Alumni Success: Johnny Bones
Walt Disney. Jim Henson. Tim Burton. Guillermo Del Toro. Peter Jackson. These are some of the world’s greatest directors, and all are inspiration for DEC alumnus Johnny Bones. “I have a relentless need to live in a fantasy world and these guys changed my life. I’m completely unsatisfied with general reality. I just want to live in the worlds I create with film. And that’s ok because I am an artist.”
“You have to be relentless, insane, and highly energetic, with a tough skin,” said Johnny. “It’s a strange thing being an artist. It’s like an addiction. It’s almost as if you have no choice but to keep creating, even if it’s painful (and yes, making films can be painful). I think the only way to keep doing this for a living is a combination of the addiction and an unlikely random idea that connects with a wide audience. In my opinion, that’s the only way you will ever get recognition, success, and a pay check. If you are ok with those odds, and have the addiction, filmmaking may be for you! If that sounds a little intense, try to look for a less intense job.”
Since graduating from The Factory Digital Filmmaking Program at DEC, Johnny works for himself as a freelance director at JohnnyBonesProductions.com, as well as co-founder of Archimedes Media Lab, LLC, a creative collective that is comprised of Johnny and three other DEC alumni including Eric Zapata (Season 4 & 5 contestant on the SyFy’s hit reality television series Face Off), Theresa Danko, and Sarah Danko. This same core group was instrumental in helping Johnny create The Black Cat, which was part of the Edgar Allan Poe anthology Requiem for the Damned.
Being an artist is ingrained in Johnny’s bones. “I’ve always been into art. I read and drew comics since the beginning of time. I had the biggest Todd McFarlane collection at 4 years old (I had a cool mom). At 15 years old I was touring and playing drums in rock bands on the west coast. I was also a graphic designer for a lot of bands that I played in. At 17 I was the youngest Blue Man ever cast in The Blue Man Group show.”
The DVD release of Lord of the Rings was monumental for Johnny. “I was about 13 years old, and it was just around the time DVD’s came with special features. Not only is LOTR one of the greatest trilogies of all time, but the making of special features opened my eyes. That’s when I realized for the first time that people made movies. Grown men and women got to play with toys and monsters for a living! It was over after that. I realized then that movies require every art form I could think of. Comics, music, live performance, fine art, animation… I love it all! Once that reality settled in, I was hooked,” said Johnny. “I’ve always been surrounded by art and creativity. DEC helped me make a career out of that creativity.”
According to Johnny, inspiration comes from surrounding himself with likeminded creative people. “My team inspires me everyday. Between Theresa’s writing, Eric’s sculpting, and Sarah’s performances, I can’t help but want to create with them. Surrounding yourself with creative people, especially if they are more skilled than you, is a great environment for an aspiring artist. I’ve been really fortunate. I’ve had the pleasure of winning 2 Addy Awards for 2 separate promos I directed last year for Best Branded Videos. And our latest film, Point of Interest, just won Best Fantasy Short at last years Polly Grind Film Festival. If you have the entrepreneur bug, you can do anything.”