Diversity and inclusion across gender, ethnicity, orientation and beyond is something that the Zooppa team values and champions. We launched Peggy in 2018. We make an active effort to highlight female and POC filmmakers. And we go out of our way to seek them out to pitch on private projects.
We’re not perfect but the industry needs people like you and us to push against the current. It’s up to us to decide to make every small difference we can make.
We’re ending February by celebrating Black History Month in partnership with our friends at Ello, and bringing you an interview with our very own VIP Zooppa filmmaker Albert Miller!
Hailing from Chicago to Arizona, Albert has been a member of the Zooppa Community since 2015! (Happy 5 Year Anniversary) Among winning prizes from Zooppa Projects twice, Albert has also earned two Emmys, two American Business Awards, and one Audience Award. How freaking cool is that?
Today, we get to know one of our coolest Zooppers a little better, get insight into his journey and growth as a creative, and discuss the importance of Black History Month. Check out our interview with our very own Albert Miller of CULTUREMIND.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History month is a time to reflect upon how much we have grown as a society while also acknowledging the work that still needs to be done for our future. This month is a time to celebrate the triumphs, tragedies, and rich traditions of the African American experience.
I believe it’s important to pay homage to our ancestors because without them we wouldn’t have a voice. By honoring those who were inventors, business owners, innovators of medicine, and political activists we are sparking important conversations that will lead to a more unified world.
How has your background affected your growth and career as a creative?
I’d always tell my non- creative friends and family that being a creative is an emotional roller coaster. One day I’d feel like I’m ready for Hollywood and the next day I want to quit because of imposter syndrome. It’s been easy for me to log on to Instagram and get discouraged by the success of other filmmakers. Thinking to myself, why am I not a traveling videographer doing backflips off a waterfall? If I’m not as good as them, maybe I should pursue another career.
What I came to realize is my path is completely different than everyone else’s, and my creative style is what makes me unique. I’m not a creative to be like other creatives. That wouldn’t be very creative. My background has taught me to be resilient, patient, dedicated, and surround myself with like-minded individuals.
What inspires you?
Growing up on the south side of Chicago in a predominantly black neighborhood then transitioning to a predominantly white neighborhood in Mesa Arizona, gave me a unique perspective on life. It was as if I was traveling back and forth between two worlds.
I felt that if my family on the south side could experience the culture in Arizona and my friends in Arizona could experience the culture on the south side of Chicago, they would gain perspective and learn to be more empathetic. This experience has helped me to become a more enlightened storyteller.
My personal journey has helped me tell stories in a way that inspires people. And for that reason, I named my Company Culture Mind.
Can you share one piece of advice you wish you could give to your younger self?
Collaborate Albert! Collaborate with creatives better than you.
What is something you’re working on right now? Can be work outside of Zooppa, a passion project, etc.
Select and discuss a piece of work from Ello’s Black Art Matters category?
Photographed by Ussi’n Yala, styled by Clément Réthoré, featuring Coulio and Nova. Pieces from Julien Fournié Haute Couture & Clément Réthoré.
These are powerful art pieces! Specifically #2. When black and white photography is done well, It can be extremely captivating. This reminds me of the black panther movement. Lighting, contrast, and glossy skin make this image pop. Inspiring work.
What is the most challenging experience you’ve had as a POC creative?
I choose not to see my color as a handicap so I’d say my most challenging experience was having to do a full re-shoot on a week-long project at my corporate job 1 week after getting hired. I chose not to get discouraged.
And did a better job. I ended up getting a raise.
What’s your personality type? 🙂
(So are Dylan and Ada!)
Albert will be serving as a Guest Curator for Ello’s Black Art Matters category! Go take a visit and see all the amazing things they’re cooking up over there. We promise you won’t regret it.
We love sharing and bragging about all the incredible things that our community members are doing out there in the world. We’d love to hear about what you’re doing and brag about you too!
Share your passion projects, your award winning films, and your works in progress with us by email firstname.lastname@example.org!
We <3 you. Thank you for being here with us.
Zooppa Community Team