What he does: Armes is a writer/director/producer and one of the folks at the helm of the creative collective Funwunce. The name comes from Armes's father. "He would always encourage me to go outdoors and have 'fun once,'" says Armes. "For whatever reason, Funwunce seemed to stick with me. The word itself has some sort of magic power; it's like a wizard casting a spell every time I hear it."
Armes has directed music videos for local and national acts, filmed music festivals and commercials, and he retains a whimsical nature throughout the process.
"It seems like I've been spending a lot of time writing and producing lately," says Armes. "In my younger, more impatient days, I would almost skip those steps completely. I used to jump right into shooting with very little preparation, more like an idea of what I wanted. I think I'm finally figuring out how to balance my intuition with some structure."
The bulk of his Funwunce work is in collaboration with his co-director Rick Darge, which has allotted Armes the time to focus on other areas of production. The duo is responsible for the music video for LCD Soundsystem's track "Home."
"We sent it to [the band] first," Armes explains. "They said they loved it and wanted to release it themselves. A couple months into the process the band broke up and we put it out ourselves. Several people have it listed as the official video on YouTube, though, and that's all that really matters to me."
These days, Funwunce is shooting sketches for a TV pilot in development. "For me, the most exciting thing we have in the bag is the Wicked Poseur video we shot a few months back. It stars Tommy Wiseau from The Room. Wicked Poseur is one of my favorite bands and so it was awesome to finally do a video for them."
Why he likes it: "A lot of times I don't like what I'm doing. Most of my time is spent doing the shit you don't post on Facebook. But in the end, after a video comes together, there's a kind of high you get with it. I'm always thinking about that next fix."
What inspires him: "I get inspiration from just about everything, but the motivation seems to come from my family and friends," says Armes. "It seems like throughout my life, they have pushed me to go bigger. The team we have at Funwunce -- Shelby Hohl, Arthur Bates, Rick Darge, Blake Jones and Brandon Holley -- is pretty amazing, too. It definitely makes it easier to create when you have the right brains in the room."
As for what drew him into film in the first place, Armes credits a hefty diet of television in his youth with providing him an eye for shooting and editing. "I also loved to act when I was a kid," he says. "I was in Wes Anderson's Rushmore in sixth grade. I sat around watching the shoot, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes with Jason Schwartzman. It must have really had an impact on me because by the time the movie made it to theaters, I had already started making my own short films."
If not this, then what? "I have a pretty wicked arm; I've thrown a baseball around 93 miles per hour. I'd probably pitch for the majors. Think of the branding possibilities for a pitcher with the last name Armes..."
If not here, then where? Gowanda, New York. Look it up.
What's next: "A whole lotta work," Armes replies. "I'm really excited about FUNWUNCE in 2012. I think we may be able to stop the end of the world with our clever videos."
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