Tell us about yourself. How did you become an artist?
I have been making films for as long as I can remember. It started when I flew camera drones around my neighborhood as a kid and loved creating beautiful images for people to enjoy. Drone photography soon led me to make short films with my friends. I would spend all of my free time doing it.
What was your first job in the art field?
My first job in the art field was writing a script that I made with my dad.
What makes you want to tell stories? In other words, what are the themes/issues you want to incorporate into your work?
The reason I tell stories is that I like to explore my emotions through the medium of film. The themes and issues that I like to include in my films are loneliness, fear, anxiety, and disconnection.
Please tell us about your vision and your method of approaching a new project?
I start by envisioning the film in my head, the way it is shot as well as the mood of the picture. Once I have it in my head I write a rough outline of my ideas and transfer it into actual scenes on a script. Since I work with a lot of non-actors I try not to rely on the actors to memorize the script, creating an atmosphere of improvisation. Thankfully, however, when I made “i don’t wanna go” I was able to work with professional actors which was a great experience. That being said I still encouraged improvisation.
Who are your filmmaking influencers? What are the films that were influential for you?
Because I am obsessed with watching films I have built up many filmmaking influencers. Robert Bresson is one of them. He is a director who values the journey over the destination. He made extremely influential films like A Man Escaped (1956) and Pickpocket (1959). Another director that I deeply admire is Micheal Haneke. I like that he creates films that feel icy cold. My favorite films of his include The Seventh Continent (1989) and Funny Games (1997).
How do you think the industry is changing? How has COVID affected independent filmmaking/creation?
The film industry is rapidly changing. Due to COVID, many people are not going to theaters and instead streaming everything. This is not good for filmmakers since much of the revenue they have received in the past has been from theaters. I hope that people will start going to theaters more often again because it is such a collective, community-based experience The feeling of being together in group energy is so much more exciting.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists? What are some of the things they must follow/avoid?
Advice that I would give to aspiring artists is to not talk about making films but instead just start creating. Don’t worry about making mistakes or being perfect. The more you wait, the less you will accomplish.
Do you think films/stories can bring about a change in the world?
I believe that when someone has an important and authentic story that they are willing to share then they can influence how people think and feel about different issues. In this way, they can change the world.
What do you think people like to watch these days? Has the pandemic changed people's taste?
I think people want to escape from all of the tragedy that has occurred in the last few years. Because of this, the film industry seems to have shied away from portraying misfortune in films. This causes people to want to watch films that make them happy and not have as much conflict in them. The issue with this is that good conflict is one of the most important aspects of a great film.
Please tell us about your upcoming projects.
I am currently in the writing process of a feature film.