Filmmaker’s Name: Astin Rocks (credited as Astin J Sullivan)

Film Title:  Vocabulary of the Mysteries

Film TRT:  20 minutes

Genre(s) (comedy, action, LGBT, etc.):  Fantasy, Action, Hip-Hop

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

Young god Hesphaestus is cast from Mount Olympus after losing a dance battle to his father, Zeus. Before his exile, Hephaestus steals a mysterious record. He presents the vinyl to his bad-ass automated masterpiece, Ladybot, who unlocks its powers to create a new kingdom, and unleash Zeus’ wrath…

What inspired you to make this particular film? 

Vocabulary of the Mysteries celebrates individualism, nonconformity and self-determination, in every aspect of the story.   In the words of the Director: “For those who think they know the steps to their own destiny better than the gods that made them. Let us jam together. For those who have moved their hips to this same impossible song, and want to keep on moving to it, no matter what the cost - This picture is yours.”

I am an avid lover of all things love, mythology and hip-hop. The DP,  Zack Auron, approached me with this insane story he and Jake came up with while - wait for it -  listening to A$AP Rocky in Italy.  He spoke of bridging together Greek Mythology and classic Hip-Hop themes.  They needed a producer, and I didn’t hesitate to hop on board!

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

“Best”: As soon as we finished shooting, the entire cast and crew burst into a long rap song. It was horrible. So I turned on Gucci Mane and it turned into a dance party. We partied until 3am, while packing all the camera and lighting equipment.

“Worst”:  Sacrifices. They’re never fun. We sacrificed parties, jobs, homework,  you name it.  For me, I was also forced to sacrifice the idea that college grades and assignments were enough. Vocabulary was one of the first projects I worked on as a college student, that was completely self-motivated.  This shootscared the sh-t out of me. This shoot brought out the worst in me.  In the end, it made me better.

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

“Best” is Subjective to my super moody persona.  Today, I’m somewhere between Survive Style 5 and Bebe’s Kids. Also: Idlewild is severely underrated.

“Worst” also subjective, but let’s go with Gone Girl. Way too many loopholes for me. (Spoiler alert: you’re really telling me Ben Affleck can’t leave her after all that? Please.)

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’m a writer at heart, but started in filmmaking as an actor. As a youngster, I appeared on TBS’ Movie and a Makeover, a Chick-Fil-A Server in a training video, and several films as an extra. I later went to school for Screenwriting.

Film Heroes - I like anyone who can make a story sound like poetry and vice versa: Spike Lee, Wes Anderson, Yvonne Rainer, Ava DuVernay, Alfred Hitchcock, Hype Williams, Numa and Dortch Perrier

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

I live here in Jackson.  My family is rooted in Mississippi.  Vocabulary celebrates hip-hop, an American-founded music genre, and MS is the birthplace of America’s music... Talk about full circle.


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