Carl Louis Mohr

2014 Film Alumnus

  • Program: Film
  • Position: Producer

Carl’s Story

Carl is a 2014 Film graduate and he’s currently a Producer in LA. We asked Carl a few questions and here’s what he had to say!

What are you most proud of in regards to your recent film My Best Girl?

I think more than anything I’m just glad we avoided cutting corners. We acquired all of the correct permits, Worked successfully with union labor, secured funding for the project and never had to compromise on the quality of the film.

What was the largest challenge you encountered in making this film and how did you overcome it?

On our first day of filming, our first location was a neighborhood street. We had followed every legal procedure to ensure that this shoot would go off without a hitch, including getting a permit for the street closure, Leafleting the residents of the affected area, setting up city provided barricades with lockdown crew present, and hiring a Chicago police officer for the course of the street shoot. But even with that preparation and ample notice one resident of the street was ill content with his street being closed and threatened to disrupt the shoot in any way possible. I’ve found that most irrational people simply want their ego stroked so after repeatedly apologizing for the great inconvenience and speaking of my admiration of his great sacrifice in losing access to the street for several hours we found common ground and the crisis was averted. So be kind to folks, even if they aren’t kind to you because you don’t have time for a confrontation.

What would you say is one of the most important assets to have as a filmmaker?

Cognition of your personal strengths is, to me, the most valuable asset you can have as a filmmaker. You have to know what you excel in and provide that skill to the industry. And never stop improving those skills because your best can always be bested, so it better be you besting yourself than the person who just took your job.

What advice do you have for individuals specifically interested in filmmaking?

Sometimes the film industry really sucks when you’re starting out. You work long and odd hours and are often paid next to nothing for your efforts. It starts getting better when you build out your resume, but you’ll be lucky to support yourself in the industry at first unless you have some friends or family willing to hand you opportunities. So don’t be ashamed of working a part-time job when you’re first starting out because to me there is nothing that stalls out your dreams out faster than not being able to pay your rent. Make a real plan free of lofty fantasies, never forget what you’re working towards, and NEVER get comfortable.

What piece of advice do you have for Flashpoint Chicago candidates preparing to enter their respective industry?

Never stop making friends. The people who don’t know you don’t care about you and don’t care if you fail. So go to every networking function you can, especially the ones that can help you foster intimate connections.

How did your experience at Flashpoint Chicago help you join your industry?

I don’t think Flashpoint wasted a lot of time trying to teach me how to be an artist. Rather they fostered that creativity with the knowledge to project the art outward.

What would you look for if an opportunity to potentially hire Flashpoint Chicago graduates came along?

The defining quality in a good hire, for me, would be someone with a positive attitude and strong endurance. Negativity on set is a plague that can slowly infect the other cast and crew. So if you are sick, stay home.

What was your favorite thing about Flashpoint Chicago?

I think my favorite aspect of Flashpoint is the instructors’ investment in your success. Even after graduating I always feel comfortable in seeking council from my instructors, and catching up on how my career has advanced. I attribute a lot of this advancement to the foundational knowledge and skills I built at Flashpoint.

Name one thing that made you choose Flashpoint Chicago over other colleges.

To be completely honest, I chose Flashpoint because the program seemed genuine. Most of the instructors there are real industry professionals whose curriculum is fed by real world experience. I didn’t find theoretical classwork at Flashpoint. I found real kinesthetic training that has fed into my development as a filmmaker.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

It’s hard to speculate what I could have done to better prepare myself for where I am now. Perhaps if I had simply moved back home, saved up, and headed out to LA sooner I would be further along in my career than I am now. However, without the reliable income and flexible hours of the Audio Visual job that helped me move out here, it might have never happened in the first place. So, I suppose the moral of the story if that everyone has their own path to walk and the advice of others can only carry you so far.

 Check out the trailer for My Best Girl:

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