Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Coming a theatre near you!

Meet Caleb Tyler Johnson. Born in east Atlanta- Decatur to be exact, he is a perfect example of a young man who is the product of the choices he makes, in place of being a product of his environment. Though raised around goons and goblins, none of their characteristics seemed to rub off on him as they usually rub off onto the other African American children of the mean streets of east ATL. Currently residing in Lithonia, Georgia, he still remains a shining light beyond those who choose to only seek darkness in front of them instead of looking past the gloom which surrounds them. A sophomore at Valdosta State University, he is living every day to the fullest to better himself and achieve his goals- being happy with his productions once his career of film directing unfolds, or shall I say- unreels. Clad in a black graphic tee, black shorts, a black Atlanta hat, and black Nikes, you would take one look at him and come up with an assumption of who he is that is probably incorrect. Who is he? We'll let him tell you that...

IY: Hello, Caleb.
CJ: Good evening, sir.
IY: It’s a pleasure being here with you…being able to talk to you about yourself…
CJ: (chuckles)
What are you doing right now?
Well, currently I’m a student- a sophomore. This is my second year at Valdosta State University. I’m persuing an education, trying to get my bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and Communications
Do you enjoy Valdosta State University?
I don’t.
You don’t??
I don’t.
Now why is that?
I would say the only reason I do enjoy it is because of the people, so anything beyond that would contribute to the reason that I don’t.
Now what is it that you like about the people? Usually it’s the other way around- a person doesn’t like a school due to the people.
When I say people I mean friends, not people- because(pauses)...I mean, everywhere you go, there’s going to be people. Some people are going to have good attitudes, some people are going to have bad attitudes- it’s just the people that I choose to aphiliate with.
So you’re telling me that the only reason you enjoy this school is because of the people that you hang around with- your circle of friends?
(Nods) Well, it’s not just that. I do admit that the school has a nice Mass Media program. I will admit that, but besides that...
Let's say a genie popped up out of nowhere and said 'Caleb Johnson, I will take you and your whole group of friends that you love and put you in any other school- free of charge. All enrollments taken care of and everything'- where would you go?
I would say Georgia State.
GA State? Not NYU, Harvard, or some prestigious film school in Hollywood?
I’d like to do that after I graduate. I don’t necessarily need friends to go to graduate school.
Why GA State?
Besides the fact that they also have a great film program, it’s also closer to home- not saying that I want to be at home, but if I ever needed anything, or if I ever needed to fall back on something…I would have home.
Is there anything that you want to achieve when you graduate college aside from a degree?
I mean, yeah…of course. I hope nobody goes to school just to get a degree. Like, I hope no one goes to school for law, then ends up owning a chain of McDonalds restaurants. I want to go to school and get this degree in film and production…create a number of films, movies, maybe even get involved in some television.
I see you mentioned both films and movies. Alot of people feel that a film and a movie are the same. Do you feel there is a difference between the two?
Yes, I do. There’s the movie which has a decent set up, a nice plot, and a group of fulfilling actors and actresses that are sure to steal your attention with their humor and emotion…Then there’s a film…a movie with a purpose…a meaning. Full of imagery and usually inspiring sincere emotion within the audience leaving them in a state of awe. A film leaves the audience wanting more…a film could be life changing.
What do you think you’ll be specializing in?
Film. I want to have people walking in and walking out with a new outlook. I want people to take something big or small from my creations and be able to apply it to their everyday lives.
Are there any actors and actresses that you would love to freeze, and then thaw out once you’re ready to begin filming?
Of course. Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Cicily Tyson, Terrance Howard, Jada Pinkett, Sanaa Lathan Don Cheadle…there are just so many, I can't even name them all. I'd just love a cast full of A-list acts.
Only the best for the best, right? Do you have an idea of what you would like your first movie project to be?
I don’t.
When you hear the name Tarantino, you think of wild, creepy, crazy, weird movies that are off the wall, and when you hear Spike Lee, you think of black empowerment and originality- because he’s very original with his work. When you think of certain actors, you think of certain movies. So when people hear Caleb Tyler Johnson, what would you like to cross their minds? Dane Cook once made a joke saying he was going to ‘Tarentino’ it and tell his story from end to beginning…so if someone were to say “I want to Caleb Tyler Johnson” it, what do you want them to say? What would you like your signature to be?
Have you ever seen Crash?
Of course.
When people saw Crash they sat in the theatre and realized how amazingly everything flowed together...then when the movie went off, people were still sitting in their seats, like…like that’s(Caleb seems to drift away as he seems to reminisce)...that was a really good movie, so my main focus is…when people see my films, I want them to walk out of the movie theatre talking about it. I want them to get into their cars and drive home talking about it. I want them to let up their garages, and get out of their cars talking about it. I want them to take showers talking about it. I want them to go to sleep talking about it.
And dreaming about it.
Dreaming about it, wake up talking about it. Breakfast…we’re still talking about it. Go to work- spread the word to everybody…and talk about it.
That’s powerful…that’s powerful. Now have you seen a movie that has done this to you?
(pauses) Have you seen Crash?
Are you planning on joining any fraternities at all while you’re in college for four years?
(chuckles after a pause) I mean, it’s a possibility, I will say that. I’m not going to count anything out.
Do you think the NPHC organizations are something you can look up to in a positive aspect? Is a fraternity something you would like to be a part of?
I think the idea of a fraternity is what I look up to, not necessarily the people that are involved in it. Because you can put on a front like you’re this business person when you’re trying to get into this organization, and then when you finally get into it, you act the fool, so it’s not necessarily the people that I look up to, but more so the idea itself.
What do you feel the idea of a fraternity is?
Brotherhood. Standing together, working together to better the community and putting all your ideas together as one. As well as standing up for whatever it is the fraternity stands for, of course.
Do you have any brothers?
(pause) Yes.
You seemed to pause before answering the question…is there a reason? Are you close with your brothers?
If you want to call it that…I mean…I really think that another reason I would like to be a part of a frat is to experience…
Brotherhood- exactly. Which is sad because even though I have four brothers, I’ve never experienced brotherhood at all.
Your mother a single parent, correct?
She’s married. Okay, now is the husband in the house with her?
Unfortunately? Why is it unfortunate?
Because he might as well not be.
He might as well not be…so I guess he’s just wasting time, space, air, and food, huh?
Yes, wasting time, space, air…and…well not food, cause’ she doesn’t cook for him.
Why don’t they get a divorce?
(pause) That’s a long story…that’ll take up this whole article. (chuckles)
Okay, well we won’t get into that- that seems a little personal anyway. Back to you-do you have a girlfriend?
I do.
You do! How’s that relationship going?
I mean…every relationship is work….but I would say aside from distance, it’s going well.
There’s this rumor going around that you have the ladies…every time you’re seen, you’re also with an entourage…of mostly women. It’s said that Caleb Tyler gets the women! Would you consider yourself a ladies’ man?
No...I mean, I don't know. What does that mean, anyway? What is a ladies man?
I would say it’s a man who’s good with the ladies! Would you say you relate better with women than you do with men?
Of course.
I can say that I’ve never gotten along with men, or guys, or boys or whatever.
And why is this?
I can’t say…It just seems like whenever I’m with dudes I never feel relaxed. It’s like I always have to compete, or I always have to size myself up to them, or we’re always butting heads or we’re never getting along- we’re always fighting and arguing. And we’re talking about stuff that doesn’t interest me at all. With women it’s different.
Understandable. Now do you think it’s you bumping heads with them because you think they’re going to size you up and challenge you, or is it them actually challenging you?
It could just be me…it could.
Onto our next topic: Superman. I heard your nickname is Superman, I hear you love Superman, so I’d like to ask you where this Superman infatuation came from.
I mean, there is the cartoon of course, but the character himself always stood for justice. He was an extra terrestrial being coming into a world completely unlike him. He has superhuman powers, and he stands out from everyone else when he is Superman. So that makes him different…and I think I’m different.
It’s known that Superman has two different personalities. Well maybe not two different personalities, but he disguises himself. Now when he’s superman he’s different, he’s extra terrestrial, he’s…super man! Powerful. But yet when he’s clark kent, or his being on earth- his disguise, he has the big glasses, he’s nerdy, and his position at his job is not that high in corporate America. Kinda like Peter Parker. Do you think that has anything to do with you as well? Do you think that when you walk amongst your peers you may be one person, but if someone is in need or something, or if somebody is in trouble, you turn into another person?
Exactly. So people may look down on you until they know exactly who you are...
And what I’m capable of.
What are you capable of, Caleb?
That’s what I’m trying to find out.
When did this start? Did you just come out the womb screaming 'Superman', or were you like ten years old when this fascination started?
I think It started when I was a little kid. I grew up on the animated series, and I used to watch Lois and Clark. (laughs) Then I got up on Smallville and all of that. Christopher Reeves in the Superman Movies….
And you felt that when you watched Superman, you had a special bond with him that you had with no other show or book that you’ve read.
You can put it like that.
How would you put it?
I’m big on fiction and imagination. It’s like my imagination is actually greater than my will. It allows me to escape reality for whatever purpose. Like…I can be sitting here watching superman getting all into it, then when it goes off…(pause). It’s kinda like clark kent real talk…like…he’s actually stuck in this situation. He’s attracted to this woman, but she doesn’t know it because she’s attracted to superman. He’s living an everyday life- hardships, reality, bills, all this mess…but when he steps into his phone booth and takes off the slacks, button up, and the tie he comes out…he has no worries. He’s superman. He doesn’t have to hide from anything, nor worry about anything…But kryptonite.
What is your Kryptonite?
A lot of people ask me that...and I can never give them a definite answer.
Well I will be the first that you do!
(Chuckles). Well I would say that it’s my emotions, because they tend to get the best of me sometimes.
You know how attracted Clark was to Lois, so tell me what are the qualities of your personal Lois? What would make you as attracted to a woman as Clark was attracted to Lois?
I need a woman who stands for something. Lois was the type of women who saw something she wanted, and went after it. If she saw a good story, she would go through anything and everything to get that story. And she’s going to have it on the editor’s desk within the hour that she gets it. So basically I want a woman who’s independent. I want a woman who stands for something, and I guess a woman who can at times be better than me, and pull me through during my weakest points.
Remember in Back to the Future when Marty went back in time and talked to his parents? Let's say you did something like the same thing. You’re from the future where you’re a star, you’ve done everything you’ve wanted to do, you’re successful, happy, and beyond content. What would you like to tell the people that read this article?
(laughs) Coming soon to a theatre near you!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Meet Caleb "Superman" Johnson

Coming soon, to an InterviYOU near you.

Peace & Blessings