We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Chris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
One piece of conventional advice that I disagree with is to “write what sells.” It was something that I kept hearing over and over while in going for my MFA in Film Production at Full Sail University. It always irritated me. Writing what you believe others want to read and/or watch is the quickest way to kill that spark that inspires you to write and I believe it is the reason why many writers have difficulty finishing stories that they’ve started. The best advice that I’ve ever heard is to “write what YOU want to read and/or watch.” Living by this, will keep you inspired and strengthen that spark that keeps you going. It’ll help you discover your niche as a writer and will give you the motivation necessary to complete each writing project you begin.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an independent filmmaker who focuses on screenwriting, producing, and casting. I enjoy doing all three, but I have always been a writer first. My writing focuses the stories of people of color in the fantasy and supernatural genres. I produce my work on the microbudget level and that forces you to become extremely resourceful and hone your networking skills. I pride myself on being able to create the quality of work I do on a shoestring budget. I owe it all to my film tribe. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support. It hasn’t always been easy, but together we have overcame quite a bit of challenges with each production by sharing resources and thinking outside of the box. I am eternally grateful for them. Two of the most important things I’ve learned along the way is to create what you want to see and that you are only as strong as the people around you. Creating what you think others would want to see will stifle your creativity. Be strong and be yourself unapologetically. Let your art show the world exactly who you are. Create the art that you want to bring to life. Do not let anybody nitpick you into creating anything else. It is also important to network and find those people who are just as hungry and passionate as you are. You’re stronger together and being around others who shine bright will only help you shine even brighter.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite areas of Atlanta would have to be Little Five Points. I love the culture in this area and the local shops all have personalities of their own. There is also quite a few great places to eat in the area like Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Savage Pizza, and Front Page News. I also enjoy walking around and enjoying the nature at Piedmont Park. It’s relaxing and I’m a big fan of the animals that have made the park their home.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of fellow filmmakers who have assisted and encouraged me as I’ve written and produced my film projects. Filmmaking is a collaborative effort and if it wasn’t for the following group of people, I would not be where I am. Sammie Ann Fontaine, Adam Rideaux, Claudymir Baptiste, Zanah Thirus, Markelle Fennell, Britt Banks, Marquelle Young.
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