Award-winning director, cinematographer, and a storyteller After making his screenwriting and directorial debut, Dallas-based video production visionary Alex Kinter recently received a record 20 international laurels from the world’s most prestigious film festivals for his short independent mood film, “Poolside.” Among his increasing wins, he has been awarded “Best Short Film” by the Indie Short Fest (an affiliate of the Los Angeles International Film Festival), New York Movie Awards, and Andromeda Film Festival. The art house flick, which has also been selected for global festival premieres in Cannes, Prague and Milan later this year, is slated for mass distribution and streaming availability on Amazon Prime and Video on Demand.
Q: First of all tell us about the start of your professional career?
I started my professional career in photography. I learned how to shoot and develop film in a dark room at my high school, which opened up my eyes to picture making. Then soon after I bought a Nikon DSLR and started Xander Photography, my first creative business. I was able to get bands, artists and business people interested in shooting press photos with me for their business. Soon after I got some consistent gigs at various nightclubs in Dallas, but my thirst for creative work only grew more and more. I began to shoot models, private events, cars and advertising photos for a wide variety of companies and industries. Then, I decided to start giving videos a shot and bought my first real video camera, the canon XH-A1. This was before the rise of DSLR video and filmmaking. Shot a short film or two with my friends at the time for fun and some mock up commercials for cars. My curiosity for video and film grew so I went to the REDucation film program that RED Digital Cinema offers in Hollywood, California at their studios and received my certification as a Digital Imaging & Post-processing technician. That same year ended up shooting my first music video on the RED Epic X. Once that project came to fruition and the music video premiered in Sherman, Tx, in a theater full of people there to see it, I was hooked.
Q: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?
Never stop learning and use any adversity you receive as fuel to take you where you want to go. It’s important to also keep good company when you’re trying to build something. It’s easier said than done, but more often than not, your circle needs to get smaller, tighter and stronger to create the kind of constructive core and positive environment required for massive growth.
Q :In your experience, what is the key to developing a good team? (Look for how they build mutual trust, respect, and cooperation.)
I look to build teams off how flexible and creative they are. I like to find raw talent and help them discover what is possible with a little bit of opportunity. Good attitude, integrity and some backbone are things that I look for. I go off vibe and gut feeling more now because sometimes your body knows things before your mind does. I’ve had to find out the hard way by ignoring those kind of subtle cues. Setting expectations and boundaries from the start is a huge part of developing a solid team. So that there are no surprises and everyone knows where they stand. The best ones usually come with some sort of reference from someone you already trust professionally or even a complete stranger with good experience and connections on LinkedIn. A mentor of mine taught me that sometimes a stranger off Linked in has better intentions and more respect for you than a friend you would like to hire and be better for you in the long run.
Q :How do you plan details as director, such as framing, composition, camera movement, sound, and actor movement for each shot or scene? Share an example?
Well to me it all starts with a blank document that turns into a script. Sometimes I write the script or I collaborate with other writes in coming up with it. When I write I like to stay at groovy hotels like The Belmont Hotel or The Texican Court. I like the quirky yet elegant nature of those hotels because they have a certain vibe to them that invites creativity, as opposed to a traditional or modern hotel. Changing the everyday environment is a part of my creative process that helps with writers block. The aesthetics of the new environment helps ideas come and flow more easily to where I can imagine and think more clearly of story, plot, concepts, lines, setups, lighting, characters, movement and other various elements that are crucial to scenes.
Q : Can you please tell us about your latest work?
Sure! Recently I have been working on commercial projects with my friend David over at BlackBoxStocks and I have also been getting into trading forex, stocks and crypto when I’m not working on commercial or film projects. Our film Poolside has also been getting a lot of momentum in the festival circuit and winning several awards internationally. You can catch a screening of it online on Xerb.tv under Independent Shorts Awards, Indie Shorts Awards Cannes, and Indie Shorts Awards New York under the Best Short Films, Experimental and A Star Is Born blocks on the festival streaming platform. We are looking forward to seeing what’s store in the second half of 2021 for the short film. After the festival circuit it will be available for Video on Demand on various short film platforms and Amazon Prime Video.
Q: What inspires you?
Life experiences, fine art, music and the opportunity to wake up everyday and get to create something new. My fiancé Elizabeth also inspires me with her support and love for creativity and art as well.
Q :How can we follow you on social media?