Evan Kidd is an award-winning filmmaker who divides his time between North Carolina and Louisiana. Raised in North Carolina, he fell in love with film at early age and eventually turned his passion for storytelling into a career. In 2014, Kidd graduated from East Carolina University, earning his degree with honors in Cinematic Arts and Media Production. While still in college, Kidd directed “Spazz Out!”, a 35-minute documentary on the annual Spazz Fest musical festival in Greenville, NC. In addition to two other award-winning short films, Kidd wrote and directed the narrative feature Son of Clowns, which has garnered multiple awards on the film festival circuit in 2016. Kidd has also directed multiple music videos, including the video for Justin Garner’s “Love Strikes Twice,” which rotated on MTV Jams and VH1 Soul in early 2016.
What was your first film?
Man. Not counting some very bad experimental and student works for several year prior (learning experiences!) I guess you could officially say “Spazz Out!”. That film was a 35 minute documentary about the local music festival Spazz Fest that takes place annually in Greenville, NC. It was such a wonderful way to make your “first” real film, because I am extremely passionate and at the time was very involved in the local music scene in town.
Several years later, my first feature film is Son of Clowns, which I’ll always have a soft spot for as we shot it in 10 days on a micro budget with all volunteer cast and crew. People don’t just do that often. Come together for the sake of making something. I’ll always treasure that.
Who do you look up to as a film maker?
Many people, both in the craft and not. I think music is strangely just as big of an influence on my work and actual filmmakers. Keeping other art forms on your radar is important because it sharpens your spear of knowledge and ability when it comes time to craft your next piece.
I love filmmakers such as Richard Linklater, Destin Cretton, Ava DuVernay, Werner Herzog, and so many more. They all have such distinctive voice and style in their work and that is critical. You have to be bold with your vision and have something to say when you create.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the fact that for the most part (expect for editing) I’m not confined to a desk. Growing up I always loved exploring and being outdoors. Traveling and taking in everything the world had to offer. Filmmaking is the perfect job to do just that and tell compelling stories while you’re at it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Do you ever get star struck?
Not much. There are absolutely legends of their craft I’d be overjoyed to see or meet in person, but at the end of the day everyone out there is your co-worker. They could be working with you or vice-verse three projects down the line, so always be ready to work with anyone.
How did you get started in film making?
Aside from watching a ton of films? I loved cinematography and camera work as a kid. I would always steal the family VHS camcorder and go around the neighborhood making shorts and just experimenting with anything I could film. That turned into a passion, because I soon found out those experiments became that much better when you framed a good story at the heart of it. Rinse and repeat for many, many years and here we find ourselves.
Where do you see yourself 5-10 years from now?
Ideally making films somewhere I could call home for a while. I love the idea of creating a filmmaking community somewhere and being able to collaborate with a regular group of passionate folks on both the cast and crew side of things. Richard Linklater has done this very well out in Austin, Texas. I like the idea of creating your own thing.
What’s your message to the youth of today’s generation?
You’ve heard chase your dreams and put in the work, but it’s seriously that simple. Nothing anyone can say beats that.
PS: Make films that matter and ones that amplify your distinctive voice & vision. The world needs far more of that these days.