
As a contest winner, do you have any tips for other filmmakers trying to score their first win?
"Cupcake" in the D&D Next Playtest contest, and "Disco Canada" in the bookrenter.com contest. Even though "Disco Canada" wasn't selected for a prize, it was great to work with one of my daughters as the talent. She did a fantastic job of making it funny.
Do you have a link to a blog, YouTube channel, or any additional work?
You can't enter every contest, so select the ones that play to your strengths. I gravitate towards creating pieces that have humor in them, so I'm looking for Zooppa contests that fit well with a funny approach. Other people are great at dramatic or heartwarming pieces, or are fantastically talented at animation, or are amazing with cinematography. So figure out what you do best, and look for the contests that sort well with your particular strengths. That way, even if you don't win, you're still building a portfolio to eventually get paying gigs for the kind of video work you most want to do. Don't chase a contest if it's not one that can showcase your unique strengths.
www.LyricHead.com is my video portfolio site.
www.subjectswithobcts.com is a new site just getting underway to support an ongoing collaborative art and text project I'm doing with a painter/animator. We'll have books and even some original paintings available for sale there soon.