Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
Hi and hello! I’m Cameron Thrower, call me “Cam”— part human/part alien, film director, screenwriter, editorial photographer, husband, and dog dad.
This marks my 15th year living in Los Angeles. I was born and raised in the small town of Summerville, South Carolina. Growing up, I was always looking for a creative outlet; community theatre, marching band, and making short films. I spent a few years working with the Americorps Program post-film school, then moved to Los Angeles to pursue my dream of becoming a film director.
As of now, I make films that make you think, but more than anything, I want my movies to make you feel. I remember going camping as a kid; we would tell stories around a bonfire. The ones I recall most vividly were the ones told by the emotional storytellers, the ones that jumped into the story and pulled you in for the ride. That’s the way a film should be experienced.
A tale told by an emotional, confident storyteller, leaving out the bits that you can imagine yourself, making you care about these characters, these people, this story. I live and breathe in exploring these character artifacts with actors and how to tell the most truthful story, even if it’s fictional.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
A couple of qualities that I bring to all my sets are kindness and collaboration. Those two things are so important to me, from pre-production to post. But, ultimately, it’s about the story and how each cast & crew member can lend their “superpower” to create the best cinematic experience for the audience.
If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down, and most of the time that’s ego.
I’m surrounded by talented individuals who have an infinite passion for making movies. I’ve learned along the way as a creative to collaborate, not dictate, be a leader who listens, steps in to do the work, and is not afraid to make mistakes.
The job is not to ignore problems but to fix problems creatively. Having that courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome is what being an artist is all about, chasing courage over comfort.
I don’t take this industry for granted. I’ve always had a love and respect for movies. A few of my favorite influential films growing up that would significantly impact my work was E.T., Labyrinth, Coming to America, Short Circuit, Pretty Woman, The Lost Boys, Dirty Dancing, Adventures in Babysitting, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. To me — these classics are cinematic comfort food for the soul!
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
One summer during High School changed everything for me. I gathered some of my best friends, most of them from the theatre/broadcasting department, and we set out to make a feature film.
Every day of that summer vacation was a dream. We had no idea what we were doing and we didn’t care that we didn’t know.
The film was called THE OVERDOSE DRAMA… and let me tell you, even though it wasn’t the best piece of cinematic art, it was the driving force that would change the course of my life. I couldn’t wait to wake up every morning, shooting into the night, driving around our small town, and having a kick-ass time.
Local businesses were just as excited as we were. They welcomed us with open arms to film in their businesses. A permit wasn’t even in my vocabulary back then.
After filming wrapped, we spent the next few months editing our “masterpiece” on two VCRs (before FCPX & Premiere). We even had a film screening with a large crowd at a downtown Charleston library. The support was overwhelming, and people asked, “What’s next?” I asked myself the same thing…
…and here we are, all those years later, living in Los Angeles. Telling that story brings up so many fun memories & SHOUT OUT to all those incredible friends who helped me make a movie that summer! (Meredith, Griffin, Venus, Liz, Jennifer, Jessica and so many more.)
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
Making a movie takes blood, sweat, and years… YES, I said it… YEARS!!! This pandemic was the biggest challenge because so many projects had to pause after all those years of work on a particular film.
Of course, I’m not the only one who felt the hit, though, but so many different artists did. In a way, I think it brought us all closer.
I had to redirect my film directing passion into full-time screenwriting (half the filmmaking battle). Luckily I have two fantastic writing partners, Joe McKernan and Michael Wright. We were able to bang out some pretty great scripts over the phone, email, masked meetings, and of course, zoom.
Joe McKernan and I have two feature scripts in development with a top-tier production company. Totally different stories, both with tons of heart.
Last year, Michael Wright and I finished a feature script based on one of my viral shorts. I’ll be directing that film in 2022. I’m so excited to be back in the directors’ chair, especially with this project. Unfortunately, I can’t say too much more since we’ll be releasing information soon. BUT I can say — I’m insanely lucky to have this talented team by my side as we move into production!
It’s so important to be an artist right now, and a pandemic is not going to hold us back. We, as artists, turn the tragic into magic. We need hope, we need action. We do this through filmmaking, dance, acting, music, painting, and even protest.
We all have a voice, we just use it differently. This is our chance to light up the world, kids!
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
- An angel investor (Besides our features coming up, we also have a slate of short films that could use a little love.)
- My favorite director, Chris Columbus (For a coffee chat!)
- Adele (Would love to direct one of her up and coming music videos, what a dream!)