1. When it comes to storytelling, where do you get your inspiration from?
For me as a storyteller, inspiration comes from life experiences and the experiences of the people around me. A lot of the stories I choose to tell deal with masculinity, and vulnerability in black men. I feel like I’ve been given an opportunity to discuss a different way that black men can look at themselves in society.
2. What is the toughest challenge you’ve faced so far?
The toughest challenge I’ve faced so far is usually in believing in myself. I wasn’t the best athlete growing up, or necessarily the smartest student in the class. So, now that I’ve found a voice in storytelling, I sometimes still deal with self-doubt and believing that the things I make are good, and deserve to be shared with others.
3. What kind of world do you want to see now that “Foxes” is made?
The kind of world I’d love to see now that “Foxes” is out, is a world where people, specifically black men who have been afraid to share with or deal with their problems won’t be scared to express themselves and find inner strength.
4. As a filmmaker, what are some key lessons learned so far?
Some key lessons I’ve learned so far is that everything you make should be made for somebody other than you. Of course, you’re the first person who has to like the films you make and believe in them. But we have a chance to make these pieces of art that really inspire, and reach an audience that sometimes we can’t by simply just speaking. I think it’s important to ask yourself how the film you’re making will influence the world around you.
5. What do you know today that you wish you knew when you began your journey as a filmmaker?
You have to have a really good team around the projects you make. When I started making films, I only had a Canon T2i and youtube videos. I didn’t know how much of a team effort it took to make even a short film. I’ve made some shorts with people whose visions weren’t aligned with mine, and the projects failed. The team you ask to help you make a film definitely has to be somebody who you trust understands and cares about the project you’re making.
6. What would you say is your unique responsibility as a filmmaker?
My responsibility as a filmmaker is to inspire. Art moves culture, and we have the power to determine who we are through our art, and inspire others to become something more than who they are through our art. Everybody wants to make something good, but it’s an amazing feeling when you make something that somebody feels.
How can others reach out to you and/or stay informed about your upcoming projects?