I got into filmmaking after seeing the Lord of the Rings trilogy at the age of 7.
I read some books from the W.W. Robinson library, and learned as much as I could understand about scripts, cameras, and things like that. I remember vaguely having my mom, Abby, write 3 page scripts on her old Windows PC. One, I think, was about a wizard and a magical quest (undoubtedly stemming from the Lord of the Rings obsession).
…and then my father introduced me to horror movies around the age of 8.
The first one I saw was a Vincent Price movie from the 60s, "House on Haunted
Hill", and then the classic zombie flick "Night of the Living Dead". Those were great, but not long after, I discovered Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". Since that fear-filled movie night, I've seen nearly every movie he's directed. That sparked me to, at the age of 8, write/direct my first little movie. We filmed it on our home-movie camera, and had a little premiere in my living room.
The story followed a boy who pretty much gets attacked by ghosts (a few
friends and I in white sheets) and then, to the relief of his parents, is saved by the
"power of love". Looking back on it, it's probably the corniest, most cliched thing that ever existed.
From then on, I was hooked on filmmaking. All I wanted to do was watch
movies, write movies, and direct movies. Everything else seemed secondary (and
almost still does). Currently, I've made about 300 short films that all are about 5
minutes or less in length. I made one last summer, however, that was 30 minutes
long. It was entitled "The Cat", and it starred a few friends of mine (Cady Hockman and Abbey Shaffer).
After doing "The Cat", I went through a very driven period of wanting to get
noticed. Wanting my films to be seen by tons of people, because after all, what else are films for? In doing this, my mom and I discovered the program down in
Charlottesville called "Lighthouse". It's a nonprofit organization that holds classes
and rents equipment to young emerging filmmakers in the general area.
In December, I did my first class---it was called "Video as Art", and it focused
on experimental film. I loved it, and it introduced me to peers that were interested in filmmaking as well. It let me know I wasn't the only one who was passionate about this kind of thing. It wasn't this class, but the next one that changed my entire view on filmmaking.
I took two more classes following the first, one specializing in screenwriting,
and the other in cinematography. These two workshops very much expanded my
horizons as far as the types of films I was making. Up until the programs, I had
strictly done suspense/horror.
After them, I was opened up to drama. My favorite films very quickly flipped
from being wholly horror, to a healthy mixture of many dramas. Currently, for
example, my favorite film is "The Hours" directed by Stephen Daldry. It's about how the book "Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf affects the lives of 3 people throughout the 20th/21st centuries. Amongst my many suspense screenplays (some finished, some left unfinished), there are now multiple dramas.
One is about the Holocaust, one about two old men discussing life and
death on a park bench, and a few more.
This more well-rounded view of films is why I think "Detached" is special. It's
got a combination of suspense and drama. Having the dramatic overtones in the
film really helps the audience get invested in to the characters, in my opinion.
Next year, I plan to begin writing a film called "Silent", involving how the
transition from silent films to talkies affects an aging director.