Filmmaker’s Name: James Alexander Warren     

Film Title: Color Guard

Film TRT:  14:10

Genre(s):  Comedy; Bedtime Story; Dream

In 50 words or less, what is your film about?

Restless Uncle Jamie is tasked with babysitting his niece Clover, who demands a bedtime story.  Jamie tells an improvised story involving her dad, Roland, about a world where an epidemic of color blindness has swept through the world and made people unhappy and unpleasant. In efforts to be healed, a handful of people attend Dr. Guru Tiki Royals Color Camp For Adults.

What inspired you to make this particular film? 

I was inspired to tell a story with a childlike logic to it…one that felt like a bedtime story for an eight-year old girl. But we didn’t want to stop there…we thought it’d be interesting to twist the dial to the left a little and balance the bedtime story idea with an adult-ish comedy told through the lens of a lackadaisical uncle. We wanted the story to feel liquid, loose and oddly familiar. I wrote the film around Rory Scovel, a comedian I really wanted to work with.

What’s the best experience you had making this film?  What’s the worst?  Why?

Working with my amazing producer Kim Sherman. Writing with Kim and one of my best buds Thom Shelton (who plays Jeremy). Directing and hanging with the powerhouse comic Rory Scovel, who inspired the movie. The opportunity to collaborate and loosely guide the instant-legend Kamasi Washington. Watching his band craft the songs for the film to the picture that I cut was special.

Ummmm….the worst thing was a soundguy who refused to mic up actors for some reason? And the weather was suuuuuper hot!

In your opinion, what’s the best film ever made?  The worst?  Why?

Whoa, what a question. I’m not sure if these are the best films to ever be made, but here are some favs made by some of my idols:

Short Cuts (Altman) ; 8 ½ (Fellini) ; There Will Be Blood (PTAnderson) ; Love Streams (Cassavetes) ; Love In The Afternoon (Rohmer) ; Rashomon (Kurosawa) ; Close-Up (Kiarostami) ; Mean Streets (Scorcese) ; Do The Right Thing (S. Lee) ; Lost In Translation (S. Coppola) ; The Wizard Of Oz (Fleming)

The worst movies are the ones that show you what you already know. Or tell what you want to hear.

RE: a short bio… Tell us about your start in filmmaking.  Who are your heroes?  Did you get your start as an actor? A screenwriter? A grip?

I directed my first short film 6 years ago when I was 24. It’s called Young Bros. I was a touring musician for years before that and even further back from that I worked for my dad, who is a filmmaker, and his production company. Somewhere between learning to edit and getting weary on the road I decided that the culmination of everything I was into (writing, music, rhythm, acting, editing) looked a lot like what a film director. So I decided that would be my lane.

My heroes are filmmakers who work with magic that’s both calculated and loose. That can mean a lot of things, of course, but I’m talking about exploration and awe. A confidence in the individuality of an idea or an approach excites and inspires me. And different filmmakers have different lessons to teach : Cassavetes teaches me character. Hitchcock teaches me tension. Denis and Tarkovsky and Melville teach composition. Harmony Korine and Michael Haneke teach me that rules are meant to be broken.  There are probably 100 other filmmakers I could tack on here as well.

Tell us about your connection to Mississippi.  If you don’t have one, why did you choose to enter Crossroads Film Festival?

I’m a longtime friend of the Crossroads Film Society and love everyone involved in this festival. I am happy and honored to show my work to my hometown friends, new and old, and family and strangers.

Tell us about your social media presence:

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