Of all the influential figures on the Times 100 list, a few of them stand out from the rest. Here are three key people including artists and heroes who influence my life.
This Time’s 100 artist is influential to me through his continuous encouragement of originality, creativity and learning. Prince’s reasoning behind his decision to turn down a deal offered by popular music video game, Guitar Hero were one of the reasons why I learned how to setup and design a website for my movies in the future. When addressing the topic in a 2009 television interview, he appeared to be in favor of children learning how to play the real instrument and create their own music. In addition to declining the lucrative Guitar Hero offer, Prince has also influenced my life through his efforts to seek justice for intellectual property crime.
In 2007, the Times 100 artist prepared to file a number of lawsuits against bittorrent website, The Pirate Bay for violating his copyright. CNET News reported that Prince claimed owners of this website were profiting from work distributed through The Pirate Bay without compensating him and other artists. Having experienced the threat of piracy of a movie that I wrote and produced myself, I can relate to Prince’s concerns about copyright infringement. Since then, I have developed an anti-piracy campaign that allows me to host workshops on movie piracy as well as create movies in support of intellectual property right protection and awareness. I wrote and published an ebook for filmmakers who want to lower the risk for copyright infringement of their work and continue to encourage consumers to stop purchasing bootleg movies.
This Times 100 hero influences my life through her ability to use talents in one profession as a launchpad for gaining positions in additional areas of interest. Serena Williams is a self-proclaimed fashionista who sells a signature line of jewelry and other fashion accessories through the Home Shopping Network (HSN). The tennis superstar wins Grand Slam titles yet, still finds the time to release her “O.P.I. Glam Slam!” nail polish collection and attend school with goals of becoming a certified nail technician.
The progress that she continues to make in industries that she is passionate about inspires me to not give up on my filmmaking goals. After studying film in school, I quickly learned that being an independent filmmaker does not pay bills and had to use my other talents to work as a freelance writer for different companies. While I did not wish to become a writer as a kid, Serena Williams influences my life in a way that has me continuously finding ways to use writing as a method to fund and promote my own film or video projects and those of other filmmakers.
I never imagined that this Time 100 artist would influence me in any way, until she wore a dress made of meat with matching shoes to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. The singer stated that her purpose behind this controversial ensemble was to interpret her belief that if we do not stand up for our rights and fight for what we believe in, we are nothing more than a piece of meat.
While she manages to produce very outrageous fashion choices, music and performances, Lady Gaga is influential to me because her actions and comments are a reminder that expressing what I believe in is better than not doing anything about causes that are important to me. This is why I recycle often and also try to encourage family and friends to do the same, because I believe that we are abusing our natural resources and should take better care of the environment around us.