100 Creatives

Phoenix Filmmaker Randy Murray: 100 Creatives

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See also: Tempe Artist Clarita Lulić: 100 Creatives

The documentary recently screened at the Jerome Indie Film & Music Festival. Next up, Manhattan Film Festival.

With a compelling and utterly upsetting subject and a well-told story that will rile up anyone with a conscience, we have a feeling Murray and his movie will be on the road for a while.

I came to Phoenix with my family. I was 11 years old, my folks were struggling in LA when my mom won the "Deal of the Day" on the TV show Let's Make A Deal with Monte Hall. They sold their winnings and bought a home in Phoenix, hoping for a fresh start. It didn't work out for either of my parents, they both eventually moved back to California. My sister and I ended up calling Phoenix home. It is funny how TV show winnings brought me here.

I make art because I can't help myself. I am naturally mischievous, storytelling lets me cause all kinds of problems and create all types of chaos without anyone getting hurt. I am also one of those who believe that if you have the ability to do something good for the world, you have an obligation to do it. I know there is power in story and even greater power in a telling a story with video. So I make my art to entertain and to do good.

I'm most productive when I am inspired. I try to start the creative process by setting an objective for the piece. How do I want people to feel after seeing it? What do I want them to do? How do I want them to feel? And then I work backwards from there. Bits and pieces of ideas may come at anytime, but mornings or late nights is when full ideas seem to come together for me most often, and when inspiration comes I need to dive in and focus on my work.

My inspiration wall is full of... I don't have an inspiration wall, I use a journal. When I see something in life that makes me laugh, inspires me, breaks my heart or just makes me feel happy to be alive I try to write it down in my journal. One of the best tools for effective storytelling is real life. The people I meet, my experiences, the places I visit are the best touchstones for creating my art.

I've learned most from... I really don't know who has influenced me the most, I truly try to learn from as many sources as I can. I learned how to approach business and happiness from my dad. I learned how be happy from my kids and how to be fulfilled from my wife. The joy of learning from a long string of great teachers. How to cast shadows from Bill Harrison. How to see the future from Bob Long. I am always learning from the great storytellers of our time and the past.

Good work should always make you think, make you wonder, make you want to do something.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more... As a fairly new city the creative community could use many things, but to me two seem more important than most; competent political leadership and self confidence.

We need to work as an artistic community to help elect leaders who speak for the arts. It is smart economic development to make art essential to every aspect of our society; from education to legislation.

I think this is a city and community that is blooming. It seems that we do not know what a great city Phoenix is, and what a great city it is becoming. Unlike LA or New York, Phoenix is special in it's own way. We often overlook how unique our cities and landscape are. The light, the sky, the desert are wonderful and beautiful. As are the people, most of us are here because we choose to be. Unfortunately many people try to compare us with other cities, as artists the only real competition we face is with ourselves.

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski