Meet this week’s featured member, Davidson Vorhes! Davison currently resides in the film capital of the world, Los Angeles, after majoring in Film at Northwestern University. His submission “Muhammad Ali Panda” recently won 1st Place of the San Diego Zoo: Saving Giant Pandas from Extinction project and earned him this week’s Featured Member!
Tell us about yourself, personally and creatively.
I live in Los Angeles, CA where I work as a video director-editor-multi-hyphenate. I love burrito bowls, training-montage music, and heavy-duty discussions about the singularity.
Creatively, my brain thinks in comedy. I love big, over the top ideas. I love nonsense. I love what some might call “cheese” – though I refuse to call anything cheesy because to me these things are really and truly awesome. I like game-based sketch comedy and I’m not an actor, but I still “yes and” in my day to day.
I don’t really think of creativity just in terms of traditional “art” like painting and music. To me it could be building a business, a scientific theory, a sand castle, whatever. I think the “what” that you are making is irrelevant. Creativity is the excitement and whole-brain immersion you get from simply making something you love.
What brought you to the Zooppa community?
ZOOPPA brought me to the Zooppa community! One of the Zooppa team members sent me an email, inviting me to check out a specific project they were running at the time. I didn’t do that one, but from that point on, the Zooppa gears were beginning to turn in my mind. I knew I had to get into this. A few brainstorms later, I had an idea I liked for the San Diego Zoo project and just pulled the trigger. Here I am!
What do you like most about crowdsourced film contests?
Opportunity. Opportunity to do high profile work, make money, and express your unique voice. In my experience, opportunities that accomplish all three of those are actually quite rare.
Name 3 films/directors that have influenced your work.
Wayne’s World, Star Wars, Top Gun
Where do/did you go to school? How has your education influenced your filmmaking?
I was a film major at Northwestern University. School was an opportunity for me to be exposed to lots of new ideas and people. It was also the first time I really wrote anything. I worked in an extracurricular comedy troupe called NSTV, which does filmed sketch comedy. I did so much writing because of that. And while I can’t say I came out the other side a brilliant writer, I logged a lot of hours, and really started to think about and appreciate the craft. I have to say though, the most I’ve ever learned about filmmaking was just by doing. Doing, failing, and doing again. Especially with the more technical aspects. You don’t need school for that, just practice. And the internet.
What is your favorite genre of film to create?
As I said, comedy is my default, but I’m a huge fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and action/adventure. I think it’s about escapism for me. The imagination is a much bigger playground than real life. I like stories that explore it.
Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon?
Funny thing about being your own boss and loving what you do is that every day sort of becomes a workday, if only for a few hours. If I’m not at my studio though, you can probably find me at Chipotle.
Choose 5 words to describe your art.
Silly, irreverent, outrageous, epic, fun
What projects are you currently working on?
LAblocks! It’s a travel show I’m making with my friends, where we explore Los Angeles – not sight by sight – but block by block. We basically take people’s favorite blocks around the city and literally go to that intersection and explore what’s there. We put up a trailer for the show, which you can watch here. When we hit 1,000 subscribers we are releasing the first episode and going full steam ahead with the concept. So if you like what you see, please subscribe!
What drew you to participate in this campaign? i.e. – did the brief catch your attention, the prize money, the love for the brand?
Probably a combination of the timing being right, the client seeming different than the others, and simply having an idea that really clicked for me. Also, prize money.
What is one piece of advice you would give to your fellow Zooppa community members?
Don’t just explain the product for 30 seconds. Give em a concept.
10 years from now where will we see you and your films?
Hopefully on some sort of virtual reality device.
Link us to any work/a portfolio that you would like mentioned.
My site: www.bigfootage.net