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Meet the Finalist: Joshua Williams, "When the Dust Clears"

Tell us about yourself, and about When the Dust Clears.

I'm Joshua Williams, the created and director of the short film When the Dust Clears. I started creating and telling stories at the age of 3. I fell into 3D animation at the age of 8 and haven't stopped since. A few years later, I began to realize that I could take this same creativity to a real camera. Since then, I have continued to build upon my skills as a 3D animator, director, and filmmaker.

One of the main reasons I was compelled to make this film was to shine light on those who are still suffering from the 9/11 attacks. Although it's been 18 years, many people are dealing with PTSD, loss, and physical trauma from that day. 9/11 victims continue to develop life-threatening illnesses and thousands have died from cancer and other sicknesses due to the attacks. To this day, the number continues to rise. It's important for them to know that they are not alone; that we're fighting alongside them no matter what.

Share a memorable moment you experienced working on this project.

Some of the most memorable moments I had filming this short was during the flashback moments such as the office scene, the street debris scene, and stairwell scene with the firemen. The stairwell scene was one of the most emotional scenes I've experienced on set. It was hard to recreate the brave firefighters who ran up the stairwells to their death with the hope of saving lives. My brother and a good friend played the two firemen. Seeing them in uniform recreating the acts of the real firemen made me think about how many of them might have been best friends and someone else's family member.

Name 3 collaborators that you'd take with you to any other project.

Overall, our cast and crew did a great job and I'd love to work with them again. Vivian Lawrence who composed the score for the film did an outstanding job. He is a good friend with a similar passion to excel and share powerful stories and I'm excited to work with him more in the future.

3 tips you’d like to share with aspiring artists in your field:

Tip 1: Always be vulnerable and emotionally honest with your work. Somehow, audiences can tell when you're not being true to yourself and your craft. It can be easy to feel like you need to be like or do what other artists have done, yet it is important to cultivate your own voice and share content that you feel strongly about. As artists, we need to to put our hearts deep into our craft and be ready to share ourselves' with others.

Tip 2: Take every single shot you film seriously, whether it's on set or in the post room. Never be lazy with your visual shots, music, sound effects, and editing. Always remember that someone is looking to experience something when they see your films. No shot should be taken lightly, but taken care of with love and passion (I know that sounds cheesy, but it's the truth.)

Tip 3: Work hard for your cast, crew, and team. They look to leaders to make the best project possible. But most importantly, just have fun. If you don't enjoy what you're doing then, what's the point?

What do you hope to achieve in your career in the next 5 years?

I hope to inspire and encourage people with my content. It's my dream to work as an animator and VFX artist in a top production company. I'd also love to continue growing my own company, CAVID Productions and help unknown actors and actresses reach their career goals. I want to keep growing in my craft and meet and build connections with other artists and filmmakers. Most importantly, I want my family and my wife to be proud of me.

When the Dust Clears is nominated for Best Indie Film of the Year at the New York Film Awards.


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