I am a man first and an artist second. What exactly does that mean? Well, I base my life around four key principles: strength; honor; understanding; discipline. Through these pillars, I’ve obtained a deep understanding of what it means to be a man and a productive member of society. I’ve accepted my imperfections and instead of denying that they don’t exist- I face them head on and strive to grow from them. Things get quite trickier as an artist. Through my art, I have to be in a vulnerable state at all times. It is more vulnerable than sex. It means to be in a state of nakedness, where anyone that cared to look- will be able to see everything. It is a position in which I present my ideas and convey them through a lens in which I see the world. It is a state in which my psyche and mental clarity are poked at and criticized. It is one of the most exciting and yet freest of moments.
I am a filmmaker. First, I am a writer. Second- a director. Telling a story is what wakes me up in the morning. Even before I jump in the shower or brush my teeth or check out news stories- I’m creating. Whatever idea, premise or character that I’ve conjured up- I’m putting down on paper. This process is more important than eating or even sticking to my already rigorous workout program. On Saturday night, if my pages aren’t complete- I simply stay in. During an intense writing session- if a woman that I am interested in texts or calls me- I find myself mildly annoyed. I don’t have many friends despite being an extrovert and lover of social connections. In fact, I’ve lost a lot of personal relationships due to my obsession. The few friends that I do have understand completely- they’re workaholics too. It is only through the completed tenth draft of my crime epic or the excitement of adding/combining characters that I feel the most fulfilled. Writing is what I live for.
Growing up in lower-middle class, black community has certainly influenced my views on being an American in general. Politically I’m a moderate. Religiously I’m Christian. Growing up black is becoming an increasingly popular topic. I have a lot of things to say about it but one thing that has influenced me growing up in the black community is the sense of style, rhythm and the uncanny spiritual connection to the world around me.
What kinds of films do I like to make? The epic fantasy. The crime drama. The brutal, violent world filled with crumbling societies and intense characters. The underlying love story. The un-sung female protagonist. The brooding and yet eccentric, male protagonist. To put it in marketable genres- crime, sci-fi, action, supernatural and the combination of character-driven and plot-driven narratives that appeal to white males aged 20-35. Themes on masculinity are the backbone of my work. I’m on a mission or re-defining the principles on manhood. It is a fascinating subject because I believe that without strong men- good men- society crumbles. Friendships, unbreakable bonds and love are also themes that I explore in my stories. My characters are dark. They have difficult pasts and bleak futures and yet there’s a small sliver of hope that appears in the story where they can either change themselves or change the world.
My work will only get better and better with each passing day. I seek expression and truth on a daily basis.