Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stroll down Memory lane...

It was 2006 and I was 13, (which seems like a ridiculously long time ago) when I decided I wanted to be a filmmaker so being the immature 13 year old that I was I went with it and was like "Heck, I'm gonna write, direct and act in a ten minute short film." without ANY formal training, little book know-how, NOTHING. Needless to say the film I did ended up making is "The one of which we do not speak."

I'll be frank. It was terrible. I know that now, but back then I was on my high horse. "Ha I'm a filmmaker, stuff that in your pipe and smoke it all you loser people out there who like piano or play sports." I fell into every amateur pitfall out there. I used all those fancy transitions that come on the cheap editing programs so my opening scene looked more like a music video then the narrative piece like it was supposed to be. I burned a wickedly cool scar on my right cheek when the metal medallion I was using as prop reacted with the rubber cement I choose on a whim when I had forgotten to buy latex FX adhesive. I still have the scare to prove it. I also managed to almost break my BFF Katie Payne's finger (just a heads up, she'll end up in a lot of my past filmmaking musings) when we were choreographing a pretty lame staff fighting know all in a day's work. It was an Epic Fail but looking back 4 years later, I'm ok with that. At least half of me had it right. I wrote a script, got my cast together, and shot the dang thing which is the main basis for indie filmmaking, you do it. Period.

I gave myself only 3 stinken days for Post-Production (I was off my rocker I know) and then I entered the sham of a movie in a local Film Festival and was systematically disqualified because I had used copyrighted music (whoopee, yet another oh so brilliant move on my part). For the next few months I mopped around and seriously considered ditching the idea of filmmaking altogether, maybe it just wasn't my thing...

Through the next couple years I continued to pursue the concept of making movies but only half heartedly and for anyone who's been in the business for like a day they know it's either all or nothing. Maybe that's why I kept coming up with nothing to show for "all my hard work."

I did write a couple feature screenplays (which aren't half bad even as I read over them now) which I planned on directing and producing myself. That should give you a glimpse into my naivety. Tackling a feature in retrospect now seems a like a crazy daunting task, which it is. My journey picks up a few weeks after my 16th birthday, it was then that I was like "You know what, I'm gonna do this right, start from scratch and work my way to the top." So from that point on I threw all of my preconceptions out the window and started with a clean slate. I know now, after reading how so many greats got their start that my story is really is not all that unusual. That fact gives me hope. If M. Knight was making sucky movies at the same age I was and now has written/directed/produced/ and acted in a few of my favorite films of all time then shoot, I can totally bang this one.

Just to give you guys some reassurance I have come a LONG LONG LONG way (did I mention LONG) from 13 but there's still so much more I need and want to learn. My mom says I'm the type of person who soaks up information on subjects that interest me like a freaking sponge (minus the freaking part, love you mom lol) I'll quote a dear friend of mine from a phone conversation a couple days ago "You so da** determined, you have the knowledge and know how to back it up, there's no way you can't succeed."

All I have to say to that is, "Thanks. That means a lot.... I'm just glad you didn't know me when I was thirteen." :)


  1. From what I've seen since following your twitter and this blog, you really are determined. And that will get you far.

    If and when I get over to the states I might look you up for some creative collaboration!

    Keep it up MJ

  2. I've got to agree with your friend 100%. With heart and determination you can achieve anything you set out to do. Sounds like you have plenty of both!

  3. Thanks Luke & Heather. Ur kind words mean a lot. They really help motivate to keep working hard and pursuing my goal.

    @lukeed Dude YES! Collaboration sounds like a blast, just PM me if your ever in my neck of the woods. :)