I was 13 years old when I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker.
Back then I was a serious comic book geek. I had hundreds of comic books, stacked in crates lining the walls of my room. I would sometimes buy more than one copy of the same comic so I could cut out the best action scenes and tape them to my wall. I'd arrange them in the order I thought made the most sense; the scenes needed to tell a story. I’d stare at the sequences, and every few days, re-position them to improve the flow. I took great pride in showing off my wall of stories to anyone who cared to see them. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was teaching myself how to direct.
The only thing I loved more than comic books were movies! Around that same age, I began to notice what it took to tell a story with moving images, how camera movement and lighting changes and music all added to the drama of the story.
As I was starting to learn the language of film, I also began to understand the impact of film as a powerful art form. I was struck by how movies moved people to tears, or laughter, or even anger. Sometimes I'd go to the movies and purposely sit in the very front row, so that I could turn around and watch the audience. In their reactions, I saw a common thread of humanity and feeling. It was fascinating.
But as a kid growing up in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C. in the 1980s, becoming a filmmaker seemed as likely as going to the moon. It was a lofty dream, but one that was pretty much impossible.
Still, armed with an aggressive imagination, I never let that dream die. As an adult, I committed myself to studying the technical aspects of filmmaking, as well as the philosophy of film and its role as a powerful art form. I learned hands-on production skills at the New York Film Academy and Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts. And I tried to work in every creative environment I could get myself into. I moved to Los Angeles and gained real world experience working at Paramount Pictures and Newline Cinema (where I started in the mail room). Family matters called me back to the East Coast before I advanced my career, but the experience of working in those environments formed and inspired me.
Today, my imagination and drive to bring a story to life is stronger than ever.
At heart, I'm still that same kid looking at the cut-out scenes taped on my wall. I’m still fascinated by watching an audience’s reaction to a film. And I’m still excited to show off my stories to anyone who cares to see them.
I created Moonboy Films with my 13-year-old self in mind. That kid never gave up, and I won’t either.
All The Best,
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