The 19-year-old Casper filmmaker is showing short films on Art 321 – K2 Radio on Friday | Mega Mediakw

Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.

– Cesar A. Cruz

His love for filmmaking began as a child.

Soren Tempest, 19, is about to screen four short films at ART 321. It’s one of the first times the gallery has hosted screenings of video projects, but it’s certainly not the first time they’ve disrupted the status quo of what people consider “art.”

And make no mistake – what Soren is creating Tempest is Art.

And it’s an art form he discovered at a time when other kids his age were playing video games.

“I started getting interested in movies when I was a little kid,” Tempest told K2 Radio News at ART 321 during the Casper Art Walk in August. “I first started really loving animation in middle school. I spent hours on YouTube just looking for student films and people stuff like that.”

And it wasn’t just YouTube that inspired Tempest’s heart and piqued his curiosity; it was his father too.

“My father, Charles Conkin, was also a filmmaker,” Tempest said. “He produced two feature films and he always had his gear with him, and when you’re a little kid you look up to the adults in your life. And I was always like, ‘What is he doing? Why does he have this stuff? ‘

Tempest figured out what he was doing and was instantly charmed.

“I’m just glad that what he’s been doing since he was literally two years old has borne fruit,” said Tempest’s mother, Lindsey. “You know, you always ask a 6-, 8-, or 10-year-old, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ and he never said anything other than an artist. This child has been an artist since it came out of the womb.”

Tempest said that like many Casper students interested in film, he began taking classes with Lance Madzey at Natrona County High School.

“I took these classes during my four years of high school and fell in love with the film,” Tempest beamed. “I fell in love with artistic expression and really started to gain my own voice. Then I started to stretch further, I started doing more research and I really got into old movies like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and things like that. And then I stumbled upon things like German Expressionism and a lot of old Italian films and so on negatively. And it kind of got me where I am.

And where he is currently at Art 321, showing his films for an exhibition and offering a Q&A. He presents 4 short films, all of which showcase his talent, his ambition and maybe, just maybe, the way he sees the world.

“Not only will I be talking about where the inspiration for my work comes from, but also my philosophy behind making films,” Tempest told Oil City News. “It will be very audience-oriented. So if you’re interested in hearing more about my thoughts on the film industry or how to make a film right, come over and ask such questions. I’ll answer literally anything film-related you need to ask.”

His short films Grendels Tooth, The Connection, Split Idol and Me and the Devil will be screened at Art 321 on Friday nights at 8pm but can also be seen on his YouTube channel page.

Each short demonstrates an innate ability to captivate the viewer’s eye with camera angles, color, set design and more.

“I have a strong desire for very distinctive camera angles,” Tempest said. “I like it when things feel distorted. I’m a big fan of graphic novels and comics and things like that. “I just go out and look at the real world. If I want to make a movie and I want to make art, why would I just put my boring, everyday, real life into it? No, we’re going to romanticize it. We’re going to.” make it look different and strange and something you don’t get to see in the everyday world. That’s the benefit of filmmaking – it’s able to romanticize everyday life to the point that it’s not everyday anymore.

And that’s how Tempest lives his life. Dressed in an outfit that some would say is a bit…outrageous…really, it’s just a different way of expressing yourself. Anything can be art if you treat it as such, and that goes for movies, paintings, words, even the way you dress.

“Why make art that you’ve seen a hundred times that makes you feel good?” he asked. “My films are designed to make you feel a little uncomfortable in a safe space. I feel that art is made for that [paraphrase] a quote: ‘Art should disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbing.'”

And that’s exactly what the Tempest movies do, for better or for worse. And ART 321 is the place that gave him the opportunity to do so.

“When I was a little kid, there weren’t any places like that,” Tempest said. “We had the Nicolaysen and that was it. So to be able to see a place that isn’t just an alternative art exhibition to Nic, but a place founded by our community? … like all the art in it [Art 321] was made by ordinary people; not big name artists, not people who have already done it, but people who just make art and want other people to look at it. To be able to have something so community-centric and so actively uplifting for people of color and queer people and all types of people from all walks of life – it’s incredible for our community.

Also incredible for the Casper community are the likes of Soren Tempest. Casper needs young, committed, creative, inspired (and inspiring!) people to continue shaping the city as it could be. It has the potential. All it takes is a little love, a little pressure, a little grace…

…and a bit of art.

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