J. Lazarus Hawk
Writer / Director
J. Lazarus Hawk was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania on December 18, 1967. He started enjoying television, movies, and comics at a very early age, and as far back as he can remember Stan Lee and Marvel comics and Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone were among his most prolific influences. In the summer of 1976 his older brother took him to a local movie theater to see a special rerelease of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The boys sat through it twice. It was that very day, at the tender young age of 8, when Lazarus realized what film can be.
Four years later, his brother again took him to the movies, this time to see David Lynch’s “The Elephant Man.” That film did for Lazarus visually and emotionally what “2001: A Space Odyssey” had done for him intellectually. That also led him to look into the works of Ingmar Bergman and Alfred Hitchcock, and sparked in him the earliest desire that he can remember to make a film.
In July, 1982, at the age of 14, as Lazarus was developing and pursuing interests in the works of Edgar Alan Poe and Michael Moorcock, he moved with his mother to Mount Desert Island, Maine, where he began to develop and write stories of his own, and discovered the power of music in storytelling. Among the musicians who influenced him the most are Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, Nick Cave, and Queen.
In July, 1997, after spending a decade in Connecticut, Lazarus moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he met film director Craig Brewer, who gave him his first opportunity to work in film. He played a drug dealer in Craig’s film “The Poor and Hungry.” Later, when Craig returned from a film festival disappointed in what he had seen, he asked Lazarus what he would do if given an opportunity to make a ten minute long black and white film. Lazarus’ answer left Craig speechless.
Two years later, Craig served as Executive Producer on Lazarus’ film “The Morning Ritual,” which won the Hometowner Award at the 2001 Indie Memphis Film Festival for Narrative Short. “The Morning Ritual” also received a Darrell Award in 2002 from the Memphis Science-Fiction Association. In addition, the film was runner-up at the 2002 Nashville International Film Festival where, although not a winner, it was treated as a winner and delivered to and screened for the Directors’ Guild. The film has also been archived by the AFI as an “Innovator of Digital Cinema”.
From there, Lazarus founded Rising Fyre Productions and proceeded to teach himself filmmaking by making films. In 2005 he produced “US,” a short film written by his older brother, which he eventually released in 2010. In 2008, he portrayed Ace in J. Michael McCarthy’s “Cigarette Girl.” Also in 2010, he wrote, produced, and directed a short film entitled “Words of a Father.”
In June, 2012, Lazarus partnered with Film Warrior owner Jamie Hall under the Rising Fyre Productions name. Together Lazarus and Jamie have produced two short films, “Cold-Blooded” and “The Bag,” two music videos, “Listen to the Words” for Lila, and “Pillars of Salt” for Prey 4 Me. They also produced one production season’s worth of weekly web-based talk show episodes for the program entitled “In Frame.” They have also produced numerous other projects for corporations and other business entities, and are developing other in-house projects, including documentaries and feature films.