Ready to watch STAY HOME : SHORT FILM HERE or on Facebook.com/arowefilms or youtube.com/arowefilms. It would mean a lot to me if you all hit the like buttons and share it with your friends. Help me get this to an audience. Part of this is self-promotion because I want my hard work to be seen but also because in the process making Stay Home, a film in which I was the sole cast member (with voice by Carla Ayala) and crew, this became much more than a first time film. With the development of COVID19 in America developing in real-time, it became important for me to not just be a character that happens to be black but to provide context to what that means in the narrative of this pandemic mesh with the black experience. How we as people of color poorly deal with our health, not seeing doctors, not taking things seriously, and improperly deal with mental health as the demographic hardest hit by the COVID19 virus. I made last-minute changes to help create an undertone to the visual narrative because to me the role of an artist is to entertain, create perspective, and say something. Without those last-minute tweaks, I believe I would have done the audience a disservice as an artist. For me this is more than a film or short film, it is a fracture of the black experience during a health crisis. Thanks for watching and I look forward to your feedback!
So there will be three different ways to purchase WiFi at Rock Bottom: Something About Meth book. I wanted to make sure there were some great options to fit the type of reader you are and also create something special. I feel like this will be the only book I write and I wanted to at least release it Continue reading
Big News for me at the Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita! As I type this facebook has reminded me that 6 years ago today I was in my first Tallgrass Film Fest as a filmmaker doing a Q&A about my short documentary “Caveman Evolved”. The fun part about this is for the past week I have been saying I need to update my blog and put it off. I was thinking how this needs to be a better app so I could update on the go and come to find out the blog app is far better now. Hopefully that helps make this easier. On Saturday, October 23rd 5:30pm I have the pleasure of moderating and hosting the Q&A at the Gordon Parks Gala for Tallgrass Film Festival at the Orpheum. It will be a double feature with the retrospective documentary on Gordon Parks entitled “A Choice of Weapons” and the classic film “Shaft” directed by Gordon Parks which was also the first major motion picture with a black director. In between both films will be a Conversation with Gordon’s son David Parks and we will talk to his fathers legacy and the 50th anniversary of Shaft.
This is such the honor for me because Gordon Parks changed how I approached art when I was 17 years old and for the first time I will be able to share that story with David Parks and the audience in attendance (visit tallgrassfilm.org for tickets). To say I am anxious is an understatement. Oddly the day before I was asked to host this event, I had a chance encounter with David Parks via mutual friends. He wasn’t apart of the program of attendees but happened to be there. This was a storm event night and the location was bad for me to travel but after some discussion I end up going. My motto for many things I do not want to do is to just show up and let the universe work. Out of respect, I do not want to share the private conversation we had yet but this was a table of big personalities and loud opinions. It was a great time and for this opportunity to fall in my lap was perfect timing and the universe doing its work. There was so much more I wanted to talk about with David Parks and hope to ask a few of those Saturday at the festival.
Heading out in a few to create more drama but before I go, I am also hosting another event earlier in the day at 3:30pm during the Tallgrass Film Festival that features the documentary film “One Pint at a Time” about black owned breweries in America here is link to the trailer. It is a very fascinating documentary and insightful to the fight that black brewers have as the make up less than 1% of the field. I thought the film was going to be a very sad times documentary but it is very upbeat, fun, and bleeds culture. I shared many of the parallels mentioned in this film as a black filmmaker but I do not feel sad about the slights. It is one of those things that keeps me fired up. This documentary is somewhat inspiring. One Pint at a Time shows how people make a way despite the challenges and expectations. The heartbreak and joys happen in real time in this film and I look forward to talking to the director Aaron Hosè about the documentary and its themes.
Okay I am out next post will have some updates on projects and what to expect to end 2021. It has been a wild ride.
If the last few years has taught us anything it is how important it is having diverse voices sitting at tables where important things are happening. Those seats are very valuable to organizations that are looking to grow and do things better. Every voice matters. I am happy to announce that I have accepted the nomination by Lisa Tatum and the role as a member of the Board of Directors for the Tallgrass Film Association. I have screened 2 films in their past festivals with the “Caveman Evolved” documentary featuring David “Caveman” Rickels and in the 2020 festival our thriller short film “Stay Home”. I attend the festival every year looking to find and support other emerging filmmakers as well as find that sleeper film thats getting buzz.
I have equally been a harsh critic of the TGA because of my involvement as a filmmaker and attendee which was cause for concern when I was offered the nomination. I didn’t feel I was right for that position. I consulted a friend who lectured me about the seats at the table. You can be a critic serving as a loud mouth of grief and criticism for so long but there comes a point where it is on you to take action and be apart of change. This was the opportunity to take action and be action. I am not looking to be the voice of change or wield the iron hammer to be the one that is right. I am looking to be a voice at the table where change can be made on behalf of people like myself as a person of color and as a filmmaker. Those two hats will not be the only hats that a measure from but will be important ones that I am happy to represent.
New Project alert! Recently aka a month ago singer songwriter Dusty Grant contacted me about interest in me shooting the music video for his single “For You”. Initially I thought this must be a mistake because I have not shot a music video despite have a moderate desire to do so. I have been sprinkling music video styling in some of the shoots I have done with models but nothing serious enough to evoke interest. He said from my short film stuff and how I play with dark themes that he feels like I could be a good fit.
We set up a zoom meeting and really hashed things out and made a preliminary concept for the video. I could tell that Dusty was excited and was ready to put tire to pavement and get this thing going. For me (no pun intended) I wanted to put together a proper treatment and presentation. Sometimes words get lost and having something down on paper to say what the vision is and where do you wish to make changes or object to. A physical treatment helps make the world real as well as serves as reference material when you have so many moving pieces and parts.Continue reading
As promised the speed art and photoshop edit transforming a photo of Kaitlin into a full synthwave/retrowave aesthetic. The 90s feel is something I love a lot. From the VHS look, the neon-bright colors, and that future present vibe of not quite being in the future but quite being right now. This is an element that carries over into my films to not be soo crisp and hope to be present as we complete the short film “GoodNight”. This photoshop edit and video is also a venture into NFT and CryptoArt which I will talk about later. Check it out! Full presentation on the Behance portfolio.
Dropping a speed edit or hyper-lapse session turning one of the shots from my model Kaitlin soon on the youtube channel but how about a quick preview? This was transforming a basic shot in downtown Wichita into an Outrun/Synthwave style edit. Here is a quick peek of before and after. Stay tuned!