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Writer/Director Sunny King Tells His Story; What's Yours?

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act October 7, 2013 at 12:45PM

Recapping... I did this in February of last year (2012), and got a few response, so I figured, a year-and-a-half later, with the site's audience now larger than it was back then, that I'd try it again.
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writer/director Sunny King

Recapping... I did this in February of last year (2012), and got a few response, so I figured, a year-and-a-half later, with the site's audience now larger than it was back then, that I'd try it again.

I know that a significant chunk of S&A's audience comprises of actors, actresses, directors, DPs, editors, etc, etc, etc. Some are able to earn a paycheck utilizing their artistic and/or technical skills; others - and I'd say the majority - are what we've labeled the proverbial *starving artists*, working diligently, relentlessly, struggling to climb this incredibly steep hill, trying to reach some pinnacle of success - whether personal or professional. And still others exist somewhere between the former and the latter.

Where do you fall? And, as the title of this post states, what's YOUR story, and would you like to share it with the rest of the world?

Think of it as an extension of the successful S&A Filmmaker Diary series we launched almost 2 years ago. I'm looking for your individual stories of struggle and/or success, regardless of what rung on the ladder you are currently on, after all, not only is S&A just a source for news, its goal is also to become a community of cinema lovers where we can all share/debate/discuss/learn/teach/commiserate/etc.

Here's your chance. You might learn something; you might teach someone something.

What's YOUR story? You can email me (obensont@gmail.com). You can submit your story in any format - written, or even documented on video. I'll post as many of them as I can. Substance and presentation are key for consideration. 

And be sure to attach a photo (large size) for me to include, and if you have samples of your work, include them as well.

It could be a story about a current situation you find yourself in; or it could cover several days, weeks, months, or years of your career. It could be that you just want to vent your frustrations; aspects of, or people in this business that piss you off; aspects of, or people in the industry that encourage you. It doesn't have to be all negative, nor all positive. We're complex people, and so I assume our stories are as well.

In today's post, writer/director Sunny King shares his story:

“Without pain, there would be no suffering, without suffering we would never learn from our mistakes. To make it right, pain and suffering is the key to all windows, without it, there is no way of life.”---Angelina Jolie

My name is Sunny King. I’m of Nigerian heritage .I came into England in the summer of 1997 as a young boy . And by the time I came of age , I got an offer for the next 4 years in university to study visual communication and design. I was an illustrator.

But my interest in the subject began to wane as the course wasn’t challenging enough.

And during my second year in university , my interest in film had peaked and I wanted to know the basics of filmmaking without spending too much money.

Quentin Tarantino of Reservoir dogs and Pulp fiction fame didn’t go to film school so why should I. Still they were lingering doubts and suspicion in regards to my success as a filmmaker You have to remember that back in the early millenium there were not a lot of urban movies in the U.K made to great success at the time. And coming from an African background I had to have a back-up plan because doing work in the entertainment industry wasn’t seen as good career move.

My greatest inspiration to becoming a filmmaker was watching “City of God” in the cinema. It showed that a good script with good direction can take you anywhere, the fact that it got so much attention for the storyline and was not deemed a huge blockbuster style movie made it all the more amazing. At the time I was soul searching, as I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do. But this film inspired me to go out and make good films

My first attempt to make a shortfilm was both a setback and a learning curve . The experience showed that I wasn’t competent enough to be a director yet .

This was a rude awakening that took me back to a lesson learned many years ago.

I was a young student at primary school when I took part in a competition to write the best story for the school assembly. With great enthusiasm I did what I knew best  “action , action and action” .On the day the winner was announced,

my name wasn’t mentioned,  not even as a runners-up .

Disappointed but with curiosity I wanted to know why I lost. Outside the headmistress’s office on her noticeboard , I learnt three new words ‘short , subtlety and simplicity’. This made an impression on me. And to rectify and justify the lessons learnt from my previous attempt in film I decided to make another short film called “Signs” and several film festivals, nominations and award winning years later my confidence was back.

I'm proud to say I learnt being a film director on my own. Shooting my short films back to back independently was the best film school I ever had.

Its similar to jumping off a cliff and assembling an airplane all the way down.

I love what I do and I’m grateful to share my work with the citizens of the world.

PLEASE VOTE “UNSPOKEN” TO WIN THE BEFFTA AWARDS FOR

FILM 1 AND FILM 9 CATEGORY – vote on link below

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For Best Director and Best Short Film

“UNSPOKEN”


My first shortfilm “Signs”:


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This article is related to: What's Your Story?


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