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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What are you working on right now that pushes you to be a better artist?

When we're in between "film thingies" it's easy to feel the weight of the world rest upon our shoulders and question everything we're doing, where we're going, and why we haven't made it there, yet.

Why not be pro-active to alleviate this kind of stress by focusing on what matters?

We're selective in the hairstyles we have, the clothes we wear, animals we keep, flowers we grow, and food we eat. So why shouldn't we be selective in the projects, too (not talking about gigs/jobs we take to make $, necessarily).

Creating haphazardly, or creating just for the sake of having fifty things to do has never appealed to me. I know people whose goals revolve around just that - having so many things in the pipeline, just hoping one of them will be successful. To me, working on projects takes too much of me to do that.

Doesn't it feel so much better to know that everything you're doing is working towards your ultimate goal (even if it seems like it's taking a million years to get there!)? It's actually what keeps me sane most of the time.

This year, one of my production companies, Paranormal Productions, which I'm a co-founder of, decided to make a feature film that we'll enter into the festivals (featuring our group, Aether Paranormal). If we are lucky enough to have our rough cut locked by Dec. 9th, then that baby will be post marked and checked for SXSW. That's actually the easy(er) part! I've never had a film be IN a big festival before, so that's one of my goals!

We're also marching along with Lost In Sunshine, my passion project of several years now. Now, this is one of my ultimate-ultimate goals - to direct a FEATURE I wrote from my heart (with a theme of self discovery). This film is pushing/allowing me to expand my knowledge of film-everything. It's also giving me the opportunity to meet and work with beautiful and talented people, I probably wouldn't know otherwise. Read more about it here:

Another love child of mine is my on-going documentary, What I Know For Sure. It's a piece of spiritual cinema that features some really profound dialog from some fascinating human beings. You can watch the TRAILER to get a taste. It is my life's goal to continue to grow, learn and explore as a human, so it fills a special space inside of me, allowing me to incubate its birth while creating it. And that, I believe, makes me a more open artist.

Right now, I'm also in the middle of creating a short film, relevant to Lost In Sunshine, which we hope will serve as sort of a pre-story (one of them) into the lives of Lyn (our lead female protagonist in LIS) and her best friend, Johnny Pott. Even though we're shooting it as a "stand-alone" piece, this project is an extension of our story, and addition to all the blog fiction we're currently embracing with our characters. Hopefully, it will advance our agenda in showing off our collective talents, too - what we're capable of as a (production) team, and myself - as a director.

Meanwhile, I'm continuously trying to navigate through existing material, and create new material I feel will personally advance my agenda as an artist - a screenwriter, and indie director, to be exact.

Don't we owe it to ourselves to be selective this way?

I also call it focusing on what matters.

So, all that "in between" time turns into productive time, assessing the present (instead of worrying!), and creating what will be the future. I feel it's just as critical as any other time. It's our chance to select (aka: focus, meditate, strategically decide, and start to manifest) what we want to do next with our work... our lives.

And let the games begin.

What are you working on right now that pushes you to be a better artist?

Happy (selective) creating!


  1. Jentri,

    This is an awesome post! I've followed some of your blog posts and LIS Blog fiction posts.. very creative! I concur with what you discuss above! Well said :)

    Im a director, producer based in Austin too. It's good to see someone investing their time, energy and soul into meaningful cinema! There is too much garbage out there in the name of "indie" films. Wish you luck with these amazing projects!

    I am currently working on post for a short film based on the universal question "Who am I?" and in development for my first feature! We should connect sometime! :)


  2. Thanks, Sush! I appreciate the thoughtful response, and all of your support!

    How exciting - your first feature, too! We do seem to have a lot in common. I would love to connect in person sometime, especially since we are both RIGHT HERE. :)

    Feel free to email me anytime at

    And keep me posted on all your adventures, too. xo J