100 Creatives: James Ferry
Courtesy of James Ferry
What he does: James Ferry tells stories. Often that means writing a script, sometimes it means crafting comic books, and at others it encompasses filming those tales. "I am not concerned about what medium I use to tell whatever story I am thinking at the time; I don't see much difference between a pen, a brush, a wacom tablet or a camera," he states.
Currently, Ferry is at work on a new script, while also assembling pieces to make a few short films. The new script is his first foray into science fiction, "I wanted to write something I had no way of actually filming," Ferry explains, "what I've written in the past has all been grounded in the here and now and also limited to what I could feasibly shoot." He plans to send the script into competition as well as turning it into a small comic. "I've made a few comic books before but nothing of this scale, so I'm getting excited," he relates.
Ferry's new script won't be the first to see competition, though. "I've just had my most recent script make it to the semifinals of the Scriptapalooza screenplay competition, beating out 3,000 other writers," he tells us. Scripts that reach the semifinals of Scriptapalooza are then brought to production companies to be read, so Ferry is holding out hope. "I would much rather have my scripts made into movies than win another resume caveat," he says, before following with, "Correction, I would love to see how it feels to actually profit a little from my art/writing for a change."
Why he likes it: "Storytelling is what defines humanity," Ferry says. "I can't think of a single animal other than humans that tells stories. I guess you could argue that a bee telling other bees where food is with a dance would be storytelling, but that tale would probably get old after the first dozen or so times you hear it."
What inspires him: For Ferry, inspiration seems to often flow from personal events he's going through at any given moment. "When a family member fell very ill, these strange diseased figures started cropping up in my art," he explains. Another instance saw him writing a script in two weeks' time -- "after being injured on a job, then having the job fire me while I was unable to even get out of bed." It's not all bad cases, however, as he exclaims, "This is making it sound like tragedy is what inspires me, but that isn't the case -- I swear!
In addition to personal events, Ferry has a laundry list of artists, writers and films that provide inspiration as well, citing "James Jean because of his amazing grasp on illustration," as well as Moebius (a.k.a. Jean Giraud), Mike Mignola, Bill Watterson, Will Eisner, Katsuhiro Otomu and Hayao Miyazaki "for their ability to create worlds in their comics that are their own. Haruki Murakami, M. John Harrison, Jorge Luis Borges do the same, only in book form."
He turns to the topical to top off his inspirational list, indicating that religious texts of all sorts, as well as "scientific theories that make us rethink our reality -- concepts like string theory, black holes, et cetera," provide a good deal of creative fodder.
If not here, then where? "Where the art being created isn't nearly as important as the support of the community towards that art," says Ferry. "Certain types of art need communities of people to flourish, so wherever it would flourish."
If not this, then what? Ferry sees his somewhat scattered approach as nothing to change, saying, "I'm already all over the place with what I do, so I guess I will just keep doing that. I don't mind working some minimum-wage job as long as I've also got enough strength and time to work on my own projects when I get home."
What's next? "Finishing these current projects -- so that means completing this current sci-fi script as well as a short film," says Ferry. "I've been waiting for the weather to cool down as well as getting myself comfortable with my new gear before going out and shooting."
His further plans include a comic "based on some familiar public domain works, but placing the characters in a very unfamiliar world... I don't want to give away too much right now," he says, stopping short. "So, as I said, I'm all over the place."
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