Photo courtesy of Jared Adkins
Executive Director Jared Adkins (left) and writer and director Dennis Williams II
BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
St. John’s University alumnus and Far Rockaway native Jared Adkins will participate in Hollywood’s Holly Shorts Film Festival on Aug. 12, where he and his crew will compete against other filmmakers from across the nation.
Adkins—who graduated from St. John’s in 2015 and, at that time, majored in public relations and international studies—said that he had been influenced by rapper and actor Tupac Shakur during his youth. His passion for music, pop culture and movies led to his decision to try to make a career out of filmmaking.
The young filmmaker studied abroad in Rome, France and Spain, and spent his final year of college interning with The Weinstein Company. During that internship, Adkins developed a passion for the work that takes place behind the scenes of movies.
Shortly after his internship, Adkins and his friends Dennis Williams II—a writer and director—and Jesse Martin—an executive producer—teamed up and created their own brand known as Camp Site Studios. Thus far, the trio has created three short films—“Black Theory,” “Black Theory 2” and “Note to Self,” which is the film that enabled Camp Site Studios to obtain a slot at the Holly Shorts Film Festival.
“Note To Self” is a film about a young man named Darren, who is faced with choosing between advancing his career and pursuing a relationship with Marlee, his longtime and long-distance girlfriend.
Adkins, Williams and Martin took a year and a half to write and plan the movie. But they shot the short film during the course of one day at the Condor Hotel in Brooklyn.
“The biggest aspect of our projects is that we are making these films straight out of our own pockets,” said Adkins.
“This is what we’re passionate about. We wouldn’t be spending money on something we don’t care strongly about.”
If Camp Site Studios wins at the festival, the trio’s movie could have a chance at becoming one of the selections in the Academy Award’s short- films category.
Although their inclusion in the film festival is the first noteworthy recognition that Adkins and his friends have received, he said that their ultimate goal is to be acquired by Netflix, Hulu or comedian Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud network.
Adkins, who is the only member of the group from Queens, said that his upbringing inspired him to aim high.
“Being where I’m from, people may not feel like they could ever get the kind of opportunity to do something out of the box that they truly love to do,” said Adkins. “I want the younger generation to know that no matter where you come from, you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to.”
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.