Caleb SkinnerFrom an early age I found myself hypnotized by the art of story telling. My mother inundated me and my brother with Star Wars toys while my father, a Pearl Harbor survivor, would tell us stories of his past and his dreams of the future. The war stories he would rarely finish, leaving the conclusion to the innocent imagination of a young, influential child. Movies and books, fed to us by older siblings only fueled a creative fire that could not easily be quenched. The first true novels that I learned to read were those of JRR Tolkien’s trilogy, the Lord of the Rings. His were books that were influenced not only by the world around him, but also by the many stories of cultures past.

After reading a few books and watching several movies that I felt could have had much more potential, I discovered the art of writing. Therapeutic and entertaining, I realized the huge influence that storytelling has had on all of humanity from the dawning of time to the present. Whether a story is written with letters, drawn with pictures, captured on film, gestured with hand or spoken with voice, it can communicate anything imaginable. It wasn’t long after diving into this art form that I realized how much I had been shielded from the gritty reality of life, insanity of war, and the cruelty of nature. A great story, I learned, is not necessarily about the ending as it is about the journey.

So, years later, as fate would have it (I believe it was no accident), I came to know and find true friendships with others who held similar talents and creative minds. I truly believe that we have created a circle of creativity, the true potential of which has yet to be seen.

My first taste of filmmaking was being able to act in and make Foley sounds for the short film “Troops.” Ultimately, during this production I was limited from most of the creative influences. I.M.P.S., has given me the chance to have some influence in almost every aspect of the production process…it is a great feeling indeed to hear and see the screen come alive with something that I have had a part in imagining and creating.
This project holds within its walls another story – a true-life adventure that will soon be told. Like any good story, it began with exciting promise and enthusiasm, yet was threatened by the ugly hydra of potential defeat and failure. More than once it was mere trust, perseverance and a strong faith that managed to keep pushing us forward. We wrote the script and built the props more times than not on a whim and prayer. We would find that for every delay, an unforeseen benefit would emerge (one step back, two steps forward). However, this story for us is not yet finished. I.M.P.S. is but one tale told and put on the shelf for others to read.

It was five years ago. We thought we were nearing the end of post-production, when I met a beautiful and supportive woman. We swept each other off of our feet and, three years later, surrounded by our closest family and friends, we were married. Yet life has a way of taking the form of the cold mechanical swing of the proverbial pendulum. It was soon thereafter that my Father was taken from this world after his many long years of battling cancer. Yet in the same house, on the same day and within the same hour, my youngest sister gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Although the balance of nature is not always so blatant, I have learned that within every event there lies the potential of a great story, lessons are to be learned and shared. Whether it’s fiction or reality makes very little difference, for if it is done correctly, the storyteller can capture the hearts and the minds of any audience.

If the past is told in the future and the future is made by the past, then how we influence the future is up to all of us in the present.