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Christopher Perkins-Cook shares a moment with his brother, Joel.
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A flier for Social Frequency's most recent release, "An American Small Town"
Documentaries have the ability to shape hearts, open minds and open eyes to the world. For Christopher Perkins-Cook, a talent for telling stories has turned into a career.
Christopher started in the Greater Alton area, being raised in Bethalto. When he was a child, he and his brother Joel put on fake interviews in their basement with their parents’ camcorder. They would film themselves either wrestling or performing monologues from their favorite movies. In this way, they started their artistic journey together — Joel became an actor, and Christopher became interested in life behind the camera.
After graduating from Civic Memorial High School, Christopher attended school for Cinematography at Columbia College Chicago. During his last few classes at Columbia, he began working for Social Frequency, a small advertising firm that works in film-making and marketing as well as photography and film composition.
“Social Frequency’s pretty unique because it’s a small company, but we have high expectations and ambitions for ourselves,” Christopher says.
Christopher and the company’s founder, Stuart Meyer, try to put their whole hearts into their stories, hoping they will shape minds and influence people along the way.
Christopher also works on independent projects. A few he’s helped with include “Composing” in 2012 and “The Argonaut” in 2013, both short films directed by his friend Scotty Smith. He also helps a local organization called Loosey Goosey, dedicated to helping beginning artists get noticed. Christopher says he really enjoys helping Loosey Goosey with video productions, and they hold a close place to his heart.
“I did my first poetry reading at one of their events,” Christopher said. “That really helped me gain more confidence in myself.”
In his earlier years, he has had photography and poetry published in their art magazine.
“I wouldn’t be the artist I am without the help of them and their company,” he said.
His most recent projects involve a few documentaries with Social Frequency. The first, called “An American Small Town,” is about a Wisconsin town and was recently released on DVD through Social Frequency. The second is still in production, and is called “Born to Love Ballet.” It is about the contrasting journeys of a young ballerina and an older ballet choreographer, a former protégé of the first Native American prima ballerina. Christopher recently returned from filming for this work in San Diego.
“It’s a pretty ambitious project,” Christopher says.
Through his art, Christopher says his main goal is to enlighten and educate as many people as possible. He says he tries “not to get bogged down by expectations … the world is a spontaneous and random place.”
He simply enjoys his adventures in documentary film-making.
“What I really love about documentaries is that you get to go into unfamiliar territory; you get exposed to a whole new world,” Christopher says. “It’s a beautiful thing.”