The concept of natural talent is an age-old idea, one that’s honed throughout a lifetime. It’s not unheard of that individuals may have to dabble in mundane careers before their true calling awakens them, such is life. For the fortunate few, though, they have always known what their destiny in life was. Derrick Sims, the director of the new film “Come Morning” is one such person.
Sims is an artist, and, whether it be through his stories or his photography, he considers himself a storyteller. His talents lie in other components of art, such as music and art, but it is film that he has a connection with. “I feel like movies are all the arts combined. It’s the most engrossing and popular form of storytelling,” confesses Sims.
With talent as natural as Sims, story ideas form spontaneously. The story of “Come Morning” popped into his head as he was driving in Northwest Arkansas on his way to work. Driving by all the woods and countryside, Sims began to reminisce on the hunting trips he would take with his grandfather in his youth. This is where the storyteller element of his personality comes into play, and he began to switch elements of his past experiences with fictional ones to create this alternate universe.
When the story was finally formed, he called his producer to pitch it. “A grandpa and his grandson go on a hunt. It’s getting dark, and they wait and wait, and then they shoot a deer. They track the deer down, but it wasn’t a deer, but their next door neighbor who they’ve had a bad history with,” Sims explains.
With reassurance, the story flowed from Sims’ brain to the paper. He was able to use the geography from his hunting expeditions and translated them into this new world he was creating. He was able to take this well-known element of his youth and add depth and mystery, creating a character within the necessary presence of the wooded location in the script.
To make a film a reality, many more people than just the writer and director of a given project are involved. The film making is an industry which overflows with creative people; people who want to be involved in many forms on the productions they work with. For Sims and his vision, he was fortunate enough to have producers that didn’t step in on the creative side. This could have been because he was a part of the first wave of filmmakers who used donation sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to raise the money to fund “Come Morning” and had producers who were enthusiastic to see his vision come to life.
Sims couldn’t be happier that his feature debut was premiering at the Austin Film Festival. This festival may be a well-known festival around the film community, and has stayed small in relation to it’s overall focus which is story and the writers. For a film like “Come Morning,” where the story is the heart of the film, it’s a perfect fit.
In the years since the initial shooting of “Come Morning,” Sims has solidified himself in the industry, having a career as a director of photography, which he shares with his passion with writing. This isn’t to say he won’t direct again, just may not pull double duty as the director and DP. Of course, this was a while ago, and now that he has time to mull over the this idea, he’s a little more undecided.
For Sims, the movie making process is a personal one, and this is where he is a little more sure of what his roles will be. The future films that he directs will be ones that he writes. “I want to do personal stories based in the south, something that’s within me,” Sims announces.
If “Come Morning” is any indication on the types of films that will eventually fill his filmography, the public is in for a cinematic treat. His films will have heart, strong characters, and an atmosphere where one does not need heavy dialogue to be moved by the subject matter. In short, Sims’ future films will be in stories brought to life by his remarkable perception.
Don’t miss the last showing of “Come Morning” in the Austin Film Festival, Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Alamo Village.