Local Art

Published on December 15th, 2020 | by TLV News

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Mississippi Filmmaker Creates Online Platform for Education and Inspiring Creative Storytellers

Michael Williams, the Mississippi filmmaker behind OzLand and The Atoning, has created an online platform intended to educate and inspire creative storytellers, fellow filmmakers, and those aspiring to thrive and make a living in the film industry.

This new resource is available on Patreon, a subscription platform for artists to connect, create, and share special content online with supporters. Williams’ Patreon is dedicated to sharing candid insight into his creative process, heartfelt advice, in-depth process analysis, video tutorials, quarterly workshops, and other resources created specifically to educate others about filmmaking and help them elevate their craft. 

“The pandemic hit the film industry hard,” says Michael Williams. “Nearly all work dried up in April and that lasted for months. Also, any opportunities to network, attend workshops, get experience on set, etc. was and, for the most part, still is unavailable to people trying to work in film, develop their own projects, or make strides in their career. I created this Patreon to not only keep myself accountable and motivate myself to be productive and document that productivity on my own projects, but to also provide virtual learning resources for fellow filmmakers and storytellers.”

Williams started this platform in July of 2020 and has released a slate of content each month since. Recent content includes two in-depth workshops – The 5 Stages of Writing a Screenplay and The Basics of Cinematography plus dozens of other blogs, video tutorials, and process analysis of the filmmaking craft including everything from writing to lighting to making a living as a filmmaker and freelance crew member. 

“Each month, I make new videos, write new blogs, and release content from my films that isn’t available elsewhere while also documenting my journey as a filmmaker. I think it is important to not only share the practical skills and knowledge that I’ve learned over the years but to also be very candid about the process.

“I’m currently trying to get my next feature film off the ground while also writing another, so I’m not only sharing what I have learned on previous projects but also what I’m learning as I move forward with my career. Making a living as a filmmaker isn’t easy and making your own film can sometimes feel like an impossible task, but I hope to continue to inspire others to pursue their passions and allow this platform to make it easier for people to navigate the process easier than I did.”

Williams is an award-winning writer/director/cinematographer based out of West Point, Mississippi, with over 16 years of experience working in the film industry on various film, TV, and commercial projects while also writing and directing over 25 short and feature length films.

His last two feature films (OzLand and The Atoning) were released around the world in international markets including The U.K., Germany, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, and the Middle East with The Atoning releasing on Redbox on Hulu. Also, he was awarded a MAC Fellowship for Film in 2019, serves as the president of the board for the Magnolia Independent Film Festival, and was awarded Citizen of the Year at this year’s West Point Growth Alliance banquet for his contributions to the community through his work as a filmmaker and entrepreneur. 

For more information, visit www.patreon.com/shendopen or contact Michael Williams at shendopen@yahoo.com

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.



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