It opens with a beautiful woman, and of course, a distraught man. There is an obvious struggle with love. It is the trailer to the feature film "An Oversimplification of Her Beauty". Executive produced by Jay-Z, Wyatt Cenac, and Dream Hampton, it is a dazzling creative piece directed by the multi-talented Terence Nance. Terence is an artist from Dallas currently residing in New York who specializes in performance, music, and moving images. This debut piece "An Oversimplification of Her Beauty", is an IFP Narrative lab alumnus and premiered in the New Frontier section of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. It also won the 2012 Gotham Award for “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.” In addition, Terence is a music video director. He has collaborated on short films and music videos with artists such as Blitz the Ambassador, Cody ChesnuTT, and Pharoahe Monch. We had a chance to talk with Terence about his work. As a man of few words, he describes his creative genius.
Vanessa: Terence, you are a very creative artist. Can you tell us how you would describe your artistic style?
Terence: I don't know really. I don't know that I have made enough work to constitute having a "style". That said, there is a running joke among my team that all of my videos are basically "Black people dancing in the forest".
Vanessa: How did you become passionate about directing films and the arts in general?
Terence: I don't know. I think it was just innately in my spirit really. My parents are artists and it never felt like I "made a decision" or "had a turning point". I think my family's support was the most important factor in whatever passion I have now.
Vanessa: Of the many different artistic platforms you are trained in (film, music, visual arts, performance, etc.), what is you favorite?
Terence: No favorite but making music is by far the easiest / least labor intensive. Because of that my brain, can process it as being more "fun" but that's really just because I don't have to leave my house to do it.
Vanessa: How did you become an expert in your craft? I know you studied visual arts in school. What other experiences help you build your current style?
Terence: I wouldn't say I'm an expert in my craft but I think I'm where I'm at because I practice. I make a lot of films. I make a lot of music, write a lot of scripts and treatments. I'm constantly "in training" and view life as an ongoing educational experience.
Vanessa: Talk to us about "An Oversimplification of Her Beauty", your feature film that was featured in the New Frontier section of the 2012 Sundance FIlm Festival? How did this piece come to be? What was your inspiration behind it?
Terence: Well it's pretty simple actually. I was in love with a woman and I made it to impress her.
Vanessa: What is your favorite piece you've ever created and why?
Terence: I have no favorites but usually the most recent thing I've done, I'm most excited about. So, recently I put this out vimeo.com/terencenance/youandi and it's cool. I like it.
Vanessa: What does art mean to you?
Terence: Art is just a conversation, or a language in which you can have a conversation.
Vanessa: Who is your favorite artist and how has this person impacted you?
Terence: No favorites but my brother Norvis Jr is a fantastic artist and his bounce really speaks to me. (norvisjr.com)
Vanessa: Are there any new projects we should look out for from you?
Terence: New film called Swimming in Your Skin Again is coming out online within the next few months.
Vanessa: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us.