The Fort Worth Film Commission (FWFC) is proud to work with an array of talented companies and individuals who call our city home. We hope you enjoy our spotlight blog series as you get to know local producers, directors, writers, cameramen, consultants, marketing professionals and members of the creative industry.
Spotlight On: Nathan D. Myers
Nathan D. Myers is a producer and director based in Fort Worth. He is the owner and CEO of Grafted Studios, Inc. which is the production company behind “Aria Appleton,” an official showcase selection at this year’s Lone Star Film Festival. Grafted Studios is the parent company for the Fort Worth Actors Studio, a two-year old organization Nathan co-directs with his wife, D’lytha Myers. Fort Worth Actors Studio has over 75 students studying musical theatre, voice, piano, and acting for the camera and has prepared many to achieve talent agency representation in DFW or LA.
FWFC: Why did you choose to work in Fort Worth?
MYERS: "D’lytha and I tried LA and NYC. I’ve even lived in Nashville, but Fort Worth just has the best of all of these worlds, reasonable weather, all the benefits of urban living with a smaller town ‘feel,’ great restaurants, friendly people & world class everything. Other cities need not apply."
FWFC: What do you enjoy most about being part of the production industry?
MYERS: "It sounds crazy, but I truly enjoy the excruciating and lengthy process of project development. It’s mysterious and fascinating the way that collaborative efforts of filmmaking result in fully-formed, finished products. There’s just something very gratifying about unearthing and excavating an idea till it’s fully revealed."
FWFC: What are some characteristics of a good filmmaker/producer, and what do you do to foster them?
MYERS: "Servanthood is the foremost necessary characteristic of a successful filmmaker/producer. You have to be willing the serve the work that’s put before you, and sometimes the work is undesirable. Serving the work is serving your team, serving a bunch of paperwork, or laboring over the birth of a creative idea whose time has come. Servanthood is certainly key, but in order to make your service effective, you have to foster trust. It’s the key to all creative endeavors. I tell my crew and associates to “Serve the work and trust the process."
"People have a tendency to freak out when locations fall through, actors fall through, or a story idea begins to morph along the way (“That’s not in the screenplay!!”), but you can’t allow these alleged obstacles to be mistaken for anything but a necessary part of the revealing. This, of course, requires epic courage and fortitude to undergird the trust. The only way I’ve found to foster these qualities in myself is to start and fail, start and fail—kinesthetically, and learn from making poor choices from time to time. Courage and trust and your ability to serve grow with experience. So I always tell younger filmmakers… “just MAKE something already. The work and the process will become your teacher.”
FWFC: What makes Fort Worth different, and why should filmmakers and those in the creative industry come here?
MYERS: "Fort Worth is a ground-floor opportunity for filmmakers. You still have a lot of freedom and choice here. Friendly Texas culture. It’s a “right to work” state — look up what that means. DFW is full of hungry and talented (and under-appreciated) actors and crew. There are so many choices and opportunities still here that otherwise in CA or NY are MUCH more challenging due to state law, red tape, unionization, etc… And from time to time, the Texas legislature has the wisdom to activate state film tax incentives. Oh, and Fort Worth is just a super-cool place to live and play."
FWFC: What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers/producers or those who want to get started in Fort Worth?
MYERS: "Fort Worth is such a cool city! There’s a culture here that’s not (yet) jaded by the filmmaking process. It’s still affordable and easy to shoot here against a variety of unfamiliar but beautiful backdrops. And now we have the Fort Worth Film Commission which will make things even easier. Fort Worth isn’t ‘old hat’ like the cliché cityscapes of NYC and LA. What a cool opportunity to shoot in a beautiful, practically untouched backdrop. Take advantage of it while it lasts.