Per his bio, Andrew Vallentine has always been a fanatic of film and television from a young age. He recently graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Television Production and is currently studying at Chapman University pursuing his Master’s Degree in Film and Television Producing. His overall passion lies in telling compelling stories.
TH: How would you describe your filmmaking process?
Andy: I’ve written three different answers to this question. All three of them are told with sophistication and poise but every time I read them I feel they come up short and are just longwinded. I was debating which answer to send when the other day when I was eating Chinese food and the fortune in my fortune cookie read, “You discover treasures where others see nothing unusual.” That fortune cookie just summed by my filmmaking process for me.
my job is to make something extraordinary out of the ordinary.
When I get behind the camera my job is to make something extraordinary out of the ordinary. For example, anyone can see a woman dancing in front of them, but I see things cinematically–me my eyes push in, I see her hands as they cross the light, I see how her hair moves around her face and I see how her eyes react when her lover enters the room. As a filmmaker I get to use my personal opinion to dive in and direct the audience and decide what they see, to show them what I think is important.
TH: What is the best compliment you have ever received about your work?
Andy: The best compliment I’ve received isn’t really a compliment at all. Not in the traditional sense, at least. The view count on my ‘Set Fire To the Rain’ Music Video has almost 6 million views with 20,000 likes.
While this of course provides all sorts of validation, what I’m more proud of and find to be a greater compliment is the viewer response to the content of the video, which tells a story of a man struggling with his sexual identity. Knowing that about 6 million people from around the world have watched, shared, liked, and commented on the video regardless of the content (or because of the content) makes me a very proud director.
TH: What do you consider the elements of a great film?
Andy: The balance between story and characters being told in perfect harmony. The End. If you have those elements, you will be able to hook the audience, and everything else (music, shots, costumes, makeup) will all just seal the deal.
TH: You’ve worked on some amazing projects already, which has been your favorite and why?
Andy: I think my favorite project thus far would have to be my upcoming Music Video for the Sigur Rós Valtari competition here at Talenthouse. I’ve never had an experience where I was so immersed in creativity for 72 hours straight without a break. The cast and crew were incredibly talented and I am thankful for each and everyone of them.
TH: Do you have a dream project in mind? If so, have you started it?
Andy: I’m currently seeking funding for an independent feature film that follows two twentysomethings as they road trip across the country searching for what truly makes them the happy. As this is a personal, passion project for me, I would love the opportunity to direct this film and take it from the page onto the screen. Also, on another level, I love directing music videos, and hope that in the future I will have the opportunity to keep directing them.
TH: In general, what is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Andy: My parents have always told me to follow my dreams no matter what roadblock I may encounter. Being dyslexic, I’ve had to overcome so many challenges in my life where people along the way have told me to give up, or try something easier. A shocking number of people in my life didn’t understand the need for me to challenge myself. However, with every new experience I learn how to improve my skills and talents. I wouldn’t be here, living in LA, pursuing a career as a music video director if it wasn’t for them telling me to never give up, to keep pushing on.
Never give up, keep pushing on.
TH: When I say the word creativity what is the first thing that comes to mind?
Andy: Being passionate, and having your own perspective about your art form. I truly believe that everyone is creative in some shape or form and when I create my films I put so much energy and passion in to the projects to make them uniquely mine. What makes all art so great is that your opinions, visions and perspectives belong to you and no one else. While those things can certainly be mimicked, everyone has something to give that is uniquely their own, and that is what I believe to be the most essential thing about creativity. I honestly feel so lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to direct a few music videos and even luckier that when I look back at the projects I can see my perspective, viewpoint, and opinion in all of them.
TH: Do you have experience in any other art forms?
Andy: Music. I adore listening and playing music and has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. In college I played the Tenor Saxophone in the Marching Band and was also a baritone in the Glee Club (Go Spartans!). I also worked on several theater projects in a variety of positions and have an outstanding level of respect and admiration for the theater.