Very Important Pelican: Carden Katz
by Tom Story
Digital Video is well-established as being amongst the core disciplines of the Packer arts program and one filmmaker, Carden Katz (‘18), has been putting his talents to use both inside and outside of our community.
“I started making animations when I was seven years old, and I began making movies around the same time,” said Carden. “I’ve always had a lot of fun with [filmmaking]. I didn’t really start taking it seriously like as a career thing until the later years. It was just an activity I liked doing every day with my friends after school.”
Carden has been making short films on his family camera for as long as he can remember, but in recent years filmmaking has begun to have a bigger impact in his life as he embarked on some bigger projects, including some fairly high profile music videos.
“I sent an idea I had for a rapper’s song for a video to the manager expecting an internship and he said ‘Why don’t you just make it?’ So he gave me a budget and I went out there and I did it,” said Carden in reference to the video he made for rap group God Complex’s song ‘Dope Dealer’. “We shot for twenty two hours straight. Everything went wrong that could have gone wrong, but it was really an amazing experience.”
In addition to the ‘Dope Dealer’ video, which is yet to be released, Carden has made a second music video for a different artist and has been working on commercials for a hair product company. Despite the higher profile work he has been engaged in of late, Carden says he most enjoys working on narrative short films.
“My heart is still with making narratives and telling stories,” said Carden.
Despite his interest in film being firmly established before coming to Packer, Carden believes that the school’s Digital Video program has been a significant influence in his filmmaking career.
“I love it, I really do. There is so much to take advantage of for those who want to take advantage of [the film program]. They don’t force people to do it, so those who do have more space,” said Carden. “Mr. Miller is a huge mentor of mine and I really value his advice. He’s a great, great guy.”
“It’s not unusual of the students who define the expectations that they spend a lot of time making movies,” said Digital Video teacher Michael Miller. “Carden seems to find hours and hours of extra time. It’s almost like he is a time traveller.”
“It’s been really exciting to watch him thrive and actually put himself out there and go on location with these groups and negotiate being a real filmmaker,” said Mr. Miller of Carden’s recent music videos. “Carden had the drive to actually propose this music video to the band. This is a case where he put himself out there and created that opportunity and that is very rare [for Packer students].”