To Carson Cummings, the only thing better than a good story was finding ways to make it a great story. This talent was not reserved exclusively for filmmaking. Embellishing real-life stories with additional anecdotes was a particularly fun way to put his own entertaining spin on life. Real events, when recalled by Carson, often took a more colorful form than others' recollection of the same events. More often than not, his friends and family would adopt Carson's version of a story because, well, it was more fun to tell than the real thing.
This talent was facilitated by a keen eye for comedy and a fascination with people's peculiarities. Carson could pinpoint another's peculiar traits with ease – encouraging them to embrace the traits until they reached an almost mythical level. This is how Carson made some of his more eccentric friends. And, this is pretty much the same approach he took when creating the characters for – and directing the actors in – his films.
Carson's innate ability to make stories – and people – more entertaining became the foundation for his filmmaking. As early as Elementary School, Carson masterminded and filmed elaborate pranks in his neighborhood. Most kids this age played pranks only on their siblings. Carson pranked neighborhood adults as a child, and filmed it!
In High School and College, Carson wrote, directed, and edited many short films. Carson's genre of choice – comedy – could be better described as choosing him than the other way around.
The characters in Carson's films always faced unconventional situations: a mannequin-come-to-life to reclaim his stolen Abercrombie pants from some fraternity bros; a man hell-bent on avoiding a nice homemade dinner prepared by his roommate; getting "pantsed" while playing a pickup game of basketball.
What made his films unique, however, was the even less-conventional path his characters took against these obstacles: determining the mannequin is "just a bro, looking for some bro-mance;" using progressively awful excuses –“my bed ate me! – to avoid the dinner his roommate prepared; spiraling into an alcohol-fueled depression from getting "pantsed," reading a self-help book on the topic of getting “pantsed,” and returning triumphantly to the basketball court wearing underwear this time around.
The conclusions to Carson's films often turned his character’s efforts wholly against them; just another example of his ability to subvert traditional storytelling to make it more fun. Check the “Carson’s Films” section of this website to view the fate of these characters.
Carson’s ability to make a story better was not restricted to embellishing events, nor to filmmaking. Much like the characters in his films, he would nearly always take the unconventional path against a challenge if he thought he could get away with it. It was even better if he could enlist others to join his plan to beat the system at hand! Case in point: when Carson and his college roommates got tired of mowing their lawn, he bought a goat to eat the grass on their suburban Fort Worth lawn to save them the hassle.
After graduating from Texas Christian University, Carson moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream career of working on feature films. Tragically, Carson passed away in 2012 before he could fully realize his dream.
To honor Carson's memory, the Carson Cummings Film Scholarship Committee aims to help young filmmakers pursue their own dreams. We'd like to thank each and every student who has applied for Carson's Scholarship; your involvement means more to us than you realize.