We had the good fortune of connecting with Dusty Mitchell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dusty, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
It’s the only thing that I’ve really ever gravitated toward. It was the film “Hook” that first really got me interested in movies. I remember seeing it in when I was a kid and being taken away with the imaginative world that was created. I remember thinking how fascinating the story was and how you could take people on a journey having them believe what was presented in frame. Looking back now the film is still impactful because I see it as a story of identity. Peter has to rediscover his identity, who he really is, he must relearn the child like faith that he once had, imagination, he finds his courage, his true self. I didn’t know exactly that film would be where I would end up, but I did latch onto the storytelling aspect at young age. Writing, telling stories, creating characters, drawing comic books, designing, creating in general. It took years to truly unlock my potential and discover my path, but I decided filmmaking would be my pursuit my first year at a little university in west Alabama. Developing, writing, collaborating, production I love the creative process. Film is such a powerful medium. That’s why I believe in responsible filmmaking, it shouldn’t just be for entertainment value or to make a buck, we have an opportunity as filmmakers, as creators to bring truth, to shine a light in the darkness, To celebrate, encourage and explore life and love through story. To reveal the truth about the brokenness of the human condition and state of the world and how we can rise above it, and most importantly honor and glorify our Creator.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets me apart? In a word, rather a name, Jesus. Jesus is what sets me apart from others. My love, my pursuit and my passion for Him is what drives my life. I want it to be that all that I do glorifies Him. I’ve come to measure my success by how much I love, not by how far my career can take me. It’s still my desire to make quality films, with powerful messages, but more importantly is how I can, love, encourage, uplift and inspire people on a one on one daily basis. The more I grow and develop the more I want to share that with the world. For the longest time I’ve not wanted to be seen or known as a Christian Filmmaker, but if that’s what I am, so be it. I think that Christian Films have for the most part created a bad name for themselves, and to have that associated with your movie can be a turnoff, but I’d like to be part of the change in dynamic, I’d like to set a new standard, as Believers we have the most powerful story in the world to tell, the world’s been telling it for years, in different ways, possibly not even realizing it. How did I get to where I am today? Persistence. Albeit a rocky road of persistence at times, one that wasn’t as nice as the ice cream. And I wouldn’t really say I’m anywhere yet. I’m still climbing the rungs. But that’s what it takes, everyday going after, moving forward, sometimes just one bite at a time. Sometimes you hit your stride and things move forward quickly, sometimes it’s a matter of inch by inch making your way, the most important thing as that you stay at it. Always continuing to learn, and work on your craft. Dedication, work ethic, consistency, and as uncreative as it sounds, routine. Developing a healthy routine of daily pushing the ball forward, whether it be writing, networking, studying, marketing yourself, whatever it may be stay persistent. I think one of the biggest challenges have been the rocks in the road, those rocks have been doubt, thinking that some things are just so far beyond my reach, or that the results of my efforts have been slow to be seen. But knowing now what I couldn’t see clearly then, I’d tell anyone who has found their voice, and has the right motives and heart to do anything big, bold and daring, you cannot start, you cannot go into it, and you cannot continue in it thinking you’ll never win. I think the most difficult part of it all has been getting out of my own way. The doubt, pride, selfishness. It’s not about me. My work or my life. There is a greater story to be told. Even if you’re not a believer, as a filmmaker, actor, writer, director or any other craft in filmmaking, it’s about the story, stay true to that. As for my brand – my brand quite literally is Team Jesus Athletics. Yes, I’m a filmmaker, but I’m also a Triathlete, and I love developing things. So out of my love for cycling and running, I realized that if I’m going to be doing so much training, I want to be wearing kits that represent what I’m about, so I developed Team Jesus Athletics, as a way to put His name out front and, encourage and inspire other athletes to do the same – more info at teamjesusathletics.com
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I honestly have very little opportunity to explore Atlanta, I’m typically either working on set, training, or writing, so I don’t go out anywhere much. I would say a favorite of mine for food is Eats on Ponce. Home Grown is another good little down home cooking place. Doc Chey’s is another plan I’d take my friend, I’ve never been there, but a cycling pal of mine owns it, so I should try it sometime. I’m in Grant Park Kroger, like all the time so there’s that. Grant Park Coffee House and Little Tart in Summerhill are a couple of good casual coffee meeting spots. There’s a couple of good Mountain Bike trails around ATL that I frequent, both in Canton\Woodstock area, Blankets Creek and Old Rope Mill, but my best friend doesn’t Mountain Bike. Nor do they road bike, but if they did, a ride out to Stone Mountain and back is always a pleasure. If I just wanted us to have fun like kid’s again, I’d say we’d go and play around at Andretti’s.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Sunny Lee, Sunny has been a critical part of my growth and development in the industry, as a filmmaker. He’s a wonderful Director of Photographer, a fantastic collaborator, friend, father and husband. He’s absolutely a genius, he has such a passion and joy for filmmaking, an insatiable appetite to create and an incredible work ethic.