Forgive the late post, but this week has been quite a long one for me. First, I moved into a new place, which I'm very excited about. Makes me feel like I'm home for the first time. Which is actually true because this will be my first rental in Minneapolis in my entire adult life. Honestly, I never thought I'd live in my hometown, but I'm sure there are a million things you never think you'd do when you're a teen. That was nine years ago. Anyway, I say that to say that part of the reason I'd moved home was because I was feeling in a bit of a rut in California. It's crazy because it's supposed to be the land of dreams right? Well, for me, it was mostly the place full of all sorts of anxiety. I'd never given up my love for film and writing and such, but I just couldn't make any leeway there!!! Everyone wanted to step on each other's heads instead of helping each other out! Plus, I wanted to do more work with other black students, but of course we were few and far between, and we didn't seem to be organised... or at all interested for that matter. I didn't really know what I wanted to do at that point, so I moved back home.
Best decision I've made! The last year was amazing along with quickly getting a job, I'd had the opportunity to work on three different projects on the production side PLUS making my own short film with the entire cast crew being from Minnesota! It was an amazing experience to say the least, but I was even more excited to get hands on experience doing PA work. It allowed me to demystify without being jaded. It made me that much more excited to keep writing and working on my own craft. ON ALL ASPECTS!
This year was also kicked off properly when I had the chance to work behind the scenes at the Red Bull Crashed Ice event held here in St. Paul. It's been here a few years, but I'd never been home to see it. Not only was I going to be a spectator, I was also going to be working it, meaning I could get photos from all over, like this one:
Or even this one:
To say that it was amazing would be an understatement. I had a great 3 days working on this and would do it again in a heartbeat! From the live drummer Charlie, to the beautiful voice of Latasha Lee, the kick ass beats of Joe Mazz, and of course, all the hot and sexy athletes racing down the track. It couldn't have been a better start to the year.
Also, it just continued to inspire me to keep going with my dreams and work on the projects I want to work on because eventually, everyone else will catch on.
If you were out there, let me know how you enjoyed it!! I know I did!
Now that I haven't slept for a week, I'm going to lay down now. Have a good week!
First off, I want to say thank you to everyone who's had the opportunity to watch my directorial debut titled 'Homecoming.' It's been amazing journey that's not even close to being complete, but it's all about getting it out there now for people to enjoy.
Secondly, as you can tell, the website has been through a bit of an overhaul. I like to change it up from time to time, so never get used to what it looks like as I like to keep you on your toes.
Now, the real reason for this post is two-fold. There have been plenty of things to dominate the news as of late, but film-wise, Bill Cosby's allegations and the possible double standard with Woody Allen have been plaguing my brain.
Bill Cosby and Woody Allen have had incredibly successful years, but in the last few, they've been plagued by possible skeletons in their closet dealing with rape, sexual assault, and incest. Both have had allegations spring up before, but seemed to be made of Teflon at the time and was able to escape any further prosecution either form their accusers or from the public. In fact, the public seemed all but unknowing about the allegations regarding Bill Cosby until Hannibal Buress brought it up in a comedy sketch. I didn't even know until I started using that filthy Google monster and lo and behold, there was a ton of information dating back to 2002. I wonder had it been there this entire time? Or had it been trickled out waiting for the perfect moment for it all to explode? Not too much earlier in 2014, Woody Allen was in similar hot water when allegations resurfaced from his adopted daughter Dylan who penned an open letter in the New York Times regarding the alleged rape she suffered at the hands of the man she called her father. The thing about this one is that the judge had probable cause to believe Dylan, but didn't press charges because he didn't want to expose the child to possible harm. I'm sorry, but who are you to decide whether or not the child will be harmed by going through this court circus? I think her mother, who stood by her, would know better than anyone.
Both situations are utterly deplorable, but my real issue with these is that Woody Allen has been given the benefit of the doubt regarding the allegations against him. Bill Cosby, on the other hand, seems to be guilty until proven innocent. Both men have had incredibly successful careers and yet one is being completely dogged by media and the other is being given his own show on Amazon.
Personally, I think both men have some skeletons in their closets that will eventually come to light because nothing that dark can stay hidden forever. Why is it that one man's perceived guilty actions are enough to condemn him, but the other's seems to be okay? Is it because the right famous people came to the side of Woody Allen, and those who once lauded Bill Cosby as the unofficial voice of black people have all but jumped ship on him? Is it because the volume of victims is higher? What constitutes the condemning of one and not the other?
If there was any real justice, they'd both be innocent until proven guilty, but the fact that history has consistently shown us that when you're skin is of a darker hue, your innocence is always questioned, that's never going to happen.
As a woman, a filmmaker, and an African American, It saddens me that our voices are still only heard as whispers until a man speaks up. We are not fragile and the majority of us don't just make up stories to get attention. I'm tired of stories like these not being taken seriously. Maybe one day. Until then, I'll keep pushing on. One day at a time.
Facts were read from the New Yorker and Vulture.com. The opinions, however, are all my own.
As we get into the second full week of the year, I'm filled with more hope than ever. I truly feel there's been so much change. Not only in the world, but in my life as well. Yes, there's been so much distress over the racial injustices in this country, but there have been many people who have been woken up and are starting to realize that they deserve equality and it's not going to come in a pair of Jordans.
Specifically, I mean in the entertainment industry. People of color have begun to realize that it's more than just showing their faces on the camera and being seen. It's about having a controlling stake over their content! Shonda Rhimes (Shondaland), Michael Starburry (The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond The Lights), Chris Rock (Top Five), Issa Rae (Awkward Black Girl)... etc. These are some of the people of color who only inspire me to reach higher than just being an actress. I want to write, direct, produce, and act. I want to eventually have my own production company. I know that it's going to take a long time to achieve, but I know that it's possible.
I want to make more films that showcase African American talent and African American folklore and I want to jump into sci-fi, romance, drama, comedy. I want to do it all!!! Of course, not alone. I'm not that good, or that crazy. But it's possible, and I know that it's going to happen.
I know it's going to happen because I see it happening! It's a breath of fresh air to see more option than slave movies and biopics. I love the fact that when I watched Beyond The Lights, reality was suspended, and I was taken into another world. I love that Shonda Rhimes goes into interracial relationships between black women and white men because it happens! I love Issa Rae and her awkwardness. I'm awkward as hell! I love me, but I am... among other things.
This year is exciting as it's just continuing on the momentum that I had last year. My short film Homecoming will be available for you all to see soon, but there is so much more coming in the way of screenplays, web series, books and as many auditions as I can. Stay tuned. I've already hit the ground running!
Hello everyone! I'm glad to announce that 'Homecoming is complete! Click here to watch it, like it, leave comments, dislike it, what have you. Anything. All you have to do is watch and maybe share with others. I would be forever grateful to you. Everyone who worked on this project did it for the love of film. It was an honor working with them, and I'm so happy to have been given this opportunity.
This is only the beginning. There will be so much more to come.
This year, I set out to make a short film. To say that it was hard is an understatement. I had no idea what to expect for many reasons. And even if I had an idea, I feel like there's no way to be completely ready for a venture like this if you're looking to make it high quality.
The short is called Homecoming and I know you've seen me talking about it before. If you haven't, it's a short about a young man going to visit the family of his partner who was killed in action. Still interested? Go check it out here and then come back and finish reading.
Welcome back! So, starting out, all I had was a script and a goal. I'd just moved back to Minnesota and I had no artistic contacts. I had planned as much as I could (which wasn't much considering I had no idea what I was doing) and I hit the ground running. It was an amazing experience in the fact that I was meeting an entire cast and crew for the first time and I'd never done a solo project before, but they were all gung ho about. As dedicated to the project as I was. I couldn't believe the magic we'd captured having never worked together before.
Originally the script was 12 minutes, but as you know, a movie is made 3 times. When it's written, when it's filmed, and when it's edited. Overall, it came down to a 6 minute short.
I was happy. Beyond excited. Over the moon about such an accomplishment because it meant that I could do it. Obviously with the help of others, but yeah, I was ready to do this more! And then, I started telling people about it.
Needless to say, my happiness died a little.
Originally, the script read 12 minutes long. Even when we were shooting it, it seemed to be going that way. But in editing, to make the story as strong as possible, it only ended up running for 6 minutes. That doesn't include intro and credits, but that'll add maybe 3 more minutes total. Anyway, I started allowing friends in on the unfinished product, and they seemed less that impressed with my 6 minute accomplishment.
The main response I received was, "That's it?"
That's it? THAT'S IT?!?!?!
Good grief man! It cut me deep to hear such a question. First off, it was always a short. It was never meant to be a feature. Secondly, you asking me if that's it means that the story wasn't strong enough. It didn't hit you. It didn't grab you. That hurts the worst. It's like, you're saying you didn't know what you were watching!!!!
Ok, it may not say all those things, but who knows. I just know that I was happy, and now the nerves have come back tenfold about how people will perceive it.
I don't know how to explain it to them how it ended up at only 6 minutes, and I don't think I should because all it would be is me defending the work that I think is solid. And it my come off as either arrogant and angry or arrogant and sad. Or just sad and angry. Maybe needy. I'm rambling.
How do you explain to someone wk's not an artist about permits and location scouting and needing certain things and not having the budget and having to change your ideas on the spot because something isn't working, etc.
I couldn't be more proud of those 6 minutes and what they represent. Those are the first 6 minutes of what I hope are a long and successful career. They are the foundation to what will be a strong house someday.
Who knows, maybe they'll enjoy the next one more.
Reviewing movies. I tried to go to once a week, but I think it's best if I post whenever. Right?