Blake Pickens

Filmmaker

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Blake Pickens is an Emmy Award winning Chickasaw filmmaker and comedian. Blake began his career writing satire for The National Lampoon website, where he published numerous featured articles.


He was selected for the Sundance Native Producing Lab and the Sundance Producing Fellowship for his film, THE LAND. The film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Blake produces content with a focus on diversity and inclusion, including commercials that won Grand Prix’s at Cannes Lions two years in a row. Also winning a 2018 Emmy for his P&G commercial, THE TALK. He won an MTV VMA for producing John Legend's music video, SUREFIRE. 


Blake is working on his directorial debut feature, INDIANS IN THE SUBURBS, and is in production on WILD INDIAN, which he is producing. He can be seen all over Los Angeles performing stand up. He is a graduate of the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC.


Artist's Chosen Interview:


Artist's Chosen Resources:

  • Native Artists: As a Native filmmaker myself, I take inspiration from other Indigenous artists (in all mediums). Whether that is other Native filmmakers like Sterlin Harjo or Native artists like Steven Paul Judd, seeing how they tell stories of what Native America looks like today is a big part of my creative process.
  • Friends: Honestly the biggest inspiration in creating anything is my friends. A majority of my friends work outside the industry, and having their perspective is important because it’s very easy to get caught up in the industry bubble. Not only is a great support system, but they also are always up to date on trends and what’s happening in the world that I miss out on if I stay in the industry bubble.
  • Technology News: As an artist it’s important to keep up with everything going on in technology because there are always new mediums for story telling emerging. It also may inspire a new story. I keep up to date as much as possible, and a good site for that is here: https://www.theverge.com/tech
  • Giving Back To The Community: One of the things that inspires me most is being able to give back to the community. A good friend of mine, Yasmine Campbell, runs an organization called Inner Voices (www.inner-voices.org), and she asked me to be a mentor for this program. I immediately said yes because giving back inspires my creativity. Being around passionate people who are eager to learn reignites my passion, and is something I HIGHLY recommend.
  • Industry Standard: This podcast is incredibly insightful and you hear the process of amazing comedians. It’s something that I listen to for inspiration regularly. https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/fake-mustache-studios/industry-standard-w-barry-katz
  • Synthwave: When I’m creating, I like to always have music or something in the background. Synthwave is great for that because it usually doesn’t have lyrics and helps make a relaxing atmosphere. FM-84 on Spotify is a good entry point for synthwave. https://open.spotify.com/artist/1xvEo98zythSrgN69GQevk
  • Malls Across America: When I’m working on any project, being authentic and true to the story and the world of the story is incredibly important. Michael Galinsky came out with a series of photographs that perfectly captures the world of the shopping mall in 1989 in the most authentic way possible with real people. Referencing these photos in the creative process reminds me what the raw, honest truth looks like. https://mashable.com/2014/12/02/80s-shopping-malls/