Witness yesterday’s dreams realized into today’s reality with Michael Wilson
Hey Michael, thanks for dropping by man. When the pain of discouragement strikes us to our core, would you say that we have to call the Cool Kids from Morphine City to the rescue? What was the inspiration for your company’s name: Cool Kids, Morphine City (CKMC)?
Hey Pierre! First of all, thanks for having me. Always love talking to positive and ambitious people like yourself. Now to your questions…Shit, I don’t think we are here to rescue people, but really just support and collaborate with you. Discouragement is a part of the game, there are obstacles and setbacks with anything in life, but navigating smartly and strategically, makes success that much sweeter.
As for our name? Listen to the lyrics to The Smashing Pumpkins-1979. The deeper meaning behind it is a little more ambiguous. Let’s just say, I am a millennial who grew up in the suburbs, riding bikes with my cousins, hanging out at the mall with my friends, always looking for more, wanting to do something, be part of something bigger than myself. Often times we found ourselves disaffected from everyone around us, and found ourselves with the camcorder and a story to make.
Can you give us the shakedown on CKMC’s vision?
We are talent-driven, meaning we don’t sacrifice creative integrity for financial gain. Whether you are a writer, musician, actor, or artist, we work to collaborate towards a single vision. We build on a foundation of emotional, artistic storytelling, that later translates to engaging narratives, that both creators and brands can be proud of. Aside from being a collaborator with content creators, we are ambitiously working with businesses to see that they can be a part of popular culture and talk with their consumers, not at them.
Besides hard work and passion, what would you say is the third most important rule that drive you?
The acceptance that work and passion can lead to failure. I don’t think failure is a bad thing at all though, we grow and adapt to mistakes, and getting them out of the way at the beginning is part of success.
When did you dedicate yourself to elevating your talent and creativity through film directing?
After years as a creative director in advertising, I saw a gap that I could fill in my own passion. Professionally, I was a creative, but there were a lot of times I didn’t feel creative. Passion projects are important, and after years of talking about making a movie, I figured out, how I could integrate my career with my passion. Branded entertainment.
Who or what inspired you to create CKMC?
It’s in the name.1979 is my muse. Dreams of yesterday are the realities of today.
I noticed that you’ve managed to not let technology overshadow your creativity and authenticity, what’s your secret?
Embrace technology. It is a vehicle, not a destination. I love technology, and believe that great storytelling can be told on really cool platforms, whether mobile or social. Simply knowing that technology is just a device to get your vision out there and not a gimmick is the single most important thing. Now my secrets of how we integrate the two? That remains our secret. It is knowing your audience and how to connect to them.
As a Leader or Director how do you keep your focus on accomplishing key goals during the creative process when things are in conflict with your vision?
Big picture. The understanding that the creative process needs to be both flexible and patient. I surround myself with a great team that remind me of this too. Being a leader means relying on people who help drive towards that ultimate goal.
When it comes to successful storytelling what is most important element that you would say is a MUST?
Perspective. Being a good storyteller means that you are a great story listener.
Can you shed some light on what you would like to contribute to the film/creative industry 5 years from now?
I just want to give back to a place that has given me so much. I want to give the future, the kids, content that they can relate to, just like I had with MTV and movies about teenagers doing cool and ambitious things. With my experience as a creative and strategist, I want to help shape the way we connect to the future, through dope fucking stories, anywhere, anytime.
What are some interesting and exciting projects that are in the horizon for CKMC?
We have a comedic web-series we are working on scheduled for release at the end of this year, as well as a short film inspired by French film noir which I believe will change the way we listen to music. We are also working with a few retail companies to build branded content and entertainment that reach and connect with their target market in a genuinely, emotionally connected way.
It would be a sin to let you go without asking you this. Can you share with us your top 3 movie directors and movies of all time and why?
Tough one. Directors? Coming from advertising, check out some of the short form Jonathan Glazer has done. Woody Allen, Kubrick, Nolan…all commercial success directors that I love. Shit, I can’t just name 3. John Hughes. Miyazaki.
Top 3 movies? That one is impossible, but my I can name you some that I own and watch all the time. I am so eclectic, and they range from emotional connections, to just beautiful cinematography. Science of Sleep, Hiroshima mon Amour, Back to the Future, Kids, The Mighty Ducks, The Royal Tenenbaums, and surprisingly…Empire Records.
Do you have any tips for people who want to get into the film industry?
Make stuff. Make lots and lots of stuff. Don’t look for commercial success, look for a way to make something you love, something that you could sit around, with your family and friends, and say you made. Organization on financing and producing can be learned, but ambition to just shoot can’t. So just focus on making stuff.
What is on your watching list at the moment?
I am watching stuff all the time. It isn’t always just film, its music videos, and youtube channels, advertisements. I love pop-culture and am not ashamed to spend a whole Saturday just watching Friday Night Lights, or binge watching Downton Abbey. I am also on Vimeo all the time just admiring the great stuff out there by independent, aspiring talent. Just go find a random video and deep link through. You’ll be amazed at what’s out there.
Where can people go to find about more about your projects?
CKMC.TV and like us on Facebook and Instagram.