Today I consider myself a lucky lucky man. Today I get to ask Ryan Connolly 20 questions. “Who is Ryan Connolly?” you ask… Ryan is a short film maker from Triune Films and video pod-caster on the Revision 3 network with his video podcast Film Riot. Looking at that sentence, I feel I need to clarify that I am sure the good Mr Connolly is of average height and instead focuses his film making on shorter time frames. Anyhoo… Ryan has agreed to answer my crappy questions and I am more than happy to ask him some crappy questions.
Onto the crappy questions:
So, I got my MA in geography back in 1999 and I love mapping and cartography. One of the things I really enjoy is the concept of a geographic story. In a purely geographic story, where is a person from and where has that person lived. For example, I was born near Oklahoma City, moved to Montgomery, Alabama when I was 3, and then moved up to just northeast of Birmingham, AL where I grew up. I went off the college at Kent State University in northeast Ohio and moved to Columbus, Ohio following my now wife, then fiancé like a lost puppy. We have lived in Columbus, oddly within 5 minutes of various Dairy Queens for the last 17 years. Question 1: What is your geographic history?
I was born and raised in South Florida, then went to school in Orlando and ended up working for a company after that in Miami. Currently I am in North Texas, moved here about two years ago as a next step for my company.
You love film-making and you have goals that you intend to fulfill concerning film-making and directing, but it is my understanding that you live in the Austin, Texas area. Question 2: Do you think that at some point in time you will have to migrate to more of an industry town like New York City or LA?
I’m actually around Dallas, which has a smaller film community than Austin. May end up in Austin someday, but not NY or LA. Those places are just too expensive for what we are trying to do. Living in Texas allows us to stay flexible and independent while still being centralized enough to pop over to LA or NY when needed. That’s the great thing about where the industry and technology is at now a days, I can do this from anywhere in the world.
So, this is my typical 3rd question, but it is honestly a bit that is lifted wholesale from a Paul F Tompkins bit. Question 3: Cake or Pie? Which specific kind and why?
I’m not big on either. Can I pick chicken pot pie?
Yes, yes you can. Savory pies are still pies.
I have found that people who choose pie really like pie. If someone would offer them a piece of pie they would eat it gladly and if someone were selling a pie that they like, they would almost certainly buy a slice and enthusiastically consume said pie. People who choose cake over pie REALLY like cake. Like is not the right verb. People who select cake over pie would unhappily walk across broken glass to get to their slice of cake. They would brave hot coals to get to their promised confection. They would drown a puppy and beat someone to death with the soggy puppy corpse to eat cake. Question 4: Why do you think there is such a disparity in the fervency of desire associated with people’s who love pie vs people who love CAKE?
Um… You lost me. Haha. Are there drugs in either of them?
Personally, I think cake lovers are frosting crazed. That powdered sugar high has them in its thrall. Question 5: So is there a food out there (other than cake... grumble grumble cake eaters) that you cannot help but eat?
I love me some chicken wings, Pizza, all Mexican food and Italian.
Texas would be a difficult place for me, because I love me some bar-b-que... I would have a mountain of meat in my belly at all times. Brisket is my kryptonite... well brisket paired with bar-b-que sauce.
Question 6: I understanding that you are a storyteller at heart and drawn to good stories regardless of genre, but is there a genre of movie that you enjoy more than others?
Sci-fi, thriller and action are the ones that pull me the most. I could get into anything though, as long as I can relate to it.
Question 7: Is there a particular genre that is more difficult for you to buy into? What genre has to work extra hard to be an enjoyable movie for you?
Probably romance. Most are too contrived for me, but when done right like When Harry Met Sally, 500 Days of Summer or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind, I can definitely get into it.
I am pretty much game for most Sci-Fi, but that genre is difficult to get right. I imagine it is due to the details.
Because I mentioned Sci-Fi, Question 8: If you could travel in time to any time period and observe but not interact with your surroundings when/where would you go and why?
Back to when Spielberg was making any Spielberg film… Because Spielberg.
To add a little nuance to the last question… Question 9: If you could travel back in time AND interact with the surroundings where/when would you go? If it is different than your previous answer, why?
Nope. Same Answer… Because, Spielberg.
Question 10: Fill in the blanks. I find that I am mostly ___________. Others find that I am mostly __________.
I don’t really know. I try to be the best person I can be, then it is just up to others to judge how I really am. I try to live by the idea that I come second to everyone else. Putting others before yourself is a philosophy I am very passionate about.
Question 11: Do you think there is the discrepancy between how you feel you “mostly” are and how others feel you “mostly” are? What steps as a person have you made to align how you feel you mostly are with how you portray yourself to others?
Well, I don’t really label myself as anything. Hopefully I’m a good dude and people see me that way, but you never know. Maybe I’m a crazy person in their eyes… Come to think of it, I guess I should stop waving this knife around.
I do my best to live as selflessly as I can. Of course I fail constantly, we all do, but I think it’s the honest try that makes you a good person.
Ah, here we are at a dozen answers… Question 12: Pick your favorite dozen doughnuts ever. Mix and match them from wherever you would get them.
Believe it or not. I’m not much of a sweets guy. There are a handful of doughnut I can get into though… Add some coffee into the mix and GOOD GOD YES! I’d say blueberry, chocolate glazed, glazed, bear claw, apple fritter and that swirly cinnamon bastard… Two of each.
I have a gluten intolerance, so really this last question was one of abject torture for myself. My all-time dozen doughnuts would be 2 hot, fresh now Krispy Kreme glazed, 2 cream-filled Krispy Kremes, a maple frosted doughnut from Palcho’s across the street from Kent State during my university years (yes, I know that Palco’s was shut down multiple times for health code violations, shut it), 1 maple frosted from Dunkin Donuts, 2 crullers from Tim Horton’s, 1 Naughty and Nice and 1 Bring the Heath from Gourdough’s in Austin. It is quite a decedent menagerie of confection that most certainly could not be consumed in a 48 hour period… It would take a solid 72... I am not young anymore. I miss doughnuts so much…. it is almost criminal that I have been separated from my precious donuts...
So, here we are at unlucky 13. So, Question 13: Do you have any superstitions and/or rituals in your life? For example, way back in the day I played soccer and I had a specific sequence of actions to get ready for a game. At the time I felt it was for luck, but it turns out it was more of a process to get myself in the correct headspace more than anything else. So, do you have any superstitions or any pre-roll rituals to get yourself ready for filming and such?
I hate to be boring, but I don’t. Don’t really believe in all that. I think we carve our own path with the decisions we make and the way in which we make them. So I focus more on just getting it right and less on wearing my lucky undies… Although I do look good in some undies… (I don’t)
Back to film-making questions… Question 14: How long do you think it will be until you would feel comfortable doing a feature length film?
With the right team and production company behind me, I’d be comfortable right now. However, right now I am doing it alone, without a production company. Without that safety net I want to make sure all our ducks our in a row before I pull the trigger. I do think it will be soon though.
Close your eyes and think the word “Film.” Question 15: What was the first image you thought up?
A movie theater.
For me it was an actual celluloid… um… cell. I am good with the words. Now, close your eyes and think the word “Movie.” Question 16: What did you picture this time?
Popcorn. Also… Should I be laying on a couch?
The Hoth battle scene from Empire Strikes Back is what came to mind for me.
Question 17: Is there a question that you expected me to ask that I haven’t? What is your answer to said question that I have not asked? Do my job for me, Ryan… do it for me, for I am lazy and there aren’t many questions left.
The answer to the unasked question is: Yeah totally! Twice! But that was my biker gang days, which are so far behind me.
Well, it is time for the tables to be turned… Question 18: Is there a question you would like me to answer?
What are you having for dinner? And why does pie concern you so?
Not sure what will be for dinner tonight. I know the kids are having one of their favs, but the wife and I do not like that casserole… maybe we shrimp it up and do some Chinese (edit. I was right, I made some cashew shrimp from the scratch and really liked it). Pie does not concern me as much as the cake lovers concern me.
Question 19: What are you taking from these 20 questions that you did not bring in with you?
A craving for chicken pot pie and doughnuts.
At the same time?
Question 20: So, what is next? Be as concrete or as vague as you want, be as short-term or as long-term as you like
We are working on a few projects this year. Nothing locked down just yet, but likely another short or two, a few new products in our Triune Store, including some more filmmaker assets and I’ll begin development on some bigger things for next year. A lot of very exciting things that I cannot wait to sink my teeth into!
Ryan Connolly is a boss, follow him on the twitters, and subscribe to his YouTube channel
I feel very lucky to have had him answer 20 questions
Interspersed in the questions are some of his short films
I love watching Film Riot, even though I do not make the films
I REALLY do not like the treadmill
Yet, I have to exercise
The weather has been delightful for the past few days
I am pretty sure I just ruined the weather for tomorrow
You can thank me later
I am doing what I can for the greater good folks
Have a great week everyone