We had the good fortune of connecting with Gary Parker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gary, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have been in the video and film production business for over 40 years, but this year brought the biggest challenge I have ever met. Going into 2020 I was looking at a prosperous year of video production projects. By the second week of March all the upcoming projects were cancelled due to the virus shutdown. Here we are six months later, and finally I have a couple of projects that are hopefully a go over the next couple of months. Bruce May and I had founded the Indie Films Foundation a nonprofit 501c in 2019. We wanted to produce a feature film about Shattered Lives and create a film school for high school students. By April we realized the shutdown was here to stay for at least the near future, so we began to rethink IFF since the video production business was on hold. We developed the Indie Films Foundation school into an on-line, zoom or in person classes with in-studio workshop.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The IFF is unique in combining its film school with a working studio. The vision for creating this mix of classes and real world production came from our 45 years of experience working in the industry. Practical lessons in film and television production doesn’t occur until students have graduated from school and gone to work in the industry. We provide hands on experience working on real film and television projects where students work on the set with industry professionals, learning as they go.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of the best things about Houston is its diversity. That is a huge asset to local and visiting film-makers. There are so many geographical backdrops to choose from historical areas to very contemporary architecture. In addition there is so much talent available in-front of the camera as well as behind it. When the shooting day is done there you can find the best food and attractions in Texas to enjoy in your down time. Houston is for film lovers and film makers.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Bruce May co-founder of the Indie Films Foundation is the top of my shout out list. It was Bruce’s idea to start a non-profit film production company to produce films with a strong message. Expanding that on goal by offering a film school for high school teenagers. Bruce followed up the concept by writing an amazing screenplay for “Shattered Lives the movie”. Bruce is a business consultant and author, so all of this is definitely in his wheelhouse. Bruce has over thirty years of business experience, as a consultant, a business executive, an entrepreneur and business trainer. His career includes over twenty years of experience in digital media and business technologies. He is a recognized expert in digital media, content and social marketing and business systems. Bruce and I have spent the spring and summer building our IFF film school into a 2 year on-line, zoom or in person classes with in-studio workshop and final class project.
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Indie Films Foundation