It was a cool fall evening when my cousin and I plodded out to the cow barn. We unhooked the rusty chain that held the metal gate closed and began dodging cow pies on our way to the barn. There was a roughly-built wooden table, a deck of cards, a lantern, and no script. I struck a match and held the flame underneath the lantern's globe, waiting for the kerosene to ignite. Adjusting the flame, we began filming each of us talking to the camera. I was a confused card shark and my cousin was a philosopher. We were creatives at work, and all we needed was a cow barn, an old lantern, and a camera. We were a couple teenagers experimenting with light and shadow.
Hello! I'm Sam, founder of Lantern Creative. I have been making movies since I was a kid. I'm pretty sure I started out like most kids, doing stunts in the dirt and filming them with my dad's cheap digital camera. There were many such occurrences. Once some friends and I filmed what we thought would be cool footage of our paintball gun plastering my parents' lawn chair. Unfortunately for us, we realized only after shooting up the plastic lawn chair, that the velocity on the paintball gun was cranked up. Teenagers with paintball gun: 1. Parents' lawn chair: 0.
Another time we went out at night, with my Dad's old lantern and a camera, and interviewed each other in a ramshackle barn that smelled like a cow pie factory. I also recall having a lot of fun making people and objects disappear on screen with our video camera. We would grab a tripod, and the first willing friend, cousin, or sibling, and have them jump into the air. We'd stop recording mid jump, and once they'd left the frame, record a bit more, and like magic you have them jumping into the air and mysteriously disappearing. We felt giddy with excitement; "play it again!" We'd tell each other. "Again!"
Creativity knows no limits (neither do kids). That's the fun part about childhood; creativity is undeterred. You will never know how something will turn out until you try it. Even if it means building a 12' by 14' shack, complete with a window and door, just so it can be blown to pieces. Somehow it's all worth it.
That is exactly what I did during my first adventure in filmmaking. In 2007 I decided to make a period piece set in 1929, complete with a Tommy gun, exploding moonshine, flappers, gangsters, model A's, and a 1926 Chevy sedan. From the 3rd floor of my parent's farmhouse, my sister and I put together a narrative about a police photographer struggling to survive the start of the Great Depression. I spent a pretty significant sum on a video camera and was still only shooting in standard definition. My thought was, "who needs HD right?" Oh, technology, how fast you change.
If you choose to watch the trailer (You should. Do it now. A building goes kaboom!) I should clear a few things up. Most of the cast and crew were made up of my siblings, cousins, and friends. Also I used an alias (Alec Knightman) because I was too cool for myself. Sometimes you can get carried away with creativity right?
I credit all creativity to the creator of the universe, Jesus Christ. He is everything. His grace is what makes living life in our fallen state of humanity beautiful. Every human being on earth needs hope; everyone needs an anchor. To me Christ is that anchor.
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." Hebrews 6:19
Many of my personal convictions and my creative nature were nurtured and encouraged by my parents. My mother played a huge role in encouraging creativity. Both of my parents encouraged me to pursue what I loved doing. I owe them a big hug and a life's supply of breakfast tacos. In all seriousness though, I owe my parents more than I could ever write on this page. Life is a series of events, a series of relationships that transform our futures. These relationships convict our heart toward the light or toward the dark. I am beyond grateful for the people in my life that have put in the time, who have pushed me toward the light. Toward the flame of creativity. Check out the links below to find out more about the people who have helped shape my life, and thus Lantern Creative!