Just Do It!

I was recently lamenting with a very good film friend of mine about how I was concerned that I didn’t have much to show for the past 1.5 years. Like, I haven’t premiered a movie or won any film festival awards.

Chill out, I’m just joking. That’s obviously unrealistic. However, don’t we all do this on some level?

I’m tracking my film journey like I would track years of school. So, I’m about to complete year 3 of “Film School.” Here’s my accomplishments:

  • 2016, Video Production Course- Arlington Independent Media
  • 2016, Short Documentary- “Artists and Makers”
  • 2016, Move to NYC- “Film School”
  • 2016, Sketch Writing and Video Production classes at The PIT
  • 2016, PA and Slated Shots on a Time Square shoot
  • 2016, BTS Photography on a short narrative called, ‘Grandpa Gene’ in Riverside Park, NYC
  • 2016, Fire Watch on an ESPN shoot in NYC
  • 2016, 30 second submission to Project Greenlight’s ‘Ode To Coffee First’ competition, “Coffee Anytime” 
  • 2016, short narrative, ‘Chase’ shot in NYC parks.
  • 2017, wrote short screenplay, ‘Aafa.’
  • 2018, wrote and directed, ‘The Lake.’
  • 2018, DP on ‘You, Me, and the Sock.’
  • 2018, started writing first feature length script, ‘Small Town, U.S.A.’
  • 2019, submitted ‘Aafa’ to three film festivals.
  • 2019, wrote a pitch for a webseries called, ‘The District.’
  • 2019, in pre-production: ‘Overpass,’ and ‘Yoga Mats Chats.’

So, I feel much better now looking at the above list. I think sometimes we can’t see the trees for the forest, as they say. I know that working in the film business is a long-game. It’s going to take years to accomplish some of the goals that I’ve set, but we all have to start somewhere.

I was listening to the Indie Film Hustle podcast episode #306 and Alex Ferrari talked about how filmmakers are programmed to fail. I realized listening to the podcast that I let fear get in the way of actually taking action. So, I’m taking action. I’m moving forward with 2 screenplays and plan to start pre-production. No more excuses. I have the equipment and the ability, so I’m going to stop getting in my own way and JUST DO IT!

Coming Soon! ‘Yoga Mat Chats,’ and ‘Overpass.’


“Dream it. Write it. Shoot it. Share it.” – Christy Fleetwood, Educator and Filmmaker


“The Calvary Isn’t Coming” -Mark Duplass

I ended a very successful pre-planning week tired, but excited to meet my new students on Monday. The walk from the 800 building where I teach to my car is a nice little stroll. Certainly long enough to run through the first day checklist and go through the motions of what it would take to get 63 5th graders from bell to bell and then safely to their homes. As I turned on the car I was greeted with the familiar sound of my favorite Podcast, Indie Film Hustle . A smile crept over my face as I settled into my 2nd job. You know, the art job that doesn’t pay a dime, but fills so many creative holes in my soul.

The IFH episode today was a throwback. As always, Alex Ferrari drops so many “knowledge bombs” and in sharing his own filmmaking journey is essentially modeling a potential path forward through the difficult world of the film industry. At the end he suggested listening to Mark Duplass’ SXSW Keynote Speech, which I did, and quite literally changed my day. Duplass’ description of steps to a career in film were so well described and with a go-getter mentality, totally do-able. What hit me straight in the heart today?

  • Make your passion project.
  • Don’t wait for the calvary.
  • Be your own calvary.

So, I’ve pulled my passion project off the shelf and am now headed to pre-production.

“Dream it. Write it. Shoot it. Share it.” -Me



Film School or No Film School: That Is the Question

One Saturday afternoon about 3 years ago I was out and about, walking around Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. when I decided to dip into one of my favorite bookstores, Kramerbooks and Afterwords. I was in pursuit of a book on photography. As I meandered through the busy aisles I finally found it: Photography Books! However, what caught my attention was the section right next door: Film. All of a sudden I was transported back to the year 2000, when I was fresh out of high school and newly on the campus of University of Central Florida as a Film Major. It only lasted a year. I bailed because of youthful ignorance and lots of voices convincing me that film would never be a fruitful career path. Standing there in the book store it suddenly hit me like a truck: I don’t want a book on photography. I want a book on film.

I bought the book, “What They Don’t Teach You at Film School,” written by Camille Landau and Tiara White. The thing that I read in the book that made the most impact on my life is that it’s hard to tell stories if you haven’t lived much of a life. I paraphrase, of course. When I bailed on film school it was because I was scared, young, and inexperienced in life. I’ve now been places, experienced things, and am now better positioned to actually tell stories. Most importantly, I’m ready to tell stories at a time when technology is so accessible and there’s so many ways to distribute films.

I moved to New York City, because I wanted to further delve into the world of independent film. (I didn’t have a solid plan for how I was going to survive financially, but I’ll save that for an entirely different post.) I worked at The Peoples Improv for a short time and took a Sketch Writing Class and a Video Production class at The PIT. My experiences there further strengthened my knowledge and passion for filmmaking. I also met wonderful filmmakers at a Meetup and was able to work on a short film. What an incredible experience!

While living in New York I found myself on public transit for long periods of time and thus needed something to shove through my ear buds. This was the summer of 2016 and that was when I discovered the Indie Film Hustle Podcast 

This may sound like an exaggeration, but Alex Ferrari’s Indie Film Hustle Podcast has been the most important source of information and inspiration on my film journey. If you’re an aspiring filmmaker and are not listening to this podcast, what are you doing?! Check it out. I promise it will change your world. “Keep that hustle going, keep that dream alive.” -Alex Ferrari

There’s nothing wrong with film school and all filmmakers have very different career paths. For me, it just wasn’t the right time. Would I go to film school now? Absolutely not. Why? It’s simple. I will write stories that I feel need to be told, pick up my camera and shoot stories that have the power to change lives, and work with other creatives to bring forth stories that highlight those whom many times are underrepresented. I can do all of that without film school.