The Storytelling Lab - Ep13: Independent Filmmaking with Evan Kidd
Updated: Apr 27
This week we dive into the world of independent filmmaking with North Carolina filmmaker, Evan Kidd. Evan finished his first feature film, Son of Clowns, in 2016 (just two years after graduating college!), and is now focusing his energy on a short documentary.
When I met Evan at a TriFilm Society meeting five years ago, he was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed and dead set on making his first narrative feature film.
We chatted over a beer and learned that we both love the Duplass Brothers. I mean, as an indie filmmaker, it’s hard not to.
Jay and Mark Duplass are to low-budget filmmakers what Ron Howard is to child actors.
Evan was charming and had a smile that was genuine. I liked him, but knew he was in for a rude awakening, if he thought it was just that easy to make a film.
I was on Year Three of my documentary, Raise Up, and deep in the weeds.
But Evan wasn’t naive. He was just determined. He asked me to be a producer on the film, but because I was still traveling and struggling with my own projects, I couldn’t come on board.
Somehow, perhaps with divine intervention, Evan was able to realize his vision with just $2000, a production schedule of 10 days, and without what would have certainly been my genius contributions.
To say I admire him would be an understatement.
As the years went on, I saw we had more similarities. Not just with mutual friends like Ned Phillips, but with the men we were trying to be and become. I saw him post about being kind and authentic. I saw him talk about creative struggles with other artists in his podcast. I saw all these questions I was asking myself in my 30s being asked by a man in his mid 20s.
So I had him on the podcast to dive into the world of independent filmmaking.
I think the war-stories we tell and the experiences we’ve shared can help anyone who is pursuing a creative project...
Because the struggles don’t stop. We just have to learn to adapt.
Evan graduated from East Carolina University in 2014, and quickly started his career in the independent film world. Just two years later, Evan finished his first feature film, Son of Clowns, a narrative about a struggling actor (which is now available on Amazon Prime!).
Evan has experience shooting and editing music videos, documentary production, hosts a podcast, and is currently focusing his energy on a short documentary about a hopeful olympic track and field star.
Some of the highlights of our conversation:
The importance of cultivating a small, loyal network
Knowing when to ask for favors and being genuine in your ask -- there is a strategy
Don’t be spammy
Stick to rules you learned in elementary school: leave things better than you found them, treat others the way you’d want to be treated…
Don’t treat every project like it’s urgent (or should be urgent for others)
Son of Clowns, Evan's narrative feature- made for $2,000 and filmed in 10 days
Staying positive: if you don’t succeed the first time, try again
Being able to say “that’s not right for me, but my friend is made for this job…”
The local NC hip hop scene
Directing music videos
How to take big steps and make your first feature film
Thinking about your audience when you're creating: If you’re not into a character or plot point, your audience definitely won’t be into it
Taking time away from your project to reevaluate
AND focusing on getting your film to the right audience, instead of the most audience
Listen in to learn more taking creative leaps, knowing when to ask for favors, being authentic, and speaking to your audience.
And remember, if you're ever feeling overwhelmed....
“Don’t get lost in the sauce” -- Evan Kidd
Peace and Love,
Follow Evan on twitter @MrEvanKidd
Or check out his website: https://rocksetproductions.com/
For more storytelling tips and tricks,
Follow us on Instagram @sixsecondstories
Visit our website sixsecondstories.com
If you want MORE content related to this episode, you're in luck:
Watch Son of Clowns on Amazon
Check out Evan’s podcast, Convincing Creatives
Listen to G YAMAZAWA’s “North Cack”
Need a new show to binge? How about Netflix’s Love