Meet TW Miller, our newest Featured Member! This Zoopper has worked in many areas of the industry including experience as an actor. “My work as an actor and love for actors certainly helps me to communicate with those I direct, just as my studies in TV and Film aid my work with crew members. “
Read on to learn more out the recent winner of the AARP, “Caregiver Assistance” project!
1. Tell us about yourself, personally and creatively.
I’ve recently relocated back to Chicago (my favorite city) after some 20 years in Los Angeles writing, field producing and directing TV promos and commercials, DVD bonus features, sizzle reels and sales presentations for a variety of clients, including Disney, Fox, NBC, Scripps, NFL Network and Sony. I’m truly grateful for all the terrific projects I got to work on out in LA, but there’s something wonderfully raw and honest about Chicago that makes me feel alive every single day – and that passion can’t help but influence my work.
2. What brought you to the Zooppa community?
Out of the blue, I got an email from Jenneffer Navarrete at Zooppa who had somehow come across my reel or my website and felt I’d be a good candidate for the AARP campaign, so she invited me to participate. I checked Zooppa out and am glad I did – this has been a tremendously rewarding experience on many, many levels.
3. What do you like most about crowdsourced film contests?
I love the egalitarian nature of crowdsourced filmmaking and the contests they engender. Anyone and everyone is invited to express themselves in a purely democratic fashion. Can’t beat that.
4. Name 3 films/directors that have influenced your work.
This is tough one. I love the magical worlds created by Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jones and Wes Anderson; the Coen Brothers’ quirky, dark and violent humor; and the deep, human passion of Francis Ford Coppola. In their own way, each of these filmmakers brings a precision to the stories they tell that I admire.
5. Where do/did you go to school? How has your education influenced your filmmaking?
I have a BFA in Theatre Arts (in acting) from the University of Minnesota, then took Television Production classes at Columbia College in Chicago and finally studied Film Directing in Los Angeles at UCLA Extension. My work as an actor and love for actors certainly helps me to communicate with those I direct, just as my studies in TV and Film aid my work with crew members.
6. What is your favorite genre of film to create?
I favor smaller, more intimate and human stories, with a dash of quirkiness and fueled by a deep passion.
7. Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon?
Saturday has always been my favorite day of the week. I’m almost always out and about – whether roaming around a farmers market, exploring some neighborhood I’ve never seen before, or catching a matinee of some independent film before it disappears from theaters.
8. Choose 5 words to describe your art.
Warm, human, passionate, playful, honest.
9. What projects are you currently working on?
I’m adapting a play that I want to shoot as a feature, and laying the groundwork for my first music video.
10. What drew you to participate in this campaign? i.e. – did the brief catch your attention, the prize money, the love for the brand?
I was attracted to this AARP campaign for three reasons: 1) it spoke to my heart and felt worthwhile; 2) the deadline was zooming up, so I couldn’t overthink it – just had to go with my instincts; and 3) the prize money was certainly an added incentive.
11. What is one piece of winning advice you would give to your fellow Zooppa community members?
Tell a story with a beginning, a middle and an end.
12. 10 years from now where will we see you and your films?
Probably on hand-held devices or watches, maybe on TV screens (if any still exist), and if I’m incredibly lucky, in a movie theater.
Check out TW Miller’s website for more of his work!