Member Spotlight: Joshua Prem of Teenage Wasteland
Josh Prem is the creator of Teenage Wasteland, a short film project produced by a team of artists from the Savanah College of Art and Design that is inspired by the experiences of their teenage years. Joshua been a member of Fractured Atlas since 2019 and is based in Savannah, Georgia. Joshua shares the inspiration and some of the process of bringing his project to life.
How would you describe Teenage Wasteland?
"Teenage Wasteland" is a coming-of-age short film about youth, angst, and identity. We follow a trio of best friends retaliating against the death of their childhood by throwing their last high school party.
What was the inspiration for Teenage Wasteland?
The inspiration for this project came from my own childhood, my teenage years when I felt a sense of urgency to discover who I am and felt the frustration when I still hadn’t found it. I felt confused and that the world didn’t understand what I was going through. Although I felt alone, the reckless adventures into the night with a group of outcasts and misfits and the restless uncertainty over the future shaped who I am as a person and a storyteller today. Currently my little brother Gabriel is going through his first year of high school and, as a senior in college about to graduate, I want to use my senior thesis as a way to communicate to him that everything is going to be ok and that he isn’t alone.
What was involved in the process of bringing Teenage Wasteland to life?
We are currently in the pre-production phase with production dates April 3rd-5th in South Florida and April 10th-12th near Savannah, Georgia. After writing nearly 15 drafts of the script and dissecting the characters, we wanted to do justice to the world and go in a different direction from traditional student short films.
We decided that Teenage Wasteland is more than just a film. The story can be communicated through different media. That's the beauty of going to an art school and be able to see how other disciplines communicate the story with the same emotions. At the same time, we wanted to focus on the art and the chaotic realism of our world. We had tedious hours of drawing concept art, costume design concepts, storyboarding, shot-listing and, the best part of it all, meeting new people who are excited to bring this story to life.
What brought you to Fractured Atlas?
I came to know Fractured Atlas by reading a book called How Not to Make a Short Film by Roberta Marie Munroe as she talked about various ways to fundraise and I came to learn about fiscal sponsorship. As I researched more and discovered Fractured Atlas, I saw it to be the best choice on how to fundraise for a short film. Fiscal sponsorship gives people an incentive to donate and be a part of the journey, bringing your project to life.
How has Fractured Atlas benefitted your artistic practice?
Fractured Atlas has benefited our artistic practice by helping us understand our story is universal with relatable and sympathetic themes that everyone can gather around. The beauty of Fractured Atlas is that it lets you realize the big picture while being involved in a community of fellow artists. As we like to say on our team, “The Wasteland belongs to everyone." Fractured Atlas made us realize the untapped potential of our world by helping us to realize that the story isn’t only about us. It’s about anyone that ever felt that feeling when their parents get divorced; when they go through their first heartbreak; choosing what college you’re going to; or when you’re convinced to go to your first party, not knowing what you’re getting yourself into.
What was your first big win with Fractured Atlas?
There are two times that helped me realize that this story was growing. The first was when I finished the final draft of the screenplay and the other is when Fractured Atlas approved my fiscal sponsorship application.
Some of the cast and co-creators of Teenage Wasteland
What specific Fractured Atlas services/programs have you used?
Why do you think artists and organizations should become members of Fractured Atlas?
Artists and art projects should be considering Fractured Atlas and researching fiscal sponsorship because compared to other fiscal sponsorship services, Fractured Atlas is the most collaborative with emerging artists. It helps the rising artist and provides another way to fundraise. Coming from an art school background, I believe that fundraising and managing financials in a film is an important and overlooked lesson in teaching filmmaking. By providing students with an option on fundraising, students will learn more about the filmmaking process and even about their own film.
How do you hope Teenage Wasteland will impact people?
I hope my story will inspire young people to deal with the issues of life through art and to share their stories throughout our community because they need to be told. Coming-of-age stories will never go out of style and the "Wasteland" will never die.
Support Teenage Wasteland at fundraising.fracturedatlas.org/teenage-wasteland/campaigns/3427. You can learn more about them at www.teenagewasteland.com/welcome and www.joshuaprem.com and follow them on social media on Facebook and Instagram at @teenagewasteland2020 and @jprem77.
About Molaundo Jones
Molaundo Jones is a visual artist, entrepreneur, and arts adminstrator. As Social Media Specialist, he creates strategies and content for social media marketing and works with our members to develop a comprehensive calendar of events. Molaundo is a New York native, earned his MFA in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts, and BA in Marketing at Morehouse College. He is founder of The Clever Agency, a communications consultancy and develops professional development programs for Queens Council on the Arts. He has also worked with the New York Foundation on the Arts' Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program and Artist as Entrepreneur Bootcamp and has served as a grant panelist for Bryant Park Corporation, Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Museum of Art and Design.