Derrick Sims

Derrick Sims photo with camera

Derrick Sims is a professional filmmaker who graduated from Henderson in 2007, with a major in mass media. After graduation, Sims created his own movie production company, Fabled Motion Pictures. He has been involved, mainly as a cinematographer, in 16 film projects. In October 2011, he will begin shooting his feature film directorial debut “Come Morning,” a film he also wrote. 

“Come Morning” is set in 1970s Kingsland, Ark., the hometown of Sims. The movie follows the story of a young man and his grandfather, and the wrong decisions they make after a deer hunting accident. “The film will have the realism of the State,” Sims said. “It captures the atmosphere and the hunting culture of southern Arkansas.”

At Henderson, Sims found himself in a challenging learning environment from the first semester. He began in the TV program and had to learn quickly to keep up with students who already had experience working there. He registered for Post Production, a 3000 level course, where the first assignment was editing a project. “I didn’t know the first thing about editing on a computer.” Sims said. “There was no choice other than to just figure it out. But it was the best thing for me. By jumping in there and just doing it, I learned so much more.”

Determined to improve, Sims intentionally created “more difficult and time-consuming” projects out of the “small” class assignments. He remains thankful to the professors who allowed him to do his own projects. “It was the open-mindedness of the faculty that helped push me,” Sims said.

During his senior year, Sims had an opportunity to work as a crewmember in a feature film, but doing so required missing school for few weeks. He had the support of Dr. Claudia Beach and Paul Glover. “They trusted me,” Sims said, “and told me it would be great for my ‘budding career.’ Surely, it was. Now, it’s what I do for a living. I just make movies!”

Sims had the support to work hard and improve his craft at Henderson. He encourages current students to do more work than assigned and strive to become better artists in order to succeed in the business. “No matter how much talent you have,” said Sims, “if you don’t have good work ethics and the ability to push yourself artistically, you will fail. Laziness just leads to ruin.”

Sims began making movies at the age of 9 with his parents’ old camera. His early movies were mostly based on, or were remakes of, “First Blood.” “I am still extremely fond of Sylvester Stallone and some of his work” Sims said. Sims admires the works of cinematographers Roger Deakins and Emmanuel Lubezki and the directors Terrence Malick and the Coen Brothers. He and his wife currently reside in Burbank, CA.

To learn more about Derrick Sims and his upcoming projects, please visit: Fabled Motion Pictures.


"Heart Start confirmed my decision to attend Henderson State University. I had an amazing peer leader, who I am still friends with today. I felt an overwhelming sense of welcome and school spirit."

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Arthur WatsonBachelor of Arts - Communications, 2000
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