“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
JOSHUA IS CURRENTLY A 3RD YEAR STUDENT AT GRAD FILM. WE ASKED HIM A FEW QUESTIONS AND HERE’S WHAT HE HAD TO SAY:
Where are you from and what is it like there?
I’m from Spartanburg, SC, which is in the upper part of the state. It’s a midsized town that is just now reaching it’s potential in business and the arts. The folks in Spartanburg push continually to make their town a more attractive place to work and thrive socially no matter your race, religion or background. Does it have work to do? Of course, but instead of running away or dismissing any faults it tends to take them head on and work in a collaborative fashion with it’s citizens. I owe a great deal to many people in Spartanburg that supported me when I lived there and continue to as I follow my dreams at NYU Tisch.
What or who is inspiring you right now and why?
My four-year-old daughter, Harper, inspires me everyday to genuinely enjoy and embrace the opportunity presented to me at NYU Tisch. Any time that I feel a little tired or down I look her way and I’m energized to get back to work. She makes me a better person, artist and all around citizen of the world. I’m the present and she is the future so the art that I work on will hopefully present opportunities for Harper to grow and flourish.
As for the arts, I’ve just finished an excellent novel by Garth Risk Hallberg, ‘City on Fire,’ set in New York City during the wild Seventies. I’m currently reading about Paul Theroux’s travels through the South titled aptly enough ‘The Deep South’ and ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ by Marlon James.
Southern writers such as Harper Lee, Ron Rash, Michel Stone, James Dickey, John Lane, Flannery O’Connor and Pat Conroy amongst many, many others inspire me to tell our stories through film. The South is a polarizing region of our country with some stereotypes that unfortunately are true but the South is much more than that. To quote Paul Theroux, “There seemed to be a theme in the Deep South: kindness, generosity, and welcome. Yes, there is a haunted substratum of darkness in Southern life and though it pulses through many interactions, it takes a long while to perceive it, and even longer to understand.” This is my home, the place I’ll make films of nuance and substance and celebrate the stories and people of the South.
What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
I took a group of classmates down to South Carolina to shoot my 2nd year narrative and the town of Spartanburg genuinely celebrated our endeavor. The crew consisted of filmmakers from such far off places as France, Argentina, China and India. We had a Floridian and an LA filmmaker as well!! I was proud of my town for embracing my crew wherever we were shooting or having a drink or dinner. I’m just as proud of my crew for the hard work and diligence that they put into my film. My wife, Monica, costarred in the film with good friend, Chris White, which made it a real family affair and dream come true.
As well, it always puts a big smile on my face when I think of the party that a few friends threw for us and I looked across the room to see old friends and new friends interacting and laughing together. Those moments make it all worthwhile after a lot of hard work.
I’m proud and humbled to work and collaborate with all of my classmates at NYU Tisch as they are an incredibly talented group of people. I look forward to making films with these folks that will inspire others and make the world a more interesting place to live.