Beyond the Lights (2014)

lightbulbThe Buzz: At first glimpse I dismissed this film as a Lifetime version of The Bodyguard. But after watching the emotional first trailer I was pleasantly surprised to discover the film was written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. I was a big fan of both Love & Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees, and so I’m looking forward to seeing her latest film after a six-year break. I’m confident Gina’s strong storytelling will take this familiar concept to a new level. The pressures of fame have superstar singer Noni on the edge, until she meets Kaz, a young cop who works to help her find the courage to develop her own voice and break free to become the artist she was meant to be.

Hard Times – Making It, Vol. 1 – Entry #3 of 9 – Transitioning (Tahir Jetter Chronicles Web Series Journey)

ImageI’d gotten an imdbpro membership and, after rifling through the endless stack of business cards that I’d amassed after attending Sundance in 2011, (and considering the nature of the film that I wanted to make) I started contacting every single film person that I could think of that had financed,  produced or cast an independent feature film that featured a young, African-American cast between 2007 and 2011. Additionally, I reached out to countless people that I knew, personally, and approached them for private equity investments.]

Concerning the film producers I’ve spoken with, these past few months, feedback that I got on my draft of latest All The Wrong Places, has been: “Yeah, I don’t know, I liked it, but to me, it just kind of read like the Black version of ‘Girls.’” – anon Producer of a feature film that had gone to Sundance, that year “I liked it, but we don’t make those kinds of films anymore.” – anon Producer of a feature film that had gone to Sundance, years before “I don’t work on feature films that have a budget of less than $500,000.” – anon Producer of several Sundance-selected movies “Yeah, I’ll read your draft, but due to familial issues, I can’t really afford to take on projects of this scale.” – anon Producer of several Sundance movies “I’m getting to the point in my career where I can’t take on projects of this size, but I’d be more than happy to read your draft.” – anon Producer with a movie that had just premiered at Sundance. Suffice it to say that this was a small sampling of the people that I’d reached out to, at the time, and that it seemed that the chances of getting the film made were not looking good.