Living Life at the Top of Your Lungs With Christopher Michael Beer
Meet Christopher Michael Beer
Living life out loud is something that Chris Beer is good at. Through various creative projects, he explores the things that he's most passionate about and continues to let his imagination play. We met up at Coney Island to talk about his writing, shooting, and editing and what's next for him creatively.
Christopher Michael Beer
Occupations, affiliations and projects.
Producer, Director, Editor, Godzilla Enthusiast. I typically make branded content (so, like, 'mini commercials for the internet'), music videos, and narrative shorts. I just launched a new site that has all my best work neatly presented: cmbeer.com
“People Who Do” focuses on those who excel at moving forward throughout their passions in life, why is it important to you to “do”?
I am not content to simply exist - I want to live life at the top of my lungs, riding a dinosaur into the sunset, a chainsaw in one arm, and a flaming axe in the other. Metaphorically speaking. Or literally, that works too.
To date, what accomplishments (of any kind) are you most proud of?
I have some recent-ish things I'm incredibly proud of: The first music video I ever directed premiered as the #1 hot pick on MTV, and within the last year I created a soft-scripted comedy series for Refinery29 that's really taken off. But just after I graduated college, I made a very low-budget feature centered around LGBT rights, which ended up being screened as part of Twin Cities Pride. An audience member came up to me afterwards to tell me that the film had actually affected her so much that she was rethinking her conservative stance on the subject. Stuff like that is the raison d'etre; to make an emotional connection with someone using my work as a bridge....I'm also pretty proud of the fact that I won a piece of dinosaur bone by answering paleontology trivia at age 4.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?
My landlord is like one of those wise supporting characters in a coming-of-age novel. He told me, almost out of nowhere, 'when presented with an offer or opportunity you might not be sure of, don't say 'no'...say ''I'll think about it.''
#1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments
To quote my mom, ''Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke."
What’s your favorite lesson you’ve ever learned, ever?
'Turning the other cheek' is the biggest piece of bullshit ever; there is nothing wrong with cutting people out of your life if they're affecting you in a negative way. Approach the world with optimism, but if someone is actively trying to cause harm (of whatever kind) to you or others, they don't deserve your respect or your attention. Let them wilt.
What's your go-to song to put you in a better mood?
Lately, 'Dimed Out' by Titus Andronicus has been lifting me up just dandy.
What’s the next goal?
I have a 'to do list' filled with passion projects that I would like to have completed by the end of 2015 - including some feature length scripts, a youtube channel to house all the random ideas in my head, and even a novella. The big, practical goal on the horizon is to get out to LA and take a stab at working on some larger productions (my phone is on, RiRi).
Most recent favorite daydream.
Being a featured panel at Comic-Con (this could fall under 'future goal' in some way, as my best friend and I are putting a long-discussed animated series pilot into action).
What drives you to tell your story through your creative production work? This isn't going to blow any minds, but: it's my therapy. I've never been one to journal, meditate, or beat up pillows effectively; yet, when I start creating - writing, shooting, editing, what have you - just letting my imagination out to play for a bit, that's when I get through to myself. Whatever is going on in my brain, I let it out in what I make. Even if it's just a beauty tutorial gig I'm doing for a paycheck, there's a piece of me somewhere; it's amazing how much of myself I can work out through just little flourishes in my craft. I started a photo-a-day blog this year (yearofthe-goat.tumblr.com) in order to instill some of this creative discipline on a daily basis, and diarize in a medium more stimulating than text.
Top 5 people you would invite to a dinner party
John Waters, Miranda July, Gus Van Sant, the resurrected corpse of Shirley Jackson, and Guillermo Del Toro.
3 words you want to be remembered by.
'Destroy All Monsters.'
By "do-ing", you create your own unique legacy. How do you want your legacy to look/be remembered?
I've had (and continue to have) some fantastic idols in my life who, through their work or their words, inspired me to take the first steps and push me to continue the walk uphill. If I could be that inspiration for someone else, I would consider it a life very well spent.