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Drop some Tyler AM with us for Millaze's LvF Movie Premiere
Written by:
Emily Plazek

This summer, LvF: the Cinematic-Album Experience is premiering across 7 random Saturdays on Youtube & Amazon Prime. Here we meet the director, with an introduction from Emily Plazek and Millaze.

In 2016, I found myself in the Purple Room at the Shadyside Maize-Rahimi headquarters to find some men on a couch, one hunkered into his laptop. The hunkerer was Tyler, a Point Park film student - he was helping edit the Kellee Maize music video we were filming that weekend. As a manager jumping between the moving parts and people, I ran downstairs to ask Tyler many a question, and every damn time he had a cool, chill response. I noticed this trend and started deliberately spending more of my downtime in between shoots chatting with him in the dining room. In general, 2013-2017 were some foggy run-around years in my creative world at the time, and spending time in his relaxed and dedicated-to-the-creative aura was a highlight that stuck out at me. We exchanged numbers.

Tyler AM, WV-born, PGH-made, NYC-creating.

At some point I mentioned I always wanted to do a music video movie, and he perked up, said yeah me too. Across the next 4 years we shared wildly cosmic ideas in Squirrel Hill walks, thousands of texts, and many a goofy phone call - eventually bringing life to LvF in full-length movie form. God it makes the album so much more wild than it already was.

Since LvF: The Cinematic-Album Experience quarantine-premiered, I wanted to offer this tongue-taste of Tyler AM, so you too can enjoy his presence in your mind. Here are all the questions I asked him, because the internet deserves the privilege of hearing his answers.

1) How would you describe Tyler AM in one sentence?

  • Tyler AM is a writer and video maker that is inspired by everything because everything is beautiful.

2) What is the origin story of Tyler AM, and where is he now (physically and creatively)?

  • Physically: I was born to a heterosexual Caucasian married couple in a specific town in suburban West Virginia where the best days were "Meh, not the worst."  After graduating high school, I moved to Pittsburgh, PA to attend Point Park University because of my fondness for the letter "P" and also to major in cinema production.  Upon graduating, I moved to Queens, NY to work entry level set positions on various film productions while continuing to freelance.
  • Creatively: I don't remember when I started writing.  I've been writing for as long as I've known what books are.  I got a cheap DV camcorder sometime in 2003-2004 the same Christmas I got a DVD player.  It was a novelty and I can't remember what I used it for at first, but around 2009-2010 I used it for a few serious efforts to make a narrative film.  Everything from that era is terrible.  Most of my older films are shorts, but I'm more focused on writing and directing feature length films right now, although I do still occasionally release experimental and narrative short films.

3) Who/what/when are your inspirations, and why?

  • Everything because everything is beautiful!  It changes constantly depending on the project.  There's only a couple of constants (see below) and even then it's pretty liberal.  The projects I'm most interested in are the ones that have some kind of grounding in a truth or event or a circumstance or even just a moment that is wrought with a nausea of familiarity; whether it's a piece of comedy or a piece of tragedy, I hope that somewhere in the esoteric subspace of humanity, somebody can see it, hear it, read it and think, "Oh my god, I've been there, I know this."
  • Who: I like the idea of blending performance with video.  I like Jack Smith who I suppose was the first to really explore that idea, and Andy Warhol with EPI.  I also like video artists who do concert visuals, in particular Danny Perez who does visuals for Black Dice and Abby Portner who does visuals for Animal Collective.
  • What: As a kid I really liked classic science fiction, especially H.G. Wells.  As I got older, I came to really like old literature like Dante's Comedy, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Faust, the Grimms, etc.  I'm very much a cinephile so a lot of movies, old, contemporary, or experimental.  A Clockwork Orange and Metropolis are some favorites, but I also like Gaspar Noe movies like Enter the Void and Love.  Grindhouse horror like Suspiria or Dawn of the Dead and spectacles like The Ten Commandments or 2001: A Space Odyssey are pretty high up there with Bergman's like "Fanny & Alexander" or "The Virgin Spring", Bunuel's "Belle de Jour" and "Exterminating Angel", Godard's "Band of Outsiders" and "Pierrot le Fou".  For experimental films, Jack Smith is a favorite or course, but I also like Kenneth Anger, primarily for his prop and costume design.  A lot of movies.  A   L O T   O F   M O V I E S.
  • When: Early 2000s which is a personally romanticized time because it was my early youth when the world was brand new mixed with 1960s America because I'm forever fascinated by the radical change in culture between the 1950s and the 1960s, the rise and fall of the hippy movement, the Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, the space race, and technicolor movies.  Inevitably, there's also a good chunk of the present in everything I do because I cannot dictate where my feelings lie the given moment.
Tyler AM, effects connoisseur.


4) What does your creative process look like? Paint the scene, let us feel like we're there.

  • Ideas are never planned; they just arrive when I'm least expecting it, usually on long walks.  If I'm developing something from scratch, I'll dig through my albums to see what most reminds me of what I'm trying to create and I'll listen to it.  Same with books or movies; what has the same or similar mood to whatever I'm making.  And then it usually sits around for many years.  It grows and changes and twists around, and finally after 4-5 years, I write it down.  By then it's completely realized; I know exactly what I want.  From there on it's as much forensic as it is creative.  I know the definites, so everything else has to be informed by those definites.  If it's going to screen, I have to decide what camera angles and what lighting will best replicate what the vision, and if I must make compromises, what alternatives are acceptable.  It's very much problem solving.  Avoiding certain action is just as important as implementing certain action, so I think it's important to know what I don't want also.
his face


5) Now tell us about LvF - what do you want to share about how you came up with the idea, and what you hope people get from it?

  • Most of the core ideas for LvF had already been around, on my a hypothetical shelf if you will, and it was a matter or organizing those ideas and growing on them for the project.  I'm no neuroscientist so this may not be medically applicable, but narratively speaking, I really like the idea that somebody's consciousness isn't based in any particular part of the brain but is the product of multiple parts of brain speaking to each other.  I like applying different figurative ideas to that and seeing how the narrative shifts and bends.  Can these parts of the brain be represented by individual objects or people?  When someone takes drugs or has an orgasm or undergoes some type of trauma, do the conversations change?  What happens when two different parts can't seem to agree?  I was interested in doing a couple of movies that explored this idea partly because it felt like a great opportunity to take stories involving deep and complex internal conflict and making them cinematic.  In high school, I'd written a lore around the idea that discerned somebody's "stream" of conscience, which is their whole self as they are, with their "rivulets" of conscience which are the indivisible pieces that make up their conscience.  
  • I used to make fan films based on some of my favorite music albums, and one of them was going to be based on "Merriweather Post Pavilion" by Animal Collective, but I'd canceled it to do "Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished" instead.  Some of my sketches and screenplays from back then were still around and I thought I could use them for something else.  It had ideas like a woman that dated a giant flickering shape, a woman who sees herself on TV covered in neon abstracts, two halves of somebody coming together, a lot of star patterns, the furniture coming alive, and a window to another life.  
  • I'd shown Emily my "...Spirit They've Vanished" fan film early on when we'd talked about working a visual album together.  When I listened to her record, I realized how closely some of these ideas fit with the ideas I was picking up from the music.  I had described some of these ideas before as a "body odyssey", and it was almost spelled out to me in the album, so I started with some of those pieces I'd already had and shaped them to the record.  Emily liked the idea of playing multiple versions of herself.  We primarily discerned two personas in development: one was nicknamed Omni and was a more mystical/spiritual persona, and the other was nicknamed "Mute" who was impressionable and couldn't speak.  By the time we started filming, this has, cinematically speaking, become seven different personas ranging in ages, abilities, and and settings.  
  • There's a loose narrative, but it's not a conventional Marty-needs-to-fix-the-time-machine-so-he-can-get-back-to-the-future" type of narrative because albums don't behave like regular movies do.  The runtime is much shorter, and the experience is not cinematically structured by default.  As such, it is not dire for the visuals to have a clear a narrative structure, but they do work off of each other and happen within the same reality.  It's about following a map of yourself and arriving in some peculiar places you weren't too familiar with.  At least that's how I see it.  It's painted in a vague and esoteric way, but I hope that somebody watching it can empathize with it and see some kind of truth in there.  Like I said above, I hope somebody can see some of their self or someone they know.

6) Wanna share your favorite current/past projects?

  • I definitely would like to share my two most recent short films, both of which relate closely to the same core ideas used in developing LvF.  One of them was my thesis short, and it is a psychedelic murder plot turned inside out called "Black Felt Charlotte", you can watch it here.
  • The other one is a reassembly of the assets produced for one of my earliest films called, "Petals: Redux".  "Petals" is a indecipherably disaster of a movie, but all of the footage, jpg images, and synthetic sound was still on a lot of older drives, so I took them and reprocessed them to make a new short film that's canon with my current work and in general a lot closer to the look and feeling I'd wanted the film to have all along. Watch Petals here.

Black Felt Charlotte, available on Tyler AM's Youtube.

7) Anything else you want to share? Maybe something that's in the works?

  • I've been alternating between post-production on one film and pre-production on another.  I'm in post-production on "Jimmy Alfredo" which is about a cynical Caulfield-type who joins this rogue eccentric acid head on an odyssey to allegedly meet the devil and they bump into some oddball side characters along the way.  It's been several years in the making, and it's maybe missing some of the spit polish of my more recent shorts, but there's still a lot I like about it.  Once I finish the sound mixing that should be getting an online release plus a few screenings hopefully when Covid clears up.
  • I'm in pre-production for a feature length film I'd also describe as a body odyssey.  The name of the film is "Snake-ish", and it is about a hopeful romantic who'd been rescued from freezing to death by a psychic boy goes on a shapeshifting trip to find her savior.  I wouldn't call it a feature length "Black Felt Charlotte", but it's definitely an expansion of some ideas from Charlotte as well as my contributions to another college short I had a story credit on called "Luna".


Watch Petals on Youtube, too, and follow this creative man's career to the edges of the world as you knew it, for years to come.

LvF the music video movie is divided into its 7 song parts so you can go to the Other Side with Millaze and Tyler AM for 7 random Saturdays this summer at 12noon, at Millaze’s Youtube channel here.

Follow Millaze @iammillaze and at www.millaze.com

Follow Tyler AM @tyleramiii and on Youtube here.

Drop some Tyler AM with us for Millaze's LvF Movie Premiere
Drop some Tyler AM with us for Millaze's LvF Movie Premiere
MIC is my baby.

This summer, LvF: the Cinematic-Album Experience is premiering across 7 random Saturdays on Youtube & Amazon Prime. Here we meet the director, with an introduction from Emily Plazek and Millaze.

In 2016, I found myself in the Purple Room at the Shadyside Maize-Rahimi headquarters to find some men on a couch, one hunkered into his laptop. The hunkerer was Tyler, a Point Park film student - he was helping edit the Kellee Maize music video we were filming that weekend. As a manager jumping between the moving parts and people, I ran downstairs to ask Tyler many a question, and every damn time he had a cool, chill response. I noticed this trend and started deliberately spending more of my downtime in between shoots chatting with him in the dining room. In general, 2013-2017 were some foggy run-around years in my creative world at the time, and spending time in his relaxed and dedicated-to-the-creative aura was a highlight that stuck out at me. We exchanged numbers.

Tyler AM, WV-born, PGH-made, NYC-creating.

At some point I mentioned I always wanted to do a music video movie, and he perked up, said yeah me too. Across the next 4 years we shared wildly cosmic ideas in Squirrel Hill walks, thousands of texts, and many a goofy phone call - eventually bringing life to LvF in full-length movie form. God it makes the album so much more wild than it already was.

Since LvF: The Cinematic-Album Experience quarantine-premiered, I wanted to offer this tongue-taste of Tyler AM, so you too can enjoy his presence in your mind. Here are all the questions I asked him, because the internet deserves the privilege of hearing his answers.

1) How would you describe Tyler AM in one sentence?

  • Tyler AM is a writer and video maker that is inspired by everything because everything is beautiful.

2) What is the origin story of Tyler AM, and where is he now (physically and creatively)?

  • Physically: I was born to a heterosexual Caucasian married couple in a specific town in suburban West Virginia where the best days were "Meh, not the worst."  After graduating high school, I moved to Pittsburgh, PA to attend Point Park University because of my fondness for the letter "P" and also to major in cinema production.  Upon graduating, I moved to Queens, NY to work entry level set positions on various film productions while continuing to freelance.
  • Creatively: I don't remember when I started writing.  I've been writing for as long as I've known what books are.  I got a cheap DV camcorder sometime in 2003-2004 the same Christmas I got a DVD player.  It was a novelty and I can't remember what I used it for at first, but around 2009-2010 I used it for a few serious efforts to make a narrative film.  Everything from that era is terrible.  Most of my older films are shorts, but I'm more focused on writing and directing feature length films right now, although I do still occasionally release experimental and narrative short films.

3) Who/what/when are your inspirations, and why?

  • Everything because everything is beautiful!  It changes constantly depending on the project.  There's only a couple of constants (see below) and even then it's pretty liberal.  The projects I'm most interested in are the ones that have some kind of grounding in a truth or event or a circumstance or even just a moment that is wrought with a nausea of familiarity; whether it's a piece of comedy or a piece of tragedy, I hope that somewhere in the esoteric subspace of humanity, somebody can see it, hear it, read it and think, "Oh my god, I've been there, I know this."
  • Who: I like the idea of blending performance with video.  I like Jack Smith who I suppose was the first to really explore that idea, and Andy Warhol with EPI.  I also like video artists who do concert visuals, in particular Danny Perez who does visuals for Black Dice and Abby Portner who does visuals for Animal Collective.
  • What: As a kid I really liked classic science fiction, especially H.G. Wells.  As I got older, I came to really like old literature like Dante's Comedy, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Faust, the Grimms, etc.  I'm very much a cinephile so a lot of movies, old, contemporary, or experimental.  A Clockwork Orange and Metropolis are some favorites, but I also like Gaspar Noe movies like Enter the Void and Love.  Grindhouse horror like Suspiria or Dawn of the Dead and spectacles like The Ten Commandments or 2001: A Space Odyssey are pretty high up there with Bergman's like "Fanny & Alexander" or "The Virgin Spring", Bunuel's "Belle de Jour" and "Exterminating Angel", Godard's "Band of Outsiders" and "Pierrot le Fou".  For experimental films, Jack Smith is a favorite or course, but I also like Kenneth Anger, primarily for his prop and costume design.  A lot of movies.  A   L O T   O F   M O V I E S.
  • When: Early 2000s which is a personally romanticized time because it was my early youth when the world was brand new mixed with 1960s America because I'm forever fascinated by the radical change in culture between the 1950s and the 1960s, the rise and fall of the hippy movement, the Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, the space race, and technicolor movies.  Inevitably, there's also a good chunk of the present in everything I do because I cannot dictate where my feelings lie the given moment.
Tyler AM, effects connoisseur.


4) What does your creative process look like? Paint the scene, let us feel like we're there.

  • Ideas are never planned; they just arrive when I'm least expecting it, usually on long walks.  If I'm developing something from scratch, I'll dig through my albums to see what most reminds me of what I'm trying to create and I'll listen to it.  Same with books or movies; what has the same or similar mood to whatever I'm making.  And then it usually sits around for many years.  It grows and changes and twists around, and finally after 4-5 years, I write it down.  By then it's completely realized; I know exactly what I want.  From there on it's as much forensic as it is creative.  I know the definites, so everything else has to be informed by those definites.  If it's going to screen, I have to decide what camera angles and what lighting will best replicate what the vision, and if I must make compromises, what alternatives are acceptable.  It's very much problem solving.  Avoiding certain action is just as important as implementing certain action, so I think it's important to know what I don't want also.
his face


5) Now tell us about LvF - what do you want to share about how you came up with the idea, and what you hope people get from it?

  • Most of the core ideas for LvF had already been around, on my a hypothetical shelf if you will, and it was a matter or organizing those ideas and growing on them for the project.  I'm no neuroscientist so this may not be medically applicable, but narratively speaking, I really like the idea that somebody's consciousness isn't based in any particular part of the brain but is the product of multiple parts of brain speaking to each other.  I like applying different figurative ideas to that and seeing how the narrative shifts and bends.  Can these parts of the brain be represented by individual objects or people?  When someone takes drugs or has an orgasm or undergoes some type of trauma, do the conversations change?  What happens when two different parts can't seem to agree?  I was interested in doing a couple of movies that explored this idea partly because it felt like a great opportunity to take stories involving deep and complex internal conflict and making them cinematic.  In high school, I'd written a lore around the idea that discerned somebody's "stream" of conscience, which is their whole self as they are, with their "rivulets" of conscience which are the indivisible pieces that make up their conscience.  
  • I used to make fan films based on some of my favorite music albums, and one of them was going to be based on "Merriweather Post Pavilion" by Animal Collective, but I'd canceled it to do "Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished" instead.  Some of my sketches and screenplays from back then were still around and I thought I could use them for something else.  It had ideas like a woman that dated a giant flickering shape, a woman who sees herself on TV covered in neon abstracts, two halves of somebody coming together, a lot of star patterns, the furniture coming alive, and a window to another life.  
  • I'd shown Emily my "...Spirit They've Vanished" fan film early on when we'd talked about working a visual album together.  When I listened to her record, I realized how closely some of these ideas fit with the ideas I was picking up from the music.  I had described some of these ideas before as a "body odyssey", and it was almost spelled out to me in the album, so I started with some of those pieces I'd already had and shaped them to the record.  Emily liked the idea of playing multiple versions of herself.  We primarily discerned two personas in development: one was nicknamed Omni and was a more mystical/spiritual persona, and the other was nicknamed "Mute" who was impressionable and couldn't speak.  By the time we started filming, this has, cinematically speaking, become seven different personas ranging in ages, abilities, and and settings.  
  • There's a loose narrative, but it's not a conventional Marty-needs-to-fix-the-time-machine-so-he-can-get-back-to-the-future" type of narrative because albums don't behave like regular movies do.  The runtime is much shorter, and the experience is not cinematically structured by default.  As such, it is not dire for the visuals to have a clear a narrative structure, but they do work off of each other and happen within the same reality.  It's about following a map of yourself and arriving in some peculiar places you weren't too familiar with.  At least that's how I see it.  It's painted in a vague and esoteric way, but I hope that somebody watching it can empathize with it and see some kind of truth in there.  Like I said above, I hope somebody can see some of their self or someone they know.

6) Wanna share your favorite current/past projects?

  • I definitely would like to share my two most recent short films, both of which relate closely to the same core ideas used in developing LvF.  One of them was my thesis short, and it is a psychedelic murder plot turned inside out called "Black Felt Charlotte", you can watch it here.
  • The other one is a reassembly of the assets produced for one of my earliest films called, "Petals: Redux".  "Petals" is a indecipherably disaster of a movie, but all of the footage, jpg images, and synthetic sound was still on a lot of older drives, so I took them and reprocessed them to make a new short film that's canon with my current work and in general a lot closer to the look and feeling I'd wanted the film to have all along. Watch Petals here.

Black Felt Charlotte, available on Tyler AM's Youtube.

7) Anything else you want to share? Maybe something that's in the works?

  • I've been alternating between post-production on one film and pre-production on another.  I'm in post-production on "Jimmy Alfredo" which is about a cynical Caulfield-type who joins this rogue eccentric acid head on an odyssey to allegedly meet the devil and they bump into some oddball side characters along the way.  It's been several years in the making, and it's maybe missing some of the spit polish of my more recent shorts, but there's still a lot I like about it.  Once I finish the sound mixing that should be getting an online release plus a few screenings hopefully when Covid clears up.
  • I'm in pre-production for a feature length film I'd also describe as a body odyssey.  The name of the film is "Snake-ish", and it is about a hopeful romantic who'd been rescued from freezing to death by a psychic boy goes on a shapeshifting trip to find her savior.  I wouldn't call it a feature length "Black Felt Charlotte", but it's definitely an expansion of some ideas from Charlotte as well as my contributions to another college short I had a story credit on called "Luna".


Watch Petals on Youtube, too, and follow this creative man's career to the edges of the world as you knew it, for years to come.

LvF the music video movie is divided into its 7 song parts so you can go to the Other Side with Millaze and Tyler AM for 7 random Saturdays this summer at 12noon, at Millaze’s Youtube channel here.

Follow Millaze @iammillaze and at www.millaze.com

Follow Tyler AM @tyleramiii and on Youtube here.

Find us @theMICMountain on social media because we, too, are humans on our phones.

Join the Mountain Climber Club mailing list and let us dangle a juicy carrot reward of an embarrassing picture of our founder because humor is good for your health, and we're all about that.

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