We had the good fortune of connecting with Shane Kinsler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shane, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
For as long as I can remember I have always been creating. My mother had me in art classes when I was maybe five years old. Before I even learned to swim, I was learning to create. I was the kid building sets in my bedroom to choreograph action sequences with my toys. Drawing and writing stories continued through elementary and high school. Eventually, I got my hands on a camcorder and immediately started making films. I went to Glastonbury High in Connecticut, and our art department was lucky enough to have a tape-to-tape editing machine. This was when I really started experimenting with shooting and editing stories. And in hindsight, I would say was the first major turning point for me, because I knew then, that making movies was what I wanted to do forever. My senior year my English teacher, Mr. McGovern, pulled me out of class to tell me how good my final story was. He predicted what everyone would do when they got older on the last day of class, and he said that I would be a writer some day. I didn’t totally believe him then, but it stayed with me. The VHS movie-making phase continued with my friends outside of school when I went to a small division three college to play hoops. After my first season I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the NBA, and I applied to a handful of film schools. A year later I was attending the University of Miami and learning how to shoot and edit 16mm film. Throughout this early part of my journey I always received praise and encouragement from my teachers, which was a major motivator for me to keep learning and improving. When I look back at my journey, there is no specific moment or thing that made me decide to become a filmmaker. I have always been on this artistic trajectory. Today, as I finish up the third feature film that I’ve worked on, I would say that it’s really important to me for a film to be saying something. And as I move forward, and plan to work on numerous projects, the most important thing to me is that the story is fighting the good fight.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Well… my colleagues and fellow producers say I am a “true hyphenate.” I would never actually say such a thing, because I would never want to cause a wave of eye-rolls. But if I’m being honest about what sets me apart, then I would have to talk about all my hats. Occasionally I wear my writer hat and have screenplays ready to be produced tomorrow, as well as one script that was produced and acquired by HBO. When necessary, I wear my producer hat and have co-produced three feature films. When we are on set my cinematographer and director hats are both on and I’m ready to go wherever we need the support. I have also written, directed, and shot three short films as well. And when we’re finally in post-production, I wear my editor and after effects hats, to see the film through to the end. And most recently, I wear my professor hat, and teach animation and digital filmmaking at the University of Miami. I am most proud of our little ultra-low budget films that we made in Miami. They both received deals with HBO Latino and it is does feel good to finally break into “the industry.” But I am most excited about the future, and all of it’s potential.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The best way to see this city is on a bike. I would take them on a bike ride to Matheson Hammock Park and then out to Key Biscayne and Bill Baggs State Park for a swim and lunch at The Boater’s Grill. For my mountain bikers, I would take them to Amelia Earhart Park, Virginia Key Mountain Bike Trails, and Markham Park to ride some great trails. If we weren’t in the middle of a damn pandemic, we would try to catch a show at The Fillmore or the North Beach Bandshell, two great venues for intimate concerts. We would try to catch a Miami Heat game as well. As far as local party spots, I’m not too sure, I don’t really go out because I am always working or exercising. Purdy Lounge was always a classic spot, but now it’s gone : ( as well as The Yard. I would definitely take them through Wynwood to check out the galleries and maybe hit up Gramps or 1-800-Lucky. Maybe visit my friends out at Broken Shaker or their new spot Margot Pop-Up at Nikki Beach.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shout out goes to one man and one man only. And that man is Tom Musca. Tom Musca was the first and only person to actually take me under his wing and mentor me. In addition to that, he’s the reason why my first screenplay found a producer in Miami with an actual budget. We went on to produce this film together, with our executive producer Alex Agransanchez, and today that film plays on HBO under the title, “Make Love Great Again.” To date I have co-produced three films with him now, and most recently finished editing his new film “Chateau Vato,” which is also slated to be released on HBO this November. There is no doubt that Tom Musca has changed my life and allowed me to utilize my skills on much larger productions. He is an incredible filmmaker, producer, and writer. His insights, strength, and wisdom have been invaluable to our projects, and he opened my eyes to what it takes to really prepare a screenplay for production. I’ll never be able to return the favor to Tom, until maybe I direct our next film, and win us a few Oscars ; ) Until then… I leave this shoutout to Mr. Tom Musca.