Will Erokan: A Maestro For The Experimental Generation
In the age of Internet Video, anything is possible. Videos are a dime a dozen, and everybody can create something unique. The Human Species is at a Crossroad where audiences would rather watch an Honest Video with a Humble Budget over a Manipulative Multimillion Dollar Mess. And one of those Art-Forms growing from the popularity of Internet Video is Experimental Filmmaking.
During my Article talking about Tom Powers I spoke about the different types of Experimental Films. But the Truth of the matter is that any type of Film that is honest to the Vision of the Artist is Experimental. Unless the Filmmaker feels comfortable through Conformity (which is Rare), most filmmakers want to show their imagination off to the world. They all see an inspiring Art-Form that they could create impactful work. So, why don't Audiences see this side of the Film Industry?
There are multiple subjective reasons why The Hollywood Film Industry feels creatively stale, but I think most people can agree on the following two issues. The First is the Naïveté of Most Modern Audiences (particularly in The United States). I say that in the nicest way possible, as the mainstream media doesn't give them an option to see anything awe-inspiring (we will talk about this more down below). The Second is the issue of more 'Experienced Professionals' telling Younger Filmmakers to Stick With The Pre-Established Course. Like I said earlier, most Filmmakers have a Creative Spark when they begin. But because of the judgment casted by closed-minded Professionals, Young Filmmakers often feel like they either have to conform or quit.
But both these issues are part of a much larger problem. Both the Modern Audience & Young Filmmakers follow their example from Leaders & Influencers within the Film Medium. Let me break it down in the simplest way possible. Just so the reader knows, for the paragraph located down below I'm going to use Layman's Terms like Leaders & Influencers. The Film Industry doesn't use these words, but I feel like it's more appropriate to use than Technical Terms. The honest language makes it easier to grasp the problem.
So a Leader wants to create a movie and has lots of money. After a year or so of work, the film is finished & now they have to release it to the public. Through their excess amount of wealth, their able to influence Television Channels & Internet Ads so that a general audience will see their product. The more they Advertise, the more they expect to get back. Now the Movie is finally released, and it makes a bunch of money. It doesn't matter if the film was an excellent experience to its Audience because it's considered to be a huge success. Now another Leader looks at that First Leader & follows their lead. Dozens of new Leaders follow the same path until the Trend that first leader established becomes routine. The Audiences are subjected to watching the same film over & over again until one of these Leaders takes a necessary risk. Sometimes these Leaders take that necessary step towards progression, most of the time they don't. Furthermore, due to the success that these uninspired movies generate, the creative yet naive filmmakers of youth are subjected to conform & make conventional Films as well. Thus the cycle continues & nothing changes.
If that paragraph was too hard to understand, let me sum it up. Leaders influence both Humble Audiences & Up and Coming Filmmakers. It's a cycle where their in Control of the Content & Progression of this Industry. It all goes back to them, and nobody really notices it. So how to we change it? Well, the problem is that we can't. You see the Value of a Leader (warranted or not) is bent into the psyche of Human DNA. Humans are naturally inspired by other more "Powerful" People. So to try to change that fact in our industry would to completely modify the way human beings have thought for hundred of thousands of years. Unfortunately, that can't be done overnight.
The Easier and more Viable Solution to this Problem is to find a Leader that inspires those Younger Filmmakers to take Creative Risks. The Experimental Filmmaking Scene is an awe-inspiring & impactful. But nobody really knows about it because most people never heard about it. Experimental Filmmaking is very Rogue, Underground & Vague. And while I respect Rogue Filmmaking, that isn't going to change how our Culture perceives the Art-Form. So we must have a Loud, Compassionate & Creative Leader who inspires those Vulnerable Filmmakers to take that leap of faith. And in this article, I think we have a strong case for a Filmmaker who could become that leader.
Meet Will Erokan, the creator of the Cable-Syndicated Series Here Comes Everybody. He is also the creator of the Web-Series Keyhole & so much more content that it will make your head spin. For the Purposes of this Article, I will mainly focus on Here Comes Everybody. Watch the first episode right down below.
For those who didn't watch the Video, Here Comes Everybody is an A Syndicated Cable Anthology Television Series that brings multiple short Experimental Films into a single viewing session. The best example of something similar is the 1990's MTV Show titled Liquid Television. Also, Adult Swim has a lesser known Television Show called Off The Air that is somewhat like Here Comes Everybody. These shows give perspectives that the structure of other shows won't allow. They give particular Audiences a platform to view Tomorrow's Talent in a short period of time. For the purposes of this Article, I will call this type of Television Show a "Neoteric Mixture." The definition (in basic terms) means a Singular Show (or Program) that displays a Mixture of New Artists (and/or Art, Artforms, ETC.) in one setting.
The great aspect about having a Neoteric Mixture Show over a Traditional Anthology Show is you can show as many Video-Pieces as the schedule allows. This gives Multiple New-Age Artists a sense of community and a place to create THEIR OWN VOICE. Here Comes Everybody expects nothing more than for the Artist to thrive in their Creative Habitat. Right now the show has 36 Episodes with over 50 Artists promoting their work on it.
But Will is much more than the Creator of Here Comes Everybody. He is a reasonable voice that can change the minds of people who doubt the Art-Form. I interviewed him on the 23rd of May of this Year (2017). And the one topic that we both talked about the most was how to show this industry to the mainstream public.
Right now Here Comes Everybody runs On Cable Access Channels Los Angeles, Berkeley, Portland, Olympia, Seattle & Chicago. If you live in any of those areas, I strongly suggest you check it out. You can also find it on Youtube (obviously). Here Comes Everybody continues to have a release every single week (subscribe) so it isn't the lack of content or influence that makes his show stay in the underground.
Except for Chicago, you can tell that all of these cities are on the Western Coast of the United States. And not to get political, but all of these cities are very liberal in nature. Now don't get me wrong; I'm a liberal & respect the culture in these cities (I live in Denver BTW). But it isn't enough; we need to promote these films in places that never knew what an Experimental Film was. And Will wants to promote his show in places like Nashville, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Milwaukee & other cities that aren't as Liberally Viable.
It's was this type of conversation that made me excited to write about Will. He isn't just an Artist who hoped that multiple people would view his work. He is an avid supporter of the Experimental Film Genre and wants to see it grow. Here Comes Everybody is one of the best examples I've seen where these Artists (who would otherwise be alone) come together & promote one another. And Will's ability to create a Creative Community outside of State Borders is an admirable trait that very few possess.
But what's more is that this passion comes from a genuine place. During my Conversation, it was clear that Will cared about the Experimental Filmmaking Scene. He agreed with me that most of our Popular Films are playing too safe for comfort. And that if the audience was given a chance, they might enjoy Experimental Filmmaking more than what Hollywood is giving them.
Will shows the strength of leadership through the creative passion in others. In our Interview, he asked me about my own opinions in this industry. A lot of Artists only talk about themselves, and it's good to see that there are filmmakers to want to see that Creative Spark of Life in others.
Will isn't alone though as he told me the previously unknown secrets of American Experimental Filmmaking. To understand where I'm coming from, I feel like I should tell my story before I talked to Will. You see I've been trying to push Experimental Filmmaking for over 6 Years Now (I'm 22). And I believe anybody who has ever tried to Stand-Out in a Conformed Industry will understand my frustrations.
Not too long ago I went to a film school that focused too much on Film Narrative & not enough on Film Experience. Or, to put it bluntly, Story over Poetry. This wasn't a bad school if you grew up loving Hollywood Style Narrative Filmmaking. But as an Aspiring Experimental Filmmaker, I felt like a Heretic in a Church. This was when I changed my Primary Focus From Filmmaking To Screenwriting (and left that school). I thought I could stand out as being one of the only few Poetic Screenwriters in the business. After-All, an untapped market can only be a good thing, right?
As an Aspiring Screenwriter, I saw a lot more success. Filmmakers from the Czech Republic, Finland & other European countries really respected what I was doing. And while these Scripts never made it to the big screen (yet), they saw me as a Unique Visionary in a oversaturated craft. Back in the United States though, it was a whole different story. I was regularly called out by a bunch of 'Professionals,' which I didn't mind. Whenever you try something different, people are going to mock you. That's just a fact of life. What was hard to deal with though was just how alone I felt. I wasn't getting any recognition from Filmmakers in the United States. I was being laughed at by Producers & other Screenwriters for criticizing the Three-Act-Structure. And furthermore, my name was being grouped with people who shouldn't be taken seriously. And during all this bullshit, all I had was myself. Loneliness became Normal & I only had to keep my Creative Vision running.
I don't say this to be sentimental. I actually HATE the fact that I have to admit this Story to this Audience. But I wrote about it because it is the main reason why I started my blog in the first place. After all of my Struggles, I thought that Creative Artists were being shattered by 'Professionals' who thought they knew all of the answers. I thought Conformity was getting praised, and that most film students were taking the safest road possible towards success. You can even see this mindset in my last blog about Tom Powers, where I start the article by stating that most film students are obsessed with Hollywood Elitism.
But then I talked to Will. One of the very first things he talked about was his Film School, Evergreen State College. He talked about how the school had a program that focused ONLY on Experimental Filmmaking. They didn't just Accept or Allow this Art-Form, they EXPECTED IT. That sentence alone alleviated years of frustration I've experienced. And it made me realize that I've been closed-minded to assume every film school experience was like my own. It didn't just end there either. He mentioned that a ton of his Experimental Filmmaking friends worked in Hollywood. He even mentioned that he has far more supporters than critics. This was so foreign to a guy like me. But once we talked about it, the truth began to show. The United States isn't as Creatively Inept as I once thought.
To end my story off, I just wanted to say that Will showed me Hope. He gave me closure in what seemed to be a never-ending battle. If Will can change the mind of a person like myself who is very passionate about certain issues, he can alter the mind of anybody. Will isn't just an Experimental Filmmaker; he's a Secret Professor who wants to see Creative Talent Thrive.
If you have an Experimental Film that needs to be shown, you need to talk to Will. If you want to see Experimental Films, you need to follow Will. If you have any questions about the American Experimental Film Scene, you need to chat with Will. And unless you're happy with the Conformed Media we currently have, you need to support the work of Will Erokan.
I don't say the following sentence with any sense of hyperbole. It doesn't matter if I write 5 Articles or 25 Articles. Will Erokan is going to be one of the most influential people I ever write about. Not only because he is a Visionary Artist. Not only because he has a Television show that promotes other Visionary Artists. But because he gives every Experimental Filmmaker a sense of belonging, no matter who they are. I guarantee that the day Experimental Films become more accepted by the mainstream public, Will Erokan is going to be one of the leading voices. I hope to stand beside him when that day comes. But regardless of what the future might bring, it has been a tremendous honor to talk about the incredible Experimental Film Leader Will Erokan.
You can follow his Facebook and subscribe to his Youtube Channel. If you enjoyed this Article, please follow my Facebook Page (Visionary Discoveries) and stay tuned to hypnoticvisionaire.com. Will showed me that there is a Vast World full of Exciting Talent, so I won't be stopping anytime soon.
If you have an Experimental Film that could be viewed on Here Comes Everybody, send a link to this email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have a Visionary Voice that's worth celebrating, email me at (email@example.com) so I can write an Article about your work. I also plan to start a Podcast talking about Visionary Talent very shortly, so stay tuned if you don't want to miss that.
Check out my Previous Article on 19-Year-Old British Film Student Tom Powers. And finally, if you want to support My Website and have some extra change, please donate to this website. Every dollar will help my cause, which in turn will assist the cause of every Visionary Filmmaker I talk about.
With all of that out of the way, thank you all so much for reading this article. I hope all of my readers have an Incredible Day & Keep Supporting Unique Talent wherever you see it.