How did you start doing what you’re doing?
I can’t help but smile when I think back to grade school and making our first movies. My best friend and co-director on each venture was my next-door neighbor Brennan. During the summer, we would gather up as many of the neighborhood kids as we could and film movie, after movie. We had a Jurassic Park film… A movie about killer squirrels… and even a pretty decent Star Wars film in which we used Microsoft Word and a computer mouse for the title scroll! We could get pretty creative for ten year olds.
As I got older, my films took a more comedic approach and I made plenty of humorous music videos and sketch shorts. Although with age comes maturity I guess—as our films still have comic relief but have taken on more serious themes and context.
Name one or two struggles of doing the craft you do. How did you overcome them?
Number one…STORAGE SPACE!
Post-production for movies would be so much easier if the files weren’t so dern big! I couldn’t begin to tell you how frustrating it can be to consistently run out of storage space.
With many of [content] we have shot, we end up with quite a bit of b-roll and footage in general. Some of the footage may never be used, but until the project is finished, (and even sometimes after that), the footage stays in wait, taking up space.
And God forbid your hard drive crashes when you haven’t backed up a project! Thankfully this hasn’t happened to me with an incredibly significant piece, but I have lost a lot of footage on two separate occasions due to this issue.
Thankfully cloud storage has helped alleviate much of this worry. Safely storing things away within the internet makes things much easier and puts me at ease.
Two, “Friendly” feedback.
It can be incredibly hard to get artistic feedback from your friends group. No one wants to hurt your feelings and most of the time they are just so stoked to see their friend doing something that their feedback starts out incredibly biased to begin with.
It sucks to be told something you worked really hard on is not up to par… However I think it is CRUCIAL to have those friends and confidants that will be 100% honest with you and tell you what works and what doesn’t. Remember, no matter how bad your picture is, your mom is going to put it on the fridge. You can’t improve as an artist without that trusted, and sometimes harsh, criticism.
How do you deal with creative block? What would you advise others?
If you’re struggling for the next step in the edit, the next line in the script, or whatever it may be—if you push too hard to force an outcome, it will never be the one you want. Take a step back from your personal work for a moment and look towards your idols and interests. Dive deep into the art you would like to emulate and gain inspiration from that. You can lean on the other end of the spectrum and do something completely opposite of what you’re currently doing. Fly far away from your work for a day or two and go outside for a hike, travel somewhere distant, or maybe just go see some live music.
I’ve often found that when my block becomes a wall, I can break it down more easily when I submerge myself into the things that inspire me. It sometimes seems like the less I think about it, the more impactful and sudden that the “light-bulb” goes on!
Do you feel like you have support for your craft, and how important is that support to you?
I have ran two successful kickstarter campaigns that have led to the completion of one feature film and the near-completion of a second which is currently in the latter stages of post-production! Without the support of my friends and family, my craft wouldn’t be possible. I was overwhelmed with the positive response and each little donation. Whether it was financial or just a kind word, was proof that I have a strong corner. It’s incredible just how powerful positivity can be within the arts and each person that believes in me is another reason to never stop doing what I’m doing. They inspire me to keep pushing forward to be the best that I can be.
What’s one thing you would’ve done differently back then, since you know more now?
I would have taken way more notes in college and I would have filmed more often during my free time instead of lazing around. Never stop learning or practicing your craft.
Do you think social media plays a big part in your success? Why?
I think social media is a double-edged sword. As one can see through much of my footage and the context of some of my films, I am very much in favor of living and experiencing the moment that you are in. I sometimes struggle with capturing footage of an event or scenery because I feel like I have detached from the moment in time. I think social media does that ten-fold for me and I am so easily distracted.
But then on the other side of things, I can share a thought, message, idea, or piece of art to hundreds… thousands… even millions of people, all at the click of a button! How amazing is that to think about? One of my films discuss the nature of social media and how there are two sides to the coin. I think that modern artistry will struggle significantly in its’ reach without it. I think it is a necessity at this point.
When used as a tool, I truly believe that social media and the internet in general, could be our greatest weapon in creating positive change throughout the world. However, I think we are far removed from the level of impact it could make due to our consistent habit of using it as a toy… myself included.
How do you plan on expanding? Where do you see yourself with business?
I want to keep progressing to gain a wider audience to be able to spread more positivity and have an impact with my art, but I don’t know whether or not to refer to this as a “business.” I’ve been very well off financially working jobs that I hated and working for people that didn’t appreciate me. I had more money but more stress and less time to spend it. After choosing to do freelance full-time, I’ve had times when I was scrounging for change in the couch, times spent fearing if I would make rent, but I wouldn’t change anything for the world!
I get to do what I love and share my product with the people I love. I get to tell my own stories and inspire people to tell theirs. No matter the state of my pocketbook, all of that is worth so much more to me.
More about Guilty Peaches Productions:
GP’s Instagram: @guiltypeachproductions
Shane’s Instagram: @shanesnelson
The Artist Roundup Series was created to highlight the hidden gems of Atlanta’s art community, regardless of the medium of art. If you know of an Atlanta creative, or you are one, we’d like to feature you—nominate here!Sharing is caring!