Young Filmmaker Interview: Adam McArthur

DadminFilm World, Young Filmmakers

Iver Jensen cover photo

Name: Adam McArthur
Age: 19
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Links to My Work
YouTube: Pip, the Cup
Random fact about myself: If I could be any animal, I would be an otter.
One sentence of why you make films: I love making people laugh.

1. When did you first know you wanted to pursue filmmaking? Tell us about your first experiences with filmmaking.

My first experience is actually pretty coincidental. My friend Joe Nissell and I thought it would be funny to create a parody of a Weird Al song and we had my mom film it on our home video camera. We did it all without cuts and actually never got through the whole song without messing up. I remember we ended up giving up. However, that got us to creating other short little comedy pieces and little by little we got better and better.

2. You are so prolific. How do you get so much work done?

Cocaine man, it’s actually super underrated. Just kidding. Honestly, what I do is start a project and then, when I’m a quarter of the way through that project, I’ll take on another project, and then rinse and repeat. Right now I have over six projects in the works, which means that I NEVER have any breaks, which for me is what motivates me to not procrastinate.

3. Every year you have a ton of work screened at NFFTY. Can you tell us about your experiences with NFFTY and what NFFTY is?

NFFTY, or the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, is God’s gift to the world in the form of a youth film festival. It’s an incredible experience and, honestly, it’s like a second Christmas to me. I have had many of my films screened at NFFTY and it’s always a magical experience.

The National Film Festival for Talented Youth, is God’s gift to the world in the form of a youth film festival. It’s an incredible experience and, honestly, it’s like a second Christmas to me.Adam McArthur

4. Are you working on any projects right now?

Yes, however, mostly other people’s projects, if that makes sense. I have a couple of lyric videos in the works, my usual Z-Nation job, which is on-going, and some commercial work. However, I would really like to create a short film of my own, just to keep my creative muscles flexing.

5. You’re 19 (or 20) years old and you are already getting paid jobs. Can you tell us more about that and how you transitioned from doing your own projects to paid work?

For me, when I got my first paid job, I was amazed that you could even be paid for something like filmmaking. It didn’t quite make sense to me. I believe I got paid $500.00 to do some promo videos and what not, and to me that was like winning the freaking lottery.

One thing that really helped smooth the transition and get me lots more paid work is admittedly my experience with visual effects. That’s often where I get work, just because visual effects are always needed for all kinds of film work, and there’s not a massive scene of VFX people in Seattle, so jobs are more plentiful. But I’m quickly learning that money is not everything. I’ve turned down jobs that paid very well just because I started them and I realized “Wait, why am I doing this? I hate these people and I hate doing this kind of work”.

So I left and was way happier.

There was one time where we were filming a silent film and I had to run into a door to brake my run and then open the door. I ended up sprinting into the door and completely destroying the doorknob and the door.Adam McArthur

6. Can you tell us about an unexpected, exciting, eye opening or funny experience you’ve had while working on a film? Feel free to tell us about more than one.

There was one time where we were filming a silent film and I had to run into a door to brake my run and then open the door. I ended up sprinting into the door and completely destroying the doorknob and the door. The whole thing just ripped off the wall. I have never felt more fat in my life.

7. What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to another young filmmaker?

Just make films, even if they suck. Just keep cranking ’em out.

Kira Bursky

The Interviewer

Kira Bursky

Kira Bursky, the founder of Big Little Filmmaker, is a nineteen year old filmmaker who has been pursuing her dreams for the past six years. A graduate of the Interlochen Academy of the Arts where she was a student of the school’s filmmaking program, Kira was a 2014 National YoungArts Finalist as well as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts Semi-Finalist and received the top prize for Best Overall Film at the 2014 All American High School Film Festival for We’re Okay.

Click Me!