Curtis Baskerville’s Bio
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Curtis Baskerville has always had a hobby of making home movies and drawing. He has worked on a wide variety of award winning commercials, documentaries, television spots, P.S.A.’s, music videos and short films.
After graduating from high school in 1999, he enrolled in West Virginia State University’s Bachelors Communications program based on their internship with the Disney College Program.
He worked as a quick food service restaurant host at MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida for six months.
After completing the program, Curtis returned to school and he enrolled in Professor, filmmaker, Danny Boyd’s scriptwriting course. Boyd inspired Curtis and he decided to pursue a career in filmmaking and put his dream of being an animator on hold.
With great support and guidance from Boyd, Curtis got a summer internship with a local, production company called Digital Vision Works and he has worked on a wide variety of award winning commercials, documentaries, television spots, P.S.A.’s, music videos and short films.
Boyd gave Curtis his first start in filmmaking working with him as an assistant cameraman on a film shoot in Africa that took place on Mount Kilimanjaro. Boyd quickly promoted Curtis to assistant director and then again as an associate producer on his documentary, “Ghosts of Green-Bottom” which won a national Telly award.
Curtis graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in communications in 2004 and he decided to further his education and enrolled in West Virginia State University’s new media studies masters program. While in the program, Curtis was accepted into the graduate assistantship program and he taught and helped students and assisted professors in various media based production courses such as Advanced TV production, TV production, TV/radio news casting, filmmaking, advanced filmmaking, and animation production. While in the program Curtis took a number of production and filmmaking courses such as digital video production, 3D animation, animation production, documentary production, producer’s seminar, script analysis, interactive media, and audio production.
Curtis’ time in the assistantship and masters program motivated him to learn even more about filmmaking and he began working as a behind the scenes camera man, lighting grip, boom operator, and assistant director on a number of award winning short films and commercials. Three of the most notable projects were “Clockdown” a short film that placed at the Kodak film festival, “Provident”, a short film that won best narrative at the Sutton film festival and “There is Hope”, a public service video that won a Golden Addy.
Curtis even gained experience in the TV field by working as a supervising editor on a student-produced news show called “WVSU Newsline” and he was later awarded a fellowship to work as a camera operator on a West Virginia State University sports television program that was sponsored by Suddenlink called “Coaches Corner”.
Not wanting all of his experiences to be within school, Curtis found other opportunities to learn about filmmaking by working as a camera operator and associate producer on a feature length Eco-documentary titled “Toxic Soup” which premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival, is in domestic distribution and has aired nationally several times on Free Speech TV. Curtis furthered his experience by working as a production assistant for Pilgrim Films on The Learning Channel's “Toddlers & Tiaras” and a pilot called “Chili-Cook Off”.
Curtis completed the assistantship and he ended up working in the concessions department as a warehouse dispatcher at the Mardi Gras Casino and Resort in Cross Lanes, West Virginia. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise when he delivered some drinks up to the general manager’s office and got him interested in his film work. Opportunity knocked when Curtis was asked to direct and produce a web video for the casino’s premiere restaurant, The French Quarter. Ready and willing, Curtis recruited a small three-man crew and directed the video and it got him a position as the closed circuit TV manager of the casino’s brand new high definition TV room. The general manager and marketing liked Curtis’ commercial so much that they decided to air it in between their races and he became their in-house film director and producer of web and in-house videos. After moving into his new position, Curtis was able to hire two of his fellow filmmakers to run the TV room with him and work on videos and he directed several in-house and web commercials for the casino and their new hotel.
Boyd noticed Curtis’ new interest in directing and he gave him an opportunity to direct a project with a larger crew with him by his side as second unit director on a thesis music video called “Fall Air” for graduate student, musician, Emily Burdette. Curtis had had the benefit of working as an assistant director and lighting grip on two large-scale music video projects for music artists, Gabriel Redding and Amanda Bridgette that involved aerial shots, driving jib shots and scissor lifts so he felt ready to take on directing his first music video.
Boyd was very impressed with Curtis’ directing skills and he gave him a opportunity to direct his first television commercial which was for the West Virginia Arts Counsel promoting their artskv.org website. The commercial starred David Stacy who is a close friend of filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock. Curtis gained even more free-lance experience by directing a web commercial for a local dentist office in Charleston for a company called “Studio Now”.
In Fall of 2011, Curtis graduated with a Master of Arts degree in media studies from West Virginia State University. His thesis was a feature length misadventure comedy screenplay set in West Virginia titled “Sammy & the Bull”. Curtis hopes this will be the first feature he directs.
Since graduating, Curtis has begun shooting in full high definition through the use of his new Canon 7D camera. His first project in this new format was two large-scale music videos for a tribute album by a Canadian rock group called Buddy Black for Boyd's cult classic horror film “Chillers” which is being re-released and is coming out as a graphic novel. He worked on the projects with longtime friends and partners, producer Lisa Bragg and director of photography, editor, Michael Sydenstricker and a great crew of West Virginia State University communications students; media studies graduate students and alumni.
Curtis also takes an interest in acting; he has performed in a number of educational videos for the Motion Masters production company and was an extra in Lion Gate’s Oscar nominated, feature film “Warrior”.
“A director is only as good as his crew”
“I believe to achieve any career goal that skill, ambition, and opportunity must come together as one.”
Curtis Baskerville, director/filmmaker
Name: Curtis Baskerville
Lives in: Cross Lanes, West Virginia
West Virginia State University (Institute, WV)
West Virginia State University (Institute, WV)