In a week when a black filmmaker-producer topped the attendance list, there was no shortage of aspiring writer/director/producers seeking to emulate that rags to riches story.
At the Organization of Black Screenwriters short film showcase, five flicks shot for less than the price of a user car were screened. And the quality was as impressive as the dedication of the filmmakers.
One crew faced an armada of police with a helicopter while filming a shooting scene in Compton. The producer told of how she ran towards them, crying, “But I have a permit!” The actor/director quipped, “We just kept shooting while my assistant director was getting arrested.”
Another had cast a set of twins for a scene in which a woman confronts herself from the future. One of the twins got sick so the alter ego was played by a second actress. When he was asked about it after the showing, he candidly noted that all the other elements were in place and it would have delayed the production months had he not moved forward.
Their dedication was rewarded with an overflow audience including folks who can greenlight projects.
So for every bling-waving, bad tempered entertainer one sees, remember there are lots of artists and craftspeople who believe in the creative process, and their own vision. In the process, they’re keeping alive a process that Oscar Michaeux, Noble Johnson, Gordn Parks, Spike Lee and John Singleton have nurtured and developed.