#BonfireStories — Introducing Filmmaker and writer Terrance Daye
Q: When it comes to storytelling, where do you get your inspiration from?
My primary goal as an artist at this time is to create more content that highlights the spectrum of possible black male expression while simultaneously challenging the systems designed to restrict it. My story telling is inspired by my community, my personal experiences and the storytellers whose work has convicted me to only write with abandon and intention and a sense of wonder: Toni Morrison, Marlon Riggs, Julie Dash…
Q: How does being a poet facilities your script writing and/or directing process?
Poetry and scriptwriting actually have a lot in common. The economy of words. Reducing the most complicated and expansive of ideas into images at once recognizable yet charged. My experiences with depression led me into filmmaking. I turned to filmmaking to capture the feelings I couldn’t articulate with words. Those feelings are complex and nuanced. When I am writing and directing, I’m usually looking for a container, a form, a structure capable of holding everything I need to say. As a result, my films tend to abandon classical three-act structure for something more honest and true to my experience.
Q: -Ship: A visual poem just debuted at the Sundance film festival. How important is this to you personally, and to your career?
It’s always great to be recognized by professionals and amongst peers in your field. To do so as a person of color is a special privilege. Personally, I’ve spent a lot of years being okay with being in the background. Filmmaking in many ways has forced me to be present in ways I never imagined possible. This is a good and necessary challenge; being present. I’m learning to become more comfortable with my voice. I’m learning to value it. Not necessarily because of Sundance, but because of the people who believed in me, pushed me and got me this far. The career will come. I don’t doubt that, with or without the validation of big festivals. The mark of approval gets people paying attention for sure, but I’m also not doing anything different than I was a year ago.
I will say one more thing on this: It means a lot to me that my film, -Ship: A Visual Poem, received an award…