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Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (24)  | Personal Quotes (8)

Overview (4)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birth NameNelson E. Carvajal
Nicknames Nels
Chicago's Enfant Terrible
Sultan of Splice
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Nelson Carvajal, the oldest son of Maria Hernandez and Nelson G. Carvajal, was born in the city of Chicago, Illinois and grew up in the Logan Square neighborhood. From the time he was eight years old, Nelson immersed himself in movies; whether it was reading Roger Ebert in the weekly Chicago Sun-Times or staying up late watching old VHS tapes of "Goodfellas" and "Dog Day Afternoon," it was apparent that this young individual was in love with the cinema.

While attending Chicago's Lane Tech College Prep High School, Nelson's concentration was in Theater Tech Studies, an area that coincided with movies and gave Nelson the opportunity to direct one-act plays. In 2002 Nelson, only a junior in high school, achieved early admission into the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. By high school graduation, however, Nelson wasn't realistically equipped to survive financially in New York (he was the first in his immediate family to go to college). As a result, Nelson enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. There on campus, Nelson became a film critic in the Arts & Entertainment section of the university's newspaper "The Pointer." In May of 2007, Nelson graduated from UWSP with a B.A. in Communication & Media Studies, along with a minor in Writing.

Nelson has since established himself as a considerable force in the independent film movement, embracing digital, experimental filmmaking--while helping to grow the new media movie format that has since emerged. He is an impassioned supporter of the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) approach to producing content. His underground digital short films have been featured in the Fractured Lens Video Festival, the Bucktown Arts Festival, the Avant-Garde Remixed, the Cinema Culture's Seen and Heard Music Video Showcase, the Gadabout DIY Film Festival, the South Loop Film Festival, the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival, the UFO 0110 International Digital Film Festival, the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival (CIMM Fest), the Indie Boots Film Festival, the Oregon Independent Film Festival and the London Underground Film Festival. Added, Nelson's video essays on cinema are published in the Press Play Video Blog at indieWIRE and in the Keyframe section of Fandor.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Trade Mark (4)

Often chooses to work with non-professional actors
Employs aspects of Neo-Neo Realism in his body of work
Handheld visuals coupled with unorthodox sounds and music are prominent in his video art pieces and experimental short films.
His video installations contain appropriated mixed media

Trivia (24)

Received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Worked at the A.V. Club for the Onion newspaper, as an intern in the same office as the section's head writer Nathan Rabin.
Graduated from Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago, Illinois.
His parents are from Costa Rica (mother) and Ecuador (father).
During the summers in between his undergraduate years, he worked as a both an Operations Coordinator and Manager for AMC Entertainment. Working in the heart of downtown Chicago gave him unusual access to meet film directors such as Todd Haynes, Tony Gilroy, Philippe Barcinski, Paul Oremland & Steven Sawalich and actors such as John C. Reilly, Jerry Seinfeld, Christian Bale, Michael Cera, & Jonah Hill.
Is a Chicago Cubs fan.
The lab where Nelson had his chemistry class during his sophomore year of high school in 2000 is the same lab where John Cusack filmed his high school flashback scene for High Fidelity (2000). Nelson's chemistry teacher also played the teacher (in an uncredited role) in the much admired Stephen Frears film.
Some of his favorite films include Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Stroszek (1977), and Magnolia (1999).
Is an avid Chicago Bears and Chicago Bulls fan.
Graduated from college with Cum Laude honors.
Was voted "Class Funniest" in high school.
Loves the comedic work of Zach Galifianakis and Danny McBride.
Was a film critic for his college campus newspaper "The Pointer".
Some of his favorite actors include Sam Rockwell, Daniel Day-Lewis and Brian Cox.
Was a contributing writer for the 44th Chicago International Film Festival.
Notorious for the sheer bluntness in some of his writings, Nelson's favorite writers include the likes of Kurt Vonnegut Jr., David Foster Wallace and Roger Ebert.
His parents separated when he was eight years old.
His video installation art show "Film Is Dead: Edges of the Digital Frame" premiered in Chicago, Illinois on February 2, 2012.
Was voted Homecoming King in high school.
On the evening of Tuesday February 19, 2013, Nelson uploaded his Best Picture Oscar Supercut video to Vimeo. The video immediately went viral and was featured in Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Mashable, The Hollywood Reporter and several other news outlets. It reached nearly half a million views in less than a week.
Collaborated with underground filmmaker and programmer Amir George on presenting the "Digital New Wave: Creating and Curating" workshop at the 2013 Oceanside International Film Festival.
On October 5, 2013, Carvajal's Alma mater (UWSP) presented him with the Trailblazer Award for the distinguished accomplishments he achieved in less than ten years since graduating from college.
In 2014 Nelson was voted as one of Chicago's Top 50 Figures in Film by Newcity Magazine.
Carvajal's trailer mashup "Apehood" was nominated for a 2015 Webby Award. The video was a twist on Boyhood (2014) and provided a vision of the film told through the experiences of Caesar the ape from Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).

Personal Quotes (8)

I get uncomfortable sometimes when people ask me what I think my work means. I think a Director explaining his or her work or visual art -- in particular with film -- can be a fruitless endeavor at times. It is what it is. The sad thing is, that kind of rationale pisses off most people.
When in doubt, look it up on IMDb.
If I want to tell a story or a share my view on something and have no money for high-end resources, I'll still manage to deliver my project. Whether it's filming something on my phone or recording audio on a tape recorder and displaying still photos in the back of a café, the power of the content will always triumph. It's not about how pretty your work is, it's about how true it is to what you're trying to express.
I decided to "do it myself" because I quickly realized that indie filmmaking had split into two arenas: commercial indie and new media DIY indie.
The great thing about the time we're living in is that we have FREE tools to make this happen. It's getting harder for new artists to hide behind the "I'm waiting for the right moment to break in" facade.
Anyone who knows my shooting style knows that I'm not a fan of tripods. To me, most static "pretty" shots that I see from other indie filmmakers represent an analogy for an elusive Hollywood-esque model of moviemaking. Ever been on a student film set and notice how much of the day goes to laboring over a shot that really doesn't grab you in the end? We go to the movies and are swept away by the big budget vistas and then for some reason we're convinced that our camcorder, a tripod and a light set will accomplish the same feel. And when it doesn't, we're surprised. But we shouldn't be. At the end of the day, it's all about the content of what we're trying to show, say or provoke in an audience. So instead of trying to mimic or recreate a sense of grandness without the necessary resources (like an outrageous Hollywood budget for example), why not create our own language for the cinema?
The cinema has always moved me, inspired me and broadened my perspective of the world. I want to have a say in it too.
Nobody likes a diva. Independent artists only endure with some kind of support system and these days that system is online. If we can continue to curate good content online and really promote the hell out of each other on every possible page and platform, we will send an important message to the masses. That message: DIY is here to stay.

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