Full disclosure: Darren is my brother. I've known him all of his life yet, he surprises me often. He is an open person. He will talk about everything from rap videos to why we are here on this planet.
Darren has a unique voice and he will be heard. He is passionate about creativity. His point of view comes through loud and clear in his writing and movies.
He's a stand up guy, a gentlemen among the ignorant. (I may be a bit biased, but he's awesome!) He believes in himself, no matter what. No matter the economy, nay-sayers, or peer pressure. He is true to his goals.
Watch out Hollywood. Darren graduates this year and is gunning for you. Good luck Bro! I'm waiting and hoping, wishing you all the best. Oh, and when you do make it big, I got a couple of scripts I want you to look at.
Below are the questions I asked this young film maker student.
1. As a student, you are subject to many genres during studies, what is your favorite and why?
Yeah, as a film/video student at Penn State we're subjected to all major types of film and filming styles. We get to make documentaries, narratives, and experimental films. In the narrative style alone we can choose what genre we want to try to make from horror and drama to animations and action films.
2. Are your family members supportive of your creative career choice?
Well I got the type of family that have always told me I'm the best at whatever I do. So I would say yeah, all of my family members are very supportive of my career choice. They know that it's gonna be a long and tough road, as do I, and they give me the backup and support thats gonna help push me to succeed.
3. In 5 words describe your typical creative day.
Inspiration can come from anywhere!
4. If you were to produce a film now, would it be drama, comedy, action, adventure, or romance?
I am getting a film together right now, and it is actually a horror film. Can't give too much away but it deals with mirrors, hidden cameras and demons.
5. What word describes you best?
6. When do you get up in the morning and what do you eat for breakfast?
I get up in the morning usually an hour before my first class whether thats 8am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or 12 noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Thats usually because I am up late nights in to the early morning either thinking or working.
7. What is the degree you will graduate with and why did you choose it?
I am going to graduate with a Bachelors in Communications in the field of Film/Video Production. I chose the degree because I love all of the things that go into making a piece of art such as a movie or television show. The creative edge, the eye for shots and lighting, and the ability to tell a story that takes an audience of your work on a ride.
8. What is your goal for the next 3 years?
First, move out to San Diego, then to make a music video that does well enough to get noticed, and also to work on a large scale film or make a small budget film myself.
9. Where do you see yourself being your most creative, TV, Videos or Movies?
Music Videos. I think I'll be most creative in that area because it mixes my love of music with my passion for film. Later on I hope to progress to television or movies.
10. What is more fun, directing, writing, producing, acting and why?
The most fun I have had in school this far has been acting. To play out the crazy story lines and assume the rolls we come up with in college has been a blast but for my future work I hope to be in the producing/directing end of the spectrum.
11. What is you favorite all time TV show? Movie?
My favorite all time TV show is the minnie series Lost. It is absolutely amazing from a film and story perspective. My favorite movie is The Shawshank Redemption directed by Frank Darabont.
12. What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you since you chose filmmaking as a goal?
I have been an extra in a few films including Abduction that just was released this past week and I Am Number Four that came out a few months ago.
13. What is the latest project you are working on?
I am working on a bunch of school projects. One is a producing project where we have to take a script, break it down and come up with a shooting schedule and budget. The other is a short film that I'm in a team with other seniors and it is a horror flick.
14. How do you come up with titles for your work?
My titles come and go and change faster then any part of my work. As long as the story is all there and the filming is done well the title will eventually come as an epiphany.
15. Do you have a resume? If so, can you recommend a template for other students in your field?
I am building mine right now, and I realized that for film majors, its not really about an organized template, its more about what creative work can you show that you have done and what you have worked on. Experience is the best teacher in the field in my opinion.
16. In 5 words describe your perfect job after graduation.
Director for Wiz Khalifa's music video. (6 Darren, but I'll let it slide.)
17. What is the industry like in Pittsburgh PA? Union? Non-Union? Open? Closed?
I really don't know. I know that there is Union and Non-union everywhere you go but I'm not sure about Pittsburgh. It's not where I'm planning to base out of anyway.
18. If you choose to move, where is your first choice? Second? Third?
My first choice is San Diego and second is Los Angelos. My third choice if I could would be Australia, and I will either live or visit there once in my life, at the least.
19. Who do you admire in your industry and why?
Christopher Nolan, because all of his films that I have seen have captured my interest and have held onto it until the ending second of the last scene. Thats an inspiration and a goal to obtain one day.
20. What was the most interesting class you've taken toward your degree?
My Camera Tech class. It is a class where we watch a scene from a famous film in the beginning of class and for the rest of the class we work as a crew to remake the scene as close to the one in the film as possible. We've learned a lot about lighting, sound, camera movements and camera functions, along with other technicals that go along with creating a film.
21. When you're behind the camera, what are you thinking?
By the time I am actually behind the camera after all of the pre-production work, I am thinking this better look exactly how I pictured it in my head, and if it isn't then changes must be made.
22. How can my blog readers help you with achieving your career goals?
If your blog readers are trying to get a script looked at and put into production, or have a song or piece of music they would like to see a music video for they could email me and we can talk. If anyone is interested in joining and helping my small but growing production team, we are always looking for people, we're not big yet....yet. (You can find him on FaceBook)