Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Kholi Hicks moved to the West Coast in 2005 to pursue a career in film and television production. He developed a fascination with digital cinematography, and worked as a camera operator on several projects including trailers, music videos and short films. Currently a resident writer/cinematographer at Rainfall Films, Kholi has recently finished writing and directing his first feature, action comedySuperseeds, funded by crowd donations through Kickstarter.
What training have you received?
About five real years of Los Angeles production experience. I was sort of ‘raised’ by a very seasoned AD when I arrived to the city from Georgia, and had a chance to get my hands dirty under their wing. This was, probably the pinnacle point in my career so far. Then at Rainfall Films I learned how to command a crew as a DP for serious project under a director and friend, a lot of which have garnered a lot of attention on the Internet over the past few years.
Does your budget limit what you can explore in your films?
Having such an avid interest in all things fantastic equal to that of my character, I’d say yes—but right now only on the tech side. It doesn’t stop me from exploring human behavior, even if in fictional worlds, and it doesn’t stop me from writing beyond my capabilities! It did impact [Superseed’s lead characters] Avery and Pete’s first adventure, but in the best way possible. A lot of working A-list directors admit that having a tighter budget brings out their real talent, and gives them a reason to explore new and interesting ways of bringing a picture to life.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a low-budget filmmaker?
It would be in pieces. Most importantly is to soak up as much field knowledge as possible. The likelihood of the scenario is wearing many hats at once, so be as prepared as you can stand to be. On the other hand, filmmaking is a team sport! Another is to be realistic about what you can achieve with your money, and lastly… no risk, no rewards!
Tell us the most significant moment in your career so far
That’s an easy one; shooting and currently finishing a very ambitious first feature film on a micro budget. What a ride.
You’ll die happy when…
I actually have a kitchen to cook food in!
To find out more about Kholi’s work visit http://www.vimeo.com/user407189