From my caption on social media …..#Setlife, I couldn’t believe I was actually on the set of an independent movie being filmed. I’m into theater and always trying to learn about the filming industry because one day, I’ll be making the transition into becoming a filmmaker. The title of the film is MaDonna’s House. According to the writer and director Kenetha Lanee, “This film follows the lives of five black sex workers in the Storyville district in the early 1900’s in New Orleans.”
I came to the set for support and being a woman of service that I am, I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing, so I got busy working. I designed the women of the cast hats they were wearing, it was also super cool transforming the set from a modernized cafe to a brothel-like look from around 1910. The shots that were being filmed on that day was supposed during the evening on the script and of course we were shooting during the day time so it was cool adjusting the lighting around the establishment. I was helping out in every way I saw an opportunity. I didn’t realize that filmmaking is a tedious task and I appreciate cinema professionals even more now. We were interrupted by the sounds of life going on around us outside, throughout the day but the cast and crew continued to work hard in spite of the distractions.
The cast and crew were super cool, and talked as if we had known each other for years. Some of us even hung out afterwards for drinks and pizza. Everyone on set had such great feedback whether it was about the script, the cast and crew and the level of professionalism throughout the day that apparently is not seen on other sets that they’ve been on. As a playwright and director, I appreciated learning more about filming and thank God I’ve studied photography because I was able to understand some of the technical terms being used as the cinematographers were doing their thing.
In the picture above, what had happened was lol…… I was asked to play a small extra role in the film because someone didn’t show up that day. I nervously said sure, not knowing what I was going to be doing. I was given clothes and was now apart of the cast. I didn’t have any lines to memorize (thank God), I was in a club scene so all I had to do was dance with a handsome fellow for a few seconds (Oh, woe is me lol). Lunch was provided along with snacks and beverages throughout the day. I was able to have some wine and tasted the whiskey that was apart of the props on set and it gave me a boost of energy that was much needed mid-day.
I’m still on a natural high from that day on set. Seeing women of color (shown in the picture above) doing their thing in the film industry as writers, directors, actresses, etc. It was another confirmation for me that I am in alignment with my purpose. We will be sharing more of our stories in front of audiences nationwide, and we will need your support. This is a white male dominated industry but we are women of color who are busting our asses to have our independent stories seen and heard as well, and on as many platforms as possible. Although I am still interested in theater and currently working on producing my next theatrical production called, “Say, Amen“, I feel like I’m always connected more with filmmakers and maybe that’s a sign from God that I’ll be transitioning to filmmaking sooner than I think.
If you’re into filmmaking, what’s some lessons you’ve learned that you can share with others to help others avoid making those same mistakes? Please share in the comments.