We had the good fortune of connecting with Carl Owens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carl, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my own entertainment entity, Skymans Follies, in order to keep as much ownership of my creative content as possible.
I’ve always been an independent producer on some level, (simply meaning I directly fund my own projects). I’m not exactly sure why that is, but it must have something do with failure of selling others on what I was trying to do. I guess I’m not a good salesman! I spent many years sculpting screenplays and then weakly pushed them out into the commercial market without luck. Now, I think I’ve grown into a space where I want to see a project from start to finish.
No, I cannot finance a major motion picture. But I can produce a few-location, microbudgeted indy feature and hit the festival circuit. Or a novel or a comic book and publish it myself. And I don’t need to convince a gatekeeper, or studio exec to do it.
Will millions of people see my creation. Perhaps not, but I’ll have the satisfaction of watching it from beginning to end or holding the printed comic book in my hand, and knowing that it exists. And that I own it.
It’s not a business model I can recommend, but it is an artistic lifestyle I’m comfortable with.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started skymansfollies.com to keep track of all my different interests. I guess I’m a writer, firstly, and then jack-of-all-trades creator secondly (actor, filmmaker, self-publisher, occasional songwriter). I wrote and performed my first play (with puppets) when I was ten, wrote and performed my own plays in front of the entire school when I was twelve. A decade later I was in film school, writing feature screenplays (that were never produced) and shooting short films (that were never edited). But they were all great learning experiences. Out in the real world, my biggest challenge was finding self-discipline which never came easy to me and I spent years trying to finish this new screenplay idea or that new short film idea. Gradually, it just became about “could I finish anything?” Eventually, I was able to focus and have since written or co-wrote a dozen features. Getting them produced is not entirely in my hands, so I try hard not to dwell on it. I just keep creating and finishing, since that is something I can control. I co-wrote and produced a television series pilot “The Bus People” and self-published my first comic book “Bird Kid”. Skymans Follies has a little bit to do with having my head in clouds and a little do with what other people might perceive as a folly, I might see as precious – and hopefully unique.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Certainly this answer would change year to year, but lately, I’d immediately head for DTLA to one of the best views in Los Angeles at 71above and have a drink as you watch helicopters glide below you. For appetizers, I’d head to the coast as the sun sets and grab a few oysters at Blue Plate Oysterette. And for dinner, I’d head north on the PCH to Malibu Farms at the pier for spaghetti squash lasagna or their Branzino tacos as the surf crashes onshore beneath you. And then go the hunt for salsa dancing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this to Seda Aybay who showed me that passion, dedication and hard work, along with a healthy refusal to compromise, can result in beautiful art that can be shared with the world.