By: Azad Karimi
Acting is about the most fun and immediate calling a creative person can do. The hard part is the constant rejection, but once you decide that this is the life you want, then it becomes liberating.
American Filmmaker-Screenwriter David Beck
By Azad Karimi
When you’re the writer, that’s 100% your creation...David says.
Creativity and talent are two separate categories. So having talent in writing is necessary but not enough. Creativity is how to recognize the use of talent and the quality of this diagnosis depends on the writer's experience. The author's experiences are the product of a long period of her-his life. Using these experiences requires special writing tools, one of which is the technique of writing and benefit from a high level of invention and discovery in creating a compelling story. I wrote about invention, discovery, and discernment, which together form a powerful and uncontrollable imaginative power called intuition in artistic and literary creation. That means creativity!
I think as a writer I described what my colleague David wrote. Of course, the story of the film (scenario) is different from the literary story (Novel).
That is, the rules related to the technique and the form of its implementation are different in the form of written text and technical payment.
I do not have the experience of directing the film and unfortunately, the Iranian regime deprived me of this opportunity through oppression, so I will not enter into this issue but due to the experience of writing in fiction and familiarity with cinema, I pulled out this sentence from the answers of dear David and I wrote a few lines about it.
I should add that the ban on entering the film and television community in Iran was due to my cultural and ideological differences with the norms of the Islamic Republic of Iran. But this imposed failure awakened in me a sense of writing, and I wrote and published many stories in my native language and it so happened that famous Kurdish writers and poets such as Sherko Bekas, Abdullah Pashew, Sherzad Hasan, Sarkawt Rasoul, and Farrokh Nematpour called my stories creative and different in their kind.
I'm sorry to write about myself because it's not interesting, but I'm writing this so that young people can find other ways to thrive if they fail and creativity means finding new ways to create.
And when it comes to fiction and screenwriting, we have geniuses people like James Joyce, and Tennessee Williams who have immortal works in these areas.
What the past did is good, but we need to help contemporary writers and artists work more creatively. Government financial support for writers and artists is very important. Systems that only cared about the stomachs and brains of the people suffered the fate of North Korea, China, the Soviet Union, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey because they relied solely on ideology or production economics, or both, and their cultural products served their ideology. Frankly, it is only in a free and democratic environment that real social culture grows. Therefore, the West’s democracy must be more active in this field and allocate more funds to it.
In the end, I wish my dear friend and colleague, David, more success and happiness.
1- Please present yourself: Name, education, Civil status and...
David Beck, Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies with a Concentration in Performance from Marymount Manhattan College, continued Master Acting Classes in various studios in New York (An artist’s training never ends!). I was born in Dayton, Ohio and have lived in New York City my entire adult life.
2-What is your artistic speciality?
.Acting, a close second are filmmaking and screenwriting.
3- When and how did you become interested in this field of art?
.Since the age of 10 when I was in children’s theatre, I knew I wanted to tell stories for a living.
4- Who was your motivator?
.I had many directors and teachers who inspired me in my childhood, but I would have to say my biggest motivator would be my mom.
5- What was your parent’s reaction?
.My parents were always very supportive of the fact that I wanted to be an actor. They knew I was a born artist, and they didn’t fight it. Sometimes I think my mom lives vicariously through me...she was quite the thespian in her high school!
6- When did you become such professional actor and Filmmaker?
.I was 20 when I got my first professional acting job in Ivoryton, Connecticut, doing summer repertoire. I absolutely loved it. The following year, I was cast in a tour of a play called Lily’s Crossing and officially joined the Actors’ Union. Filmmaking and screenwriting came years later. I had always loved writing, but was too afraid to put my writing out there. Writing always seemed like a much more honest and raw way of expressing myself than acting, and that’s scary. Acting is more pleasurable in many ways, but you have this mask on that protects you. When you’re the writer, that’s 100% your creation. My friend Angelique who ran a film production company invited me to join her weekly film group. At that point—probably due to a gratuitous amount of rejection in the acting world—I was much more willing to put my writing out there, and through that group, I drafted a short film which became my first produced short film, For Francis.
7- You are artist and Filmmaker. Please tell us: Who is the Filmmaker?
.I am not sure I understand this question, but what I think you’re asking is balancing the craft and art of creation with the business of filmmaking. I never thought in a million years that I would be any kind of producer. Raising money, making schedules, budgeting, contracts, promotion…it’s a world I had very little interest in but I am learning to embrace it as a necessary step in order to get the work made. A problem I am still grappling with is raising money for projects is a full time job, and requires time and energy taken from creating. I’d much rather spend a day writing a script, on production, or in an editing room than sending emails and talking on the phone to potential investors.
8- You are owner of your movies, what are the serious challenges facing you?
.Please tell us about your experiences in your projects. Well, I alluded to this in my previous answer, but raising money for projects is the most difficult aspect of independent filmmaking. A close second is juggling everyone’s schedules and availability. A low budget indie is pushed aside if someone (an actor or a crew member) gets a gig that pays more. Unfortunately, people follow the money.
9- What is the Film and Filmmaking logic?
.What is the Cinema culture? What is their role in advancing the growing cultural demands of people around the world? Filmmaking is one of the best ways to learn empathy, which is so necessary to exist in this world today. The more films we watch, the more we learn about each other. And I am not talking about horror films or superhero films, I am talking about films from other countries, films told by people who don’t look like us or don’t think like us or don’t believe the same things we believe. We see the world through their eyes, and we learn through them. Great films are the best kind of education because they entertain their audience and speak directly to their hearts. There is an emotional logic to great films that is universal, no matter how “niche” or unusual the setting is.
10- You are an actor also, What is your view on this?
.Acting is about the most fun and immediate calling a creative person can do. The hard part is the constant rejection, but once you decide that this is the life you want, then it becomes liberating.
11-What are the factors of immortality in the art-cinema industry in all fields such as directing, producing, scenario, acting, and supporting acting?
.I don’t understand this question.
12- Are you thankful and happy because of your activities as a Cinema family member?
. Thankful, yes. Happy? Getting there…
13-What is your opinion about the material and spiritual support of the government for a film without interfering in the work of the film?
.I would love for this to happen, but how can a government support a film financially without exerting some sort of control over the film? That is hard to imagine for me in the United States, where whoever has the money, has the power. Of course, supporting art is about the last thing on the U.S. government’s minds. We equate art with celebrity here, so we assume any artist worth their salt is already rich and famous. It’s pretty terrible.
14- How do you see the view about art, culture, acting and Cinema?
. I think I covered this pretty well in previous answers.
15- Can you become one part of the cultural movement for motivation in youth or new generations in your country and so on?
.If we live a life of integrity and work hard, I would hope that is enough to inspire youth. Obviously, our generation has made many mistakes, just like the previous generations before us, but we try to learn and do better than previous generations, just as I hope the youth will learn from us.
16- How can you help our world become a better place to live?
.Doing service. Volunteering. Helping those who are less fortunate.