John Shirk is the winner of a $100 Merit Award in the category Florida Student Filmmaker: University of South Florida Students: Atlantic & Pacific Productions Award of the 2011 HCC-Ybor Festival of the Moving Image Florida Filmmakers Contest. His winning entry is entitled Tender.
"What moves me? Finding an idea so powerful, that I've forgotten the past.
"Forgetting is in the now; that's forward progression. Progression as an artist, is sampling encounters then throwing up to feel better. With an empty stomach, I can eat something new. The more I eat, the pickier my taste becomes. I will always be hungry for ideas. Ideas that come in varied shapes and sizes, especially after regurgitation.
"Samuel Beckett and James Joyce provide nutrition for my work. Two literary figures that pushed the language of avant-garde modernism in different directions. Joyce was a synthesizer, trying to bring in as much as he could. Beckett was an analyzer, trying to leave out as much as he could. Beckett explained, 'Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.'
"My work is an everlasting failure of meeting those two points; a minimal synthesis. Essentially, I make an effort for the smallest, most concentrated stain within the conversation of today: a forum of over-stimulation. I'll never get there but I have to eat. I have to show the color of my insides, because today, there's scarcely another way to get my message across to someone."
"Tender is about a woman I feel in love with for no good reason. I saw her on the street and filmed her. This film is a monument to the disaster of my love, which is always very funny."