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Screening the dream sequence: Los Angeles

On September 22nd, 2018, I premiered the Gold Rush dream sequence in Los Angeles, specifically at a clubhouse called the Wilfandel in the West Adams neighborhood.  This place would make great setting for an Easy Rawlins mystery, if it isn’t, already.  Most of my family and friends came out to see the film.  My mom planned the party, my aunt Phyl designed the step-and-repeat and my uncle Robert photographed everyone.  My dad showed up and gave the film a good review, so I’d call the event a success!

GR Family
Left to right: my brother Kareem; my dad; my mom, Habiba; me, my sister Sultana; my brother Adam; my brother Sean.

Screening the dream sequence: New York City

On August 29th I premiered my film, the Gold Rush dream sequence, at El Barrio’s Artspace in East Harlem.  I had initially planned a much bigger event but cast, crew and a few good friends showed up to celebrate on this rainy Labor Day Friday.  Gold Rush is set in Los Angeles but the dream sequence, which takes place inside of Kendrick Chandler’s mind as he slumbers in Chicago, was filmed in Brooklyn.  I can’t wait to show the film to the public, but that won’t happen for awhile.

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Left to right: Actor Tara Segda, who plays Christie Gonzales, Merc, who composed the music and edited the sound, me, Welinton Vallejo who plays Kendrick Chandler and Daniel Danielson, who plays Sharif Chandler.

 

My Visit with the Writers Guild at Borough of           Manhattan Community College

IMG_0695.jpgOn Wednesday, March 28th, writer and professor Lara Stapleton invited me to talk drama with the Writers Guild– it was a blast!  These students all showed a lot of talent, imagination and insight.  Some of them had experienced life events that would make amazing dramatizations or came from a background that afforded them an unusual perspective, others shared some pretty next-level ideas for more fantasy-based shows.  I hope they get to share some of their stories with the world at large.  I always love talking to young people, and it was a real treat to tell them about Gold Rush!

Gold Rush: The Dream Sequence

Back in November of 2015, I went to see my friend Lex speak on a panel of women entrepreneurs.  A filmmaker named Nicole Franklin moderated.  I had made it a habit to quiz anyone having anything to do with film about how I could make a breakthrough with Gold Rush, so I told Nicole of my struggles to interest people in producing it and she advised me to “film something,” like a trailer, if I wanted people to take me seriously.  I immediately decided to film a musical dream sequence for Gold Rush.   I got the music for it in January 2016 and finished writing the dialogue in March.  I got the crew together over the summer, hired the cast in the fall and just before Thanksgiving, we filmed it.

So now I have this gem of a dream sequence, but I’m waiting to drop it when the time is right.  The story of Gold Rush intertwines with my reality, and I felt that I should do my best to surface some of the real-life elements before I present the fiction.  Hence, this blog and some op-eds I’ve begun to write, the first of which expressed my support for Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem.