A Career on the Rise
Corvell Newman is a recent graduate of RRFC’s Film Connection. Based in Shreveport, Louisiana, this 23-year-old aspiring director is already making moves—working on commercials and features. He recently participated in the making of this year’s first prize winning film at the Louisiana Film Prize festival.
How did you originally get interested in film?
Since I was young, I’ve always created stories, always enjoyed making my own narratives. Originally, I wanted to act. [In] high school, my sophomore year, someone gave me a skit idea to do. I wrote it down, and we did it for a class project. That’s when I realized I liked creating stories, instead of being in front of the camera.
Since I was young, I’ve always created stories, always enjoyed making my own narratives.
Are there a lot of opportunities in Shreveport to explore filmmaking?
There are, it’s not as big as larger cities like LA or Dallas, but there’s a small [robust] family-like community here. I just recently got into that community.
Tell us about the film festival you were a part of!
It is called The Louisiana Film Prize. [It’s part of a larger multidisciplinary creative arts festival that includes] fashion shows and all sorts of stuff. [My mentor] had told me about it when I was in school, but I was a bit nervous [to participate at that time].
How did you get involved in your specific project?
I got in touch through a connection I have and was granted the opportunity to come onto it as the grip…. Every once in a while, I ended up helping with the camera, but for the majority of the time I acted as the grip. The team was mostly from LA, but they came down to support the film festival.
Can you tell us about the short?
It’s called They Grow Up So Fast and it’s about a wild-life-living kind of guy. He meets this woman randomly in a bar, having the time of his life, and time speeds up. He [meets her], she ends up getting pregnant, then the baby is 3 years old. It’s hilarious. We won first prize.
What exactly does a grip do?
A grip is the person who helps the gaffer [chief electrician] with equipment and props. They work to help the set move [more efficiently].
What draws you towards directing specifically?
I love creating stories. Writing and directing my own work is a priority. I feel like it’s my calling in life… I want to dig into everything.
Writing and directing my own work is priority. I feel like it’s my calling in life… I want to dig into everything.
What kind of stories would you like to tell?
Right now, I have a thing for sci-fi. [Ultimately], I’m open to many types of stories. I’ve written [cross-genre] things that I find dope, but right now I’m really into sci-fi.
Are there any directors or screenwriters that you find particularly inspiring?
I love Tarantino. I love Kill Bill, it’s my favorite movie.
Horror and sci-fi are in such a renaissance right now! You have all these big names, like Jordan Peele, really pushing the bounds of these genres artistically and literarily. Is this contemporary movement something you want to be a part of?
I love Jordan Peele, he’s right up my alley.
How’d you get involved in the RRFC program?
It kind of found me. I happened to thumb across the website [while doing research on film school]. I saw that they could [set up a program right here] in Shreveport. I thought that was grand.
Who’s your mentor?
Wade Marshall. He’s the [local] film commissioner.
Have you two maintained a relationship?
Absolutely, I’m very grateful for him. He put me on my first set I ever worked on.
What benefits do you see within the program?
The hands-on experience. The one-on-one interaction with Wade. You can’t get that anywhere else in my opinion. It worked perfectly in my favor. I was on set two weeks after finishing the program. It’s the perfect film school.
Do you see yourself staying in Shreveport and continuing in this new community you’ve found, or do you see yourself moving to a larger city?
I do want to move eventually, but the community here is really cool. I know that Shreveport is rising within the film community, but I will eventually move.
Do you have any interest in working in television?
Yes, I do! That’s the only thing that really upsets me here, there really isn’t much television. I definitely want to get into that.
Do you have any projects you are devising right now?
I’m currently working on a series of videos highlighting people for either their careers, hobbies, or goals. Think of it as a character introduction if you will. The first one I’ll be doing will be an interview-style video; so, I’m really excited about that. Other than writing and dabbling in photography, the video series will be the next thing I’ll be working on myself. I like to keep myself busy. It’s fun!