- When it comes to storytelling, where do you get your inspiration from?
I am impacted the most by stories that have touched my spirit. Stories that have intimately affected my life. I’m inspired by individuals overcoming tremendous adversity to reach their goals, NO MATTER the circumstances life dealt them. The ultimate end is to never give up.An example is when I started writing my next project “Incarcerated Fathers.” It was inspired from my personal experience, dealing with my father’s imprisonment for the past 14 years. When I began to do my research, I asked my peers about their relationship with their fathers. I found out the majority of my closet friends fathers’ had also been incarcerated or just absent in their lives. These stories deserve to be told.
2. How did you prepare for your role as the D.P?
I prepared for the role by watching several films from the 80’s and 90’s that captured the essence of 90’s hiphop. Funny story, I was in love with “The Straight Out of Compton” club scene, when Ice Cube performed for the first time in Doo-To’s Club. That actual location was filmed at “The legendary Jewel’s Catch One Club.” I sourced New York City to find those old par can non LED lights used in that scene because they really gave the essence of hiphop in the early 90’s. Luckily, I found the lights in Yonkers, NY and the club scene in Outgrown is the most beautiful scene in the movie.
3. When did you realize you wanted to be a screenwriter? Was there an exact moment, or was it more gradual?
I realized I had to be a screenwriter after asking ton’s of DP’s to let me in on their productions. After many No’s, I said to myself, “If I want to tell the stories that inspire me, I’m going to have to write them myself!”
4. What is the toughest challenge you’ve faced so far?
The toughest challenge I’ve faced so far was valuing work and success over love. I’ve always been a career/dream oriented person and up until recently I had to learn always to put people you love and people who love you, before any film or goal you are working tirelessly to achieve.
5. What kind of world do you want to see now that your film “Outgrown” is made? (For clarification) We know that there is a message you as a filmmaker are conveying to your audience, what is that message?
I’ve always cherished a childlike mentality to dream without any boundaries. And in Outgrown, Reggie and Sam does just that. The nine and ten year old defy boundaries by flying to downtown New York City in a helicopter, they hail their own limousine and sneak on a city bus all before they make it to a highly anticipated concert. The message is to always dream and don’t allow worldly problems taint your dreams. Go after what you believe in.
6. What would you say is your unique responsibility as a filmmaker?
My responsibility as an Executive Producer and a filmmaker is to hire/collaborate with more black women in film and tell more stories that represent people of color experiences.