Clint has grown up loving the world of “Lights, Camera, Action.” He started out in this industry by acting but quickly realized that it was a tough market for a minority to get diverse roles. With that in mind, he decided to write, produce and direct his own movies. In 2015, Clint wrote and directed “A Day To Remember” – his first short film on how he met his wife. He premiered the movie at their wedding reception in front of 250 guests. It was during the filming process of this movie that Clint realized that his true “calling” was behind the camera.
Within a year as a film-maker, his follow up film ‘Two Words Too Many’ also won the Audience Award at the Art Color Digital Cinema International Film Festival in 2016. Since then, Clint has directed, produced and worked on several award-winning short and feature films with the intention of entertaining the masses and, more importantly, giving new actors a chance to break into the industry. (Source: IMDB)
We had an opportunity to speak with Clint about his current projects. Check out the interview below.
Hi, Clint! You’re a self-taught filmmaker, who continuously hones his craft. What inspired you to become one?
Well surprisingly enough, I never intended to become one. I always wanted to be an actor but was struggling to find roles. I figured the only way I’d get the roles I want is if I make my own films. In doing so, I discovered a stronger passion for directing and making films. So I decided to leave the world of acting behind and focus on making good films. My initial work was a bit rough around the edges as I was still learning but it didn’t stop my first film ‘Two words too many’ from winning the Audience Award at the Art Color Digital Cinema International Film Festival. That motivated me to keep growing and improving as a filmmaker and I have since gone on to direct and produce several award winning shorts with my latest film ‘#Actorslife’ picking up an award at the Madrid International Film Festival a week ago.
In your opinion, how has film shorts evolved over the years?
The quality and caliber of these shorts have improved so much over the years that they can easily rival feature films. It’s why I call them ‘mini-features’. A lot of aspiring filmmakers with a story to tell can now make great looking shorts due to film technology getting better and more affordable at the prosumer level. People, these days, don’t have the time to commit to a full feature film and with an uptick of people watching on the go on their mobile devices, these quality short films have become even more relevant. Short films have launched the careers of many directors like Neill Blomkamp (District 9), Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), David Sandberg (Lights Out), just to name a few.
It has also helped launch your career as you got to direct a few episodes of a mini-series ‘The Wronged One’ and the upcoming TV show ‘John the Thief’. Tell us more about it?
Bruce Wabbit, the director, and producer or both the shows, must have seen something in me. Both shows had their base of operations in New York and could have easily hired any one of the many talented filmmakers living in New York but he chose me to be the director and cinematographer on a few episodes. I’m very thankful to Bruce and excited for this show about a professional contract thief and his partner who are hired by the president and CEO of a fortune 500 company for an unusual heist. It has an amazing cast of Danny McNulty, Ben Curtis, Drew DeSimone, Nicole Ryan, Jerod Jay Searles and Matt Palmer.
Do you have any upcoming projects that we haven’t mentioned?
I have a couple of interesting projects coming up. I get to be the cinematographer on a horror feature film ‘Iris in’ that is scheduled to start shooting this fall and is directed by an amazing writer Riel Bo. She found this creepy cabin in the middle of nowhere to use as the set and I’m looking forward to many spooky nights of filming. I also have a web series coming to YouTube on how to make a film. I get a lot of emails from aspiring filmmakers asking how I did it without any education or experience in this field. It inspired me to make this web series in the style of the hit Netflix show “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. It’s going to be funny and educational and it recaps the trials and errors of what I went through in making my first short film ‘Two Words Too Many’
What has been your favorite part of the process of creating a film?
I love when I can turn a film idea into a complete script. I have a list of 41 different movie ideas and deciding what to tackle next is difficult. I usually bounce a few of these ideas with fellow writer and award winning actor, Steve Kasan, and see what sticks. We have made a few films together this way like ‘#Actorslife’ and ‘Conflict’. The other part I enjoy is giving new actors a chance. As a former struggling actor, I’m always open to casting new actors that have potential and just need a break in this cut-throat industry. One great example is Matt Palmer, who is an actor in John the Thief. When he first started, he applied for a supporting role in my short film ‘Regret’. After viewing his audition tape, I realized he has the potential for more and asked him to read for the lead. Sure enough, he was perfect for it and landed the lead role. Since then, he went to star in various television shows and movies. I hope to launch the career of much more aspiring actors.
Thus far, what has been the best experience working in the film industry?
Honestly, it’s been the talented people in this industry I’ve had the pleasure of meetings or working with. Since there is no single approach to filmmaking, collaborating with different filmmakers has opened my eyes to various styles and techniques. One such filmmaker, Tom Antos, played a big role when I started out. His online tutorial taught me everything I needed to get started. He noticed my earlier work and we have since gone to produce three films together with more in the works.
Oh, and winning awards is fun too J I’ve been fortunate enough to have every film I make either get nominated or win ‘Best Film’. The latest one #Actorslife is currently doing the rounds in the festival circuit and has been my most successful film till date. It’s about a struggling actor who happens to be in the right place at the right time but gets in the wrong car when mistaken for someone else and ends up having a very bizarre and crazy day. It won two awards (Best Actor, Best Comedy Film) and is nominated for a few more as it just got accepted into Action On Film Festival in Las Vegas and the International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema in Berlin, Germany.
Which character from your productions really resonated with you?
I would have to say the ‘Husband’ from my first film ‘Two words too many’. It’s a comedy about a wife who’s always talking and the husband is the opposite. The husband never gives more than one-word replies. At one point, the wife loses it and wishes her husband would speak more and in doing so she got more than she bargained for and starts to appreciate how things were before. People wonder if the characters are based on my wife, Paula, and I but it’s loosely based on us as the film is a more of an exaggerated tale. Fun fact about this movie: The entire story came to me in a dream.
Complete this sentence, if I had an opportunity to do anything I want, I would do ___________.
. . . a movie with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. I already have a script with a role I know he’d love. Now, I just have to get Dwayne and his people on board so I can make this blockbuster movie! Hopefully, Dwayne reads this and contacts me.
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