Jonathan Terry / Film

Johnathan Terry, Watkins College of Art

What’s your ritual to get prepared, or in the zone, to create?
I listen to music spanning several genres. I’m also a night owl, so I get a lot of my work done in long sessions in the middle of the night.

Have you had any interesting collaborations with fellow artists?
I wrote a fight scene into my thesis film. Needing a stunt coordinator, I contacted Myke Schwartz. Myke has worked on several feature films including Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, and Iron Man 3. Myke helped my actors feel comfortable performing stunts while also making every action look realistic on camera. Myke didn’t charge us a dime, only asking for professionalism and great communication in return.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you want to do professionally?
I would be involved in sports broadcasting. I’ve been a football fan since I was 12.

Favorite addiction or guilty pleasure that keeps you inspired?
I play a ton of video games. Games help me enter a new world and be someone else for a couple of hours. Also, an increasing number of games have narrative threads. Creating these stories takes the same writers, producers, and directors as does filmmaking, so I’m constantly surrounded by storytelling.

Success is giving another human being emotion through your art.

Name the one place in Nashville you go for inspiration or rejuvenation.
Riverside Grill Shack is one of Nashville’s best kept secrets. They have the best fries and burgers I’ve ever tasted. (The menu says “What would you like with your fries?”)

What implement or tool in your “toolbox” as an artist do you love or depend on most?
A great sense of timing. I’m constantly listening to music, so rhythm is built into my life. This transfers into the editing lab, where cutting a scene is all about timing, be it comedic timing or a music video.

What do your parents think about your being an artist?
My parents have supported me in everything I’ve wanted to do. Growing up, they never suggested a career path for me, which made me feel comfortable finding out what I do and don’t enjoy in life.

What does success look like to you?
Success is giving another human being emotion through your art. Attempting to make someone laugh or cry, be afraid or upset, is a tough task. As artists, achieving that makes me feel as if I accomplished my goals.

What space at Watkins do you particularly love to be in and why?
The Student Life Center is always a nice place to relax. This may sound small but having a Ping-Pong table really gives you something to do when you need a break.

When do you know a piece is finished?
No piece is ever finished!

Which has been your favorite course at Watkins?
I learned the most in Production Fundamentals. Valorie Quarles taught us a great amount about the film industry. Producing a film is no easy task!