Casey Nolan
Filmmaker, Artist, Iowan

My favorite thing about art is translating an idea that is in my brain or seeing someone else translate what is in their brain into a tangible thing and how that evokes reaction.

Recently, I participated in the Portland 48hr Film Festival. It was the first time I had done it, got together a team. And it was such a roller coaster to get to have certain variables that we need to write a script, shoot it and edit. We went to bed at 2 AM Friday night and felt great, on top of the world. Saturday things were coming together, it was working, and then Saturday evening, we were doing our big shoot, and at the key moment of the film everything fell apart. Saturday evening we were close to calling it. We didn’t have 1 second of film shot and then we lost the light. We thought, “This is pointless, lets just stop,” because we would rather have handed in nothing than a piece of crap. We tried to come up with alternative scenarios, took a pizza break, found a way to work around it, I suppose. We weren’t super stoked, but we decided to keep trudging ahead with it. Then Sunday afternoon, when we were editing there was this moment where me and my buddy Joe were like, “Wow, this is actually working. This is coming together and it looks pretty cool.” So, it was a very unexpected outcome after this turbulent weekend. We turned it in with 3 minutes to spare.

A week later was the screening, and to have it shown up on the big screen and see the crowd react and hear the crowd react was one of the most exhilarating things to have happened to me this year. Seriously. It was so worth it. Everything was worth it.

But even like, when you were showing me your Shoot Films, Not Guns piece, that immediately evoked a reaction out of me because I relate to that iconic image of a camera, I like the ideology. I relate to the subject matter from a film standpoint and from an anti-guns standpoint. I want that on a t-shirt. So, you never know when something you are creating is going to connect with someone else or on what level they will connect with it. That’s really interesting to me.

I see Art as such a valuable form of personal expression and a great way to express our individual freedoms. Yes, someone might have a different point of view than me, or a different political ideology, but I think it is wonderful that they can express it through any form of art that they want to. We need to fund art so we can keep expressing our freedoms.