"Why'd you do it?" / by Everett Downing

I decided that before I dive into a few details of the production, that I'd talk briefly about why I decided to do this project. Now let me set the record straight right now. I am not speaking as if I'm some sort of expert or visionary, quite the opposite. If I had to qualify my short as a success or failure, I'd say it was the latter (or maybe a marginal success). But it was an amazing experience that has not deterred me from continuing down this path in the least. Every misstep I made was an opportunity for growth, and if at least one person is encouraged or inspired to pursue a similar goal after reading this, then I consider these posts a success. So without further fanfare, let's talk about why I decided to make Mojo:

1) I wanted to direct something.

It sounds simple, but I've been interested in directing for quite some time. However, finding a directing opportunity can be challenging to say very least. I've  always believed that if you can't find opportunities, then you try and create them.  After seeing my good friend Emma Coats go out and direct a couple of shorts on her own, I was inspired enough to put my fears and hesitation to the side and try my hand at it. I initially intended to direct a 10-15 minute short, but I was encouraged by Emma to start even smaller. A teaser based on my comic Mojo made sense because a lot of the visuals were already established. Rather than develop a full short, I could focus on adapting what I had into a tight narrative sampler.

2) I wanted to see if I had any skill at it.

Directing is a very complicated and difficult skill set to develop. I knew that I had stories to tell, but I had no idea if I possessed any talent for it. I know the basics of how stories work, but could I lead a group of people? Could I communicate what I wanted effectively? Could I inspire a crew? Could I deliver a compelling narrative?  All of these were huge question marks in the back of my mind that I needed to answer.

3) I wanted to see if I actually liked doing it.

As much as I've  dreamed about being a director, I had no idea if I'd even like doing it.  Even if I had executed the short brilliantly, it wouldn't have mattered if the process made me sick. I wanted to not only discover if I had the ability to direct, but also if I enjoyed the process. 

These questions made up the engine that would eventually drive me through completion of the project.


Next up: "How'd I get people involved. Stay tuned!