At least that's what I used to say, "I like to make weird movies that confuse people, and I draw stuff for the hell of it." My inspirations and aspirations are more complex than this, but my current natural approach to cinema is outside-the-norm for those whose familiarity is with a strong story narrative and dialogue-based work. My focus is on imagery and editing, and though filmmaking has been around for over a century, what I produce seems still to fall under the descriptions of "experimental" and "avant-garde" as it is not straight storytelling.
For some of my thoughts on my process and work in 2017 read Retrospective on My 2017 Portfolio.
I was born December 2, 1997 in Atlanta, Georgia, and have pursued filmmaking and art since I was a child, the progression being drawing, sculpting, animation, stop animation and then film. As I was born in 1997, much of my early life was recorded online. That means if you look hard enough you'll eventually find files of a lot of the drawings, sculptures, and animations I did when I was 5 to 10 years of age.
I like experimental, foreign, art house, and certain kinds of horror films. And I like a broad range of music. In all things, I generally stay away from commercial pop culture.
I'm a Democratic Socialist, am anti-capitalist, am anti-gun, am a pacifist, a feminist, and an all-around leftie. My extended family is multi-racial and an LGBTQ postcard. Many people I know are survivors of various kinds of violence/abuse. Because of all of the above a fair amount of my comic art ends up being concerned with social justice issues and anti-authoritarian, anti-fascist, and anti-totalitarian concerns, handled subversively with sometimes very dark comedy and in a surreal or absurdist way.
I do a decent David Lynch as Gordon Cole impersonation.
A band tour bus is where I learned to walk. The first non-family person to learn of my impending birth was the former drummer for the Velvet Underground. My futon bedframe was acquired from a roadie for Marilyn Manson in 1999. My earliest home was in Decatur, an urban suburb of Atlanta, in a small art colony (across and right by the RR tracks) of musicians, photographers, artists and sculptors. Gentrification moved us out of the neighborhood when I was four. My next home was in a 100-year-old apartment building in Midtown Atlanta that on one side was a couple of blocks from Atlanta's then largest homeless shelter on Pine Street, and on the other side was a couple of blocks from the biggest soup kitchen, which acquainted me with the predicament of homelessness. This building would be the location for my early film, The Counting Man, showcased at the Atlanta Independent Film Festival in 2017. The first showing however was at a teen film festival hosted by the High Museum/Woodruff Arts Center, which was having film events for teens, and it was great being able to be actively involved in these events, and walk there and to the art store from our building. With the then imminent closing of the Pine Street Shelter, that section of Midtown went high gear into development, and we were gentrified out of the neighborhood when I was eighteen, the building ripped apart for renovations even as all the residents were still in place, before our notices to vacate were fulfilled (we lost hot water, internet and heat). That experience was the genesis of my film Weightless Bird in a Falling Cage, a surrealist project that deals with the subject of gentrification. We then moved north of Midtown only to have gentrification follow us again when two years later the apartment complex we had moved to was sold and everyone received notices to vacate as the apartments were to be made into condos.
The active, ever-changing face of urban Atlanta provides fodder for my films not only aesthetically but with social concerns..
Because you're still reading this, here's a video of some of my animation projects from when I was 8 to 10 years of age.
Yes, in case you're wondering, my mother spent my childhood years stitching together all my stop animation photos together in Quicktime and making speech bubbles for them in Photoshop. When I was 8, 9, 10 years of age I could handle doing all the photography and manipulating all the clay for my stop animations, and making backgrounds, but I wasn't adept yet in Photoshop and Quicktime was beyond me.
Here's my Gordon Cole impression, which you're not going to get unless you read David Lynch's autobiography.
This is me doing a vlog on Hiroshi Harada's pre-Midori super 8mm films.