Gordon Parks x Tallgrass Film Festival News and more

Gordon Parks Gala at Tallgrass Film Festival

Big News for me at the Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita! As I type this facebook has reminded me that 6 years ago today I was in my first Tallgrass Film Fest as a filmmaker doing a Q&A about my short documentary “Caveman Evolved”. The fun part about this is for the past week I have been saying I need to update my blog and put it off. I was thinking how this needs to be a better app so I could update on the go and come to find out the blog app is far better now. Hopefully that helps make this easier. On Saturday, October 23rd 5:30pm I have the pleasure of moderating and hosting the Q&A at the Gordon Parks Gala for Tallgrass Film Festival at the Orpheum. It will be a double feature with the retrospective documentary on Gordon Parks entitled “A Choice of Weapons” and the classic film “Shaft” directed by Gordon Parks which was also the first major motion picture with a black director. In between both films will be a Conversation with Gordon’s son David Parks and we will talk to his fathers legacy and the 50th anniversary of Shaft.

This is such the honor for me because Gordon Parks changed how I approached art when I was 17 years old and for the first time I will be able to share that story with David Parks and the audience in attendance (visit tallgrassfilm.org for tickets). To say I am anxious is an understatement. Oddly the day before I was asked to host this event, I had a chance encounter with David Parks via mutual friends. He wasn’t apart of the program of attendees but happened to be there. This was a storm event night and the location was bad for me to travel but after some discussion I end up going. My motto for many things I do not want to do is to just show up and let the universe work. Out of respect, I do not want to share the private conversation we had yet but this was a table of big personalities and loud opinions. It was a great time and for this opportunity to fall in my lap was perfect timing and the universe doing its work. There was so much more I wanted to talk about with David Parks and hope to ask a few of those Saturday at the festival.

Heading out in a few to create more drama but before I go, I am also hosting another event earlier in the day at 3:30pm during the Tallgrass Film Festival that features the documentary film “One Pint at a Time” about black owned breweries in America here is link to the trailer. It is a very fascinating documentary and insightful to the fight that black brewers have as the make up less than 1% of the field. I thought the film was going to be a very sad times documentary but it is very upbeat, fun, and bleeds culture. I shared many of the parallels mentioned in this film as a black filmmaker but I do not feel sad about the slights. It is one of those things that keeps me fired up. This documentary is somewhat inspiring. One Pint at a Time shows how people make a way despite the challenges and expectations. The heartbreak and joys happen in real time in this film and I look forward to talking to the director Aaron Hosè about the documentary and its themes.

One Pint At A Time Documentary

Okay I am out next post will have some updates on projects and what to expect to end 2021. It has been a wild ride.

Creepshow and Friday the 13th Producer says “Stay Home” is intense!

Brian Witten’s producer and executive producer credits include an upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s “Cell,” with Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack; “Mother’s Day”; “Chernobyl Diaries”; and 2009’s “Friday the 13th.” Witten was president of Fangoria Film after working as a production exec at Paramount, where he oversaw “Vanilla Sky” and “Mission Impossible 3,” and at New Line, where he presided over “The Wedding Singer,” “Spawn,” “Dark City” and “Final Destination.”

MY DVD of CREEPSHOW

As a kid when it came to horror and thriller there were several mainstays that I would sit up and watch to no end. Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, and Creepshow. Rod Serling is simply amazing to me and I love that one of my current favorite directors Jordan Peele and his studio Monkeypaw Productions have successfully relaunched the series with amazing responses. I remember as a kid at maybe it was 1 am on HBO watching Creepshow. There was a segment in the anthology and no not the Leslie Nielsen but it was one of the last ones that creeped me out to this day and still make it uncomfortable to encounter bugs. It was the scientist who was the original OCD. (spoiler) He would have problems controlling roaches in this lab-like shut-in location that he lived in. Being from Texas I was really familiar with roaches and in Dallas these roaches would fly so they had an upper-hand when it came to combat. Watching not just roaches but cockroaches spew out of this man’s face is still a skin crawl of mine to this day. That creep factor is etched into my mind in a way that I was an instant fan of that movie when it was over and would watch it whenever it came on. I have owned the DVD of the original Creepshow twice now and I was fascinated when I heard it was being revived as a tv show.

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Getting the Covid 19 Coronavirus test..

Loving all the feedback from Stay Home short film but I decided to do something really important and that’s got the Covid 19 Coronavirus test. Locally HealthCore Wichita set up a free testing site for anyone to get tested to see if they had the active virus. After 2 attempts I finally got tested and wanted to share the experience. As a minority and a citizen of a community, I want to know if I was asymptomatic or if my safety practicing has been working to help me avoid the virus.  I don’t want to be a weapon upon others I could come in contact with just because I feel fine.  In the video, I show you the check-in process along with being administered the test as well as some commentary as we wait. I did edit it down some since it was a lot waiting .

Watch Stay Home short film now. Please SHARE SHARE SHARE help me get this message out.