If you ask any Creator what got them started on their creative path, most of them will reference a film, tv show or book, that left a lasting impression on them. What is it about these works of art that tend to stay floating within our subconscious and slowly bleed into our creative work?
For Chris Duarte, founder of Paint On The Wall Films, it’s the characters that intrigue him and inspire him. “I always try to put a lot of emphasis on setting and perspective” he says. Where does this character exist and how does this character exist?
The following is a look into the worlds, the stories and the characters created by Paint On The Wall Films.
1. What is the earliest memory you have of yourself doing something creative?
I remember I used to draw a lot as a kid. I was never any good but I had pages upon pages of doodles of recurring characters, each with their own stories and lives. I guess that was my version of writing before I knew how to write.
2. What kind of creative work do you do?
Filmmaker, writer and photographer.
3. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Born and raised in Miami, FL, I took my first steps into the creative world in college when I began writing and producing my own short films. Around the same time I took up photography as a way to teach myself how to frame subjects better. Currently I am working in the TV and Film industry in South Florida as a freelancer for different productions as either Assistant Camera, grip, utility, etc.
4. How would you describe your specific style? What makes you unique?
I’m honestly not sure. I think there is something that connects all of my work but I’m not sure if I’ve been able to identify that pattern yet. I guess I have always felt that people are connected to their environments, in one way or another, so whether I am shooting or writing I always try to put a lot of emphasis on setting and perspective. “Where does this character exist?” and “How does this character exist?”
5. What has been some of the biggest influences and sources of inspiration in your work?
A lot of my favorite movies come from the 1970s. If you see my photography, there’s a bit of that influence in there as well. I feel like that decade was a really interesting and complex time in American history and culture and you can see that in types of stories that were being told during that time. A lot of films from that time have really impressed themselves onto me so when I’m writing or directing and I come across a creative problem, I always wonder “How would they have done?”
6. Do you have any rituals to help you get the creative juices flowing?
I’m not sure if I have a fool-proof ritual. I have a few ways of getting the juices flowing but I honestly get a lot of my best ideas either sitting in traffic or before I fall asleep. I drive a lot for work so I’m constantly in bumper-to-bumper. Your body kind of goes on autopilot when you’re driving at 5 MPH for 30 minutes or more, so during that time I just crank my radio, listen to some music, and let my thoughts run wild. A lot of my best ideas have come from when I was stuck in traffic. But a lot of my ideas also come from when I’m trying to sleep. I don’t know why I get so imaginative when I’m literally trying not to be but I often wake up and write a couple things in my phone’s notes a couple times a week.
7. What have been some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on? Any current projects you’d like to mention?
In 2018 I made short film that did pretty well in a few film festivals – that was great project from start to finish. At the time I didn’t really think much of it because I didn’t really have a budget or any fancy equipment. It just goes to show that you really don’t need a lot to make something special. Lately, I’ve been collaborating with a handful of other local creatives, whether they’re a designer, a stylist, an artist, or whatever; I like being thrown into new situations. I am currently in pre-production for my next film which will cover the subject of the mass gun violence epidemic that is currently going on in our country. I am really excited to be working this project – it’s definitely not what most people think it is.
8. What are some of the best lessons you’ve learned while developing your craft? What valuable advice could you offer to other Creators like you?
Be patient; be prepared; take every opportunity given to you; smile when you shake someone’s hand.
9. Where can we find more of your work and follow your journey?
You can find me on Instagram @PaintOnTheWallFilms – website coming soon!