I didn’t take this photograph of myself frantically running around on the set of my debut feature film Son of Clowns. (My buddy Dylan did actually. Thanks Dylan.) But I’m gonna break the golden rule for #ThousandWorth so I can talk about that whirlwind of a filmmaking process for a second. Cool? Cool.
“The cavalry isn’t coming”. I believe this to be among the greatest quotes about filmmaking that has had a profound impact on my career from a keynote speech filmmaker Mark Duplass gave at South by Southwest in 2015. The talk ran almost an hour, but those three words stuck with me for the last three years more than anything else I’ve learned about filmmaking. These words were the start to how I truly liberated myself as an artist and strived towards creating something true.
I used those four words as fuel. Something to propel myself full force into the world of independent filmmaking with a self-reliant mindset. I had honestly begun to feel fatigue from the sheer mountain that is the film industry as a lone soul within it. I almost stopped enjoying the filmmaking process all together. That terrified me. So I took immediate action.
I wrote my debut feature film Son of Clowns over the course of the next several months and directed it independently without permission by the summer of 2015. The experience that ensued was what I’d attribute as the most liberating experience of my life. The feature went on to be distributed through Amazon Prime and accepted at several festivals worldwide ranging from Los Angeles to the United Kingdom, including one of my personal favorites. The Cucalorus Film Festival back in my home state of North Carolina. That was beyond cool. Inspiring even.
I screamed when I got the email. In a Dick’s Sporting Goods of all places. It was as hilarious as the picture you’ve cooked up in your head.
But this was only a start. Duplass’ talk occurred exactly one year after film school. The hard reality of this industry set in. Distribution platforms, festivals, funding… all key. But they muddy the waters of your creativity. Even negatively shaping how, when, and if you make future work. I thought back to that talk, and told myself if I did this once… I can do it again. And again. And again, etc.
Your voice is your light, and your film the torchbearer. Make the work you need to make to light the darkness. Then do it again. It’s always worth becoming the calvary. In fact I think it’s my superpower.
I’ve since released the full 95 minute feature on YouTube for y’all. Free. This is for everyone. Send in the clowns… enjoy! ❤️🤡
Editor’s Note: #ThousandWorth is a personal project by Evan Kidd celebrating unification of an age old cliche. Attempt to pair no more than 1000 words with any photograph or series of photos taken by Kidd (lol, cept’ now). Contextualization given will vary, but a meaningful account of the image with the consciousness, form, and moment attached to it is always the ambition.