Courtney Miller, Filmmaker/Producer/Author/Editor: We watch a lot of Tarantino, we watch a lot of Spielberg. So what happens is that people try to copy…or Aaron Sorkin as a writer.
Film Courage: What was your strategy for becoming a director? Was it just an idea in your head or you had a specific plan as you did when you said I want to dance with Michael Jackson?
Courtney: I learned this actually from the corporate world, creating smart goals. Have you heard that term before, smart goals?
Film Courage: No, I like it.
Courtney: Specific-Measurable-Actionable-Realistic and Time-Bound. Basically what that means is that you have this really big goal at the end of the rainbow but in order to get there you need small little goals to get there. For me what that looks like is if I want to be a director I need to learn how to direct. But nobody’s going to hire you fresh out of college as a director. It’s probably good if I learn how to write. Let me know how to write and then from the writing I’ll use my writing skills to direct what I wrote. Now I need something that’s going to be a really good calling card. I need a short film that nobody else would be able to make other than me. I’m a choreographer so why don’t I make something that actually is kind of like Hamilton but I’m doing it in this college campus here. They had access to Red cameras, the really cool thing about the group that I was in class with there’s about 50 of us. The way they would work is the teacher (great teacher, amazing guy Charlie Myers) he now teaches at Chapman University but at the time he was at Saddleback College. The way it works is anybody that wants to direct something you go to the front of the class and pitch your idea and then the people will vote with their feet. If you can crew up based upon your idea, then you can get your project made. I went up there and explained what I want to do and initially it was nothing about the musical. It was some other thing that, it wasn’t me. My teacher was like Hey, you spent all this time choreographing. Why don’t you do something that actually showcases your skills? And I’m like You know what, you’re right. Then on the spot I made up an idea for this short film and everyone in the class was like I want in on that! I had no idea how I was going to make it but I…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
CONNECT WITH COURTNEY MILLER
Courtney Miller is a 5-time award winning director who has worked with the biggest names in entertainment including Michael Jackson, Usher, and Britney Spears. His award winning short film REPAIRations! – The Musical, has garnered him meetings with top studios and networks including Lionsgate, TBS, and Viola Davis’ company, Juvee Productions. He has directed commercials for Nike & Apple, and has written several television and film screenplays in the Drama, Comedy, Musical, and Horror genres’.
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