This is our reimagine series. Where we catch up with previous guest on our podcast to see how they’ve reimagined their creativity since we last talked to them on the podcast. The last time we spoke to Christina it was September 2017.
If you are still in the creative industry since we last spoke how have you grown as a creative and was there something specific you focused on to aid in your growth as a creative.
I am still in the creative industry. Over the last six years, I have grown tremendously. When we last spoke, I believe I was working on Single and Anxious. Since then, I’ve released four short films, 22 episodes of a digital series, and two feature films. I’ve grown as a writer, director, and producer. The last six years have been about resilience, development, and honing my craft.
How has your storytelling changed or stayed the same? What stories are important that you tell and why?
My storytelling has gotten more nuanced and centered around personal stories that resonate with me. I’ve honed my craft around complicated stories of humanity, family, and love. It’s always been of utmost importance for me as a creative to tell stories grounded in why people make the decisions they make. What exists in a character’s backstory that is driving them? What flaws are being masked as strengthens? How can I cinematically level up with each story and scene? How do I serve the story and not my interests?
Collaboration is key in our industry. What collaboration do you most appreciate and why?
Collaboration is key. Unless you are shooting short-form content for social media consumption, it takes an entire team to create. I enjoy all aspects of the industry’s collaboration process, from department heads to writers to actors to below-the-line crew. I thrive in collaboration. Collaboration allows a brain trust to exist that is not simply inside your brain. It allows a story to receive a greater level of depth.
What would you tell someone looking to collaborate with others, what is key?
The key to collaboration is allowing everyone to work from their strengths and not their weaknesses. I find that having a common goal and defined roles is the best way to collaborate. Don’ take yourself too seriously, hold the story tight but lose, and resolve conflicts immediately. Too often, there is confusion, division, and bitterness in collaboration. By being willing to resolve and address conflicts or misunderstandings, you will develop strong bonds that can’t be broken. You should also be mindful of who you work well with and who you don’t. I believe that you should enjoy collaborating and that it should be mutually beneficial for all parties involved.
What are you currently working on and future goals for yourself as a creative?
I am currently writing two features and two pilots (You have to have what’s next while in production or post). My team and I are shopping another Christmas movie surrounding Black love and grief. I’m also in the process of securing my first episodic directing gig.
Do you see yourself creating again if so in what aspects?
I don’t believe there will ever be a time that I am not creating in some aspect. I am focusing my attention on building an extensive catalog of feature films, TV shows, and docuseries that Creative Thought Media owns while servicing networks.
What would you tell someone who was just starting out or someone who was ready to quit?
KEEP GOING! Continue to hone your craft and clock in those hours. I never gave up or stopped, no matter the frustrations or the waiting. STAY THE COURSE if you have been called to create. Every day is a challenge to develop and keep going. Yet, each day is worth it in the long run.
What do you do to refuel yourself?
I am huge on rest and spiritual disciplines. I try to make sure that I schedule a week every 10-14 days to do nothing. One of the most significant issues with creatives is we are often creating after work and on weekends. We have to be careful not to burn out and let productivity rule our lives. I pray, meditate, read the Bible, and stretch daily. I work out 3-4 times a week because trauma lives in the body. I’m big on audiobooks and podcasts for passive learning and refueling my heart.
How do we close the gap for who has access to tell stories (funding, resources etc)?
That’s such a loaded question. We can close the gap through more access to training and mentorship. We can close the gap by being allowed into rooms that will enable us to network with those funding the stories we long to tell. The biggest thing I have learned is that ownership requires financing. I have been able to finance 90% of my projects through collaboration and owning our gear. As we grow, the need for funding grows.
Is social media necessary for filmmakers? Please explain why?
Social media has been a game-changer for me in my career. I’ve been able to build relationships horizontally and vertically with people I love and would love to work with. With social media, it’s essential to understand it is needed but not the focus. Likes and reposts won’t help your reel or resume.
Christina Faith is a writer, director and producer. Connect with her on her website