Saturday, February 18, 2012

Creativity, Sweat Equity, Friendships, and the Simple Act of Collaboration: Check Out This New Music Video Shot At Full Sail by Steven Shea and The Bloody Jug Band!

Leaving Full Sail University on February 4, 2012 was a bitter sweet experience. Bitter because my tenure as educator had come to an end and sweet because moving to Los Angeles was a necessary evil; an attempt to accelerate my career. It's necessary because as much as others may have thought I "made it" in TV (whatever that means), I hadn't made it in my heart with what I really want to do: create and sell shows, write features, expand my photography and finish my novel. 

Anyway, I'm way off tangent here. What I rally want to say is, Orlando is a strong, creative community and since 2000, I've seen local film makers and musicians grow, improve, and transform that landscape. Two people who have consistently done that are Steven Shea ( and John Theisen ( 

I first met Steven at Nickelodeon when I was a production coordinator and he was an intern. Immediately, I knew he had something about him that was more driven and serious about being a genuine, feature film maker. The Night Own is the first feature I had seen by him about a decade ago and it was low budget, the visual effects were simple, but the story was unique. 

He's gone on to make even stronger and better features since then, but he proved something with The Night Own. He proved that money, time, resources, crew, and actors are all irrelevant when it comes to making a movie. I know that sounds weird. What I mean is this: most wanna-be filmmakers stop themselves from achieving because they feel they don't have enough money, time, resources, crew, actors and they become their own road block. Steven has never let that happen. He is a filmmaker because he makes films. Period. He is a director because he directs. End of statement.

Then there is John. I met John through Flicks on Fairbanks, a three year long, monthly, short indie movie showcase I did at Austin's Coffee and Film some 4 or 5 years ago. Call Doctor or Die is a short he submitted and I had to show it. Come on, it was all in reverse. One always has to show short movies when they're in reverse. It's a rule.

And I'm happy I did. Since then, John and I have remained friends and I've seen him shape Orlando through Film Slam, The United Arts, and now his kick ass gritty, grungy, soulful, funky, blues group The Bloody Jug Band. He plays the fucking wash board for god's sake. It's awesome.

So what the hell does this have to do with anything remotely related to Full Sail students? Well, this video was shot at Full Sail...but that's still not the point. The point is, these guys are not rich, they are not part of any Hollywood bloodline, they are not elitist, chip-on-their-shoulder freshman filmmakers that think independent movies began with Reservoir Dogs. They are people who do. They make it happen because they know the value of collaboration, friendship, kindness, creativity, and community. That's what young, new, first-time-in-college, never-had-a-job-before-in-my-life students need to remember. Just collaborate and create. That Gibraltar size rock on your shoulder isn't going to help you and you're not fooling anyone. When you act like that, you reek of insecurity and fellow students won't want to help you.

I'm not sure how or where I'll fit in Los Angeles. I'm not sure what I'll become, what I'll do, or if anything I make will end up in a theater, on a TV screen, on a computer screen, or nowhere at all. But I do know this: Orlando will continue to be one thing Hollywood will never be: a place in which cool projects get done without the bureaucratic bullshit of the "it's not who you know or who you blow," but "how well you blow who you know" mantra. It's a mantra people live by out here.  And they don't even realize it. Now watch this music video and then go make something.

No comments: