WHO IS THIS SKINNY DUDE?
My name is Andrew. Actually that's my middle name, but we'll save that conversation for later.
When I was a little boy - around eight or so - I dreamed of being both an artist and an historian. When I was twelve, I told folks I would go to college and get degrees in both. I would figure out the rest later.
Well later came sooner than I thought. Through several whacky challenges, I managed to get degrees in both history and media studies. I had spent my college years traveling, feeling privileged, and pursuing certain dreams. Once graduation came and went, I considered going the extra mile, go to graduate school and pursue my studies in history. The dream of pursuing cinema seemed like a distant goal, a selfish goal, a goal probably best not to pursue.
I happened to graduate in 2008, the year our economy decided to have a series of interesting bowel movements which left many of us out of jobs and just plain confused. I tried living life "the right way". I avoided some of the havoc in seeking a job by enrolling at graduate school. Even though the classes were interesting and the professors were incredible, something just seemed off to me. Something was incomplete. I felt as if I were giving up on a dream, which is never a good feeling to have.
In the midst of adulting, I met up with a buddy of mine from college, and we decided to finish a movie I started in college. One thing led to another, and we found ourselves formally establishing what we call an arts organization, giving it the name xteamartists. It was just the two of us. It still is, actually. The work entailed in creating xteamartists, along with the demands of working on a micro-budget movie forced me to make a decision. Stay in graduate school and put this off, or risk it all. For the first time in my adult life, I decided to risk it all.
We've made a few short movies, one feature, and a couple of small literary works. One of these books, Runaway Empire, was written as a response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary back in 2012. That one took a lot of work, but with the help of others and a successful Kickstarter campaign, we were able to deliver it to audiences. Our feature "Videotape" turned into a bizarre experimental ten-year project for me, and one that left even us a bit confused as to what it was once it was finished. Thankfully, the movie was picked up by a sales agency and eventually a distributor, making the rounds to several film markets around the world.
In the midst of creating these projects, we've been learning more and more about the craft of creating these projects. Being just the two of us, we've had to learn and apply as many practices as possible. The results have been an even-handed mix of success and failure, but you know what they say. You learn more from the failures than you do the success. I couldn't agree with them more. This decade long journey has left me with a lot of knowledge I'm still processing and growing from.
I'm the geek that binges on classic French films on FilmStruck faster than I would on Netflix or Hulu (I don't even have Hulu). I love dissecting films, and I especially love applying old films to today's culture. There are so many examples. In a way, I look at life as one immensely epic motion picture event. As a result, my mind is constantly at work, looking for that new script to write, the next movie to make, the next book to write, the next cause to join. Becoming an artist has forced me to invest more in our society, to care more about our future, and to help right the many wrongs in front of us.
I've had this site for a while, but I decided to do a complete overhaul recently. The site's focus now is about my journey through this madhouse world through the eyes of a weird cookie. Additionally, I want to talk about movies with you! I want to talk about books and other art that inspire me, that offend me, that question things in my life. I want this place to be an educational hub for those who want to learn about the creative process.
I'm not hear to give you glossy compliments about my career. On the contrary, I'm striving to focus on the failures I've faced. To me, they are more interesting and more compelling than any of the success stories I have to share. It's too easy to go on the internet and find someone who's done, like, OMGSOMANYAMAZINGTHINGS. Yeah, not me. I want to give you something far more substantial. Through learning about failures, we can all can grow from them and (hopefully) not make the same mistakes again. We always joke that history is about repeating itself, but I find there are so many examples to the contrary when people pay attention. We can be really good at that, you know.
So I hope you'll join me as I continue down this rabbit hole.