We had the good fortune of connecting with DJ Walker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi DJ, what’s the end goal, career-wise?
My hope and dream is to have had a successful run as a film director who got to tell the stories he wanted to tell. To be able to touch people with a visual story that made them think, feel, laugh, cry, but in the end be touched in some way. I think as a storyteller, that’s your main goal is to tell stories that you can dream up, but also impact people. I also would like to start my own production studio and be able to oversee or help other artists tell stories and live their dreams.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a film director who also dabbles in writing, producing, and editing. I think that my films generally are more about stories that have a social conscience, I want to tell stories about perspectives and lives that are not the norm, or what society doesn’t want to talk about. I have always loved an underdog story. The fighter, the rebel. There is so much imjustice in this world, and many people who have something interesting to say. I also want to make films to entertain people too. I love sci fi, action, and the horror genre. I would love to do some films in those realms as well. I started this film journey many years ago after I graduated high school, I attended The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and was studying video production and audio engineering. I only got to complete one year due to financial reasons. After I left school, I was upset that I couldn’t finish and I didn’t want anything to do with film or school again. I just got into working for the next 20 something years. I regret that I was too stubborn at that time and let so much time pass not doing what I had dreamt about since I was a little boy. in 2018, I decided to go back to school to finish college and get a degree for me. I also wanted to attend film school and get back into this world of being creative and telling visual stories. It wasn’t easy to be in your fourties, attending school full time and having to work full time as well. Putting in 50 or more hours a week was definitely challenging, especially after four years of doing it. I am glad I stayed with it and graduated with high honors, and met some great friends along the way. I learned that you should never give up on your dreams, or you will never feel satisfied. I also learned that you are never too old to begin a career or passion, and never late anyone hold you back or tell you that you can’t do it. I think I want the world to know that I am a filmmaker who cares about people and the world. I want to tell stories to show there is a great diversity in this world that needs to be embraced, loved, and respected. We are all human and are here on earth, sharing this beautiful world together.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take my friend to a few places over the week they were here. I would definitely show them around downtowm Phoenix and old town Scottsdale. We definitely would have to get ice cream at Big Earl’s in Scottsdale, great place! I would take them to the Phoenix zoo, and also the Art and Heard museums. Phoenix has so much great culture and art here. We definitely would have to stop by Oreganos and The Fry Bread House to get some food at these wonderful eateries. I think I would end the trip taking them to the top of South Mountain at dusk, so they could see the sun come down across this beautiful city. It is definitely a beautiful sight to behold.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are many people to thank in my filmmaking journey. Everyone from my mom and family, to my dear friends Dion, Earl, Shannon, Nate, Taylor, Carlos, Max, Carrie, Diana, Marisela, Meghan, Mike, Willie, Evy, Nat, Corina, Jorge, Topher, Chris, Jackie, Nelly, Nathan, Cynthia, Steve, Chris and many more. Also I want to thank Tina Imahara and the members of her Entertainment Collaborators Group on Facebook for the guidance, mentorship, friendship, and support. They are an incredible group of filmmakers and artists who inspire me daily.
Thank you to Beau Horyza of Solo Visuals