“Choices” to Screen in AAWIC Film Festival

AAWIC_2013Choices Webisode 1: A Special Night for Us” will screen in the African American Women in Cinema film festival on
Thursday, November 21st, 2013 at ImageNation’s RAW SPACE, 2031 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd (7th Avenue Between 121st & 122nd), 12:00noon-1:30pm. It will be featured in the Webisode Competition hosted by Al Thompson of “Lenox Avenue.”

Lions Gate finds sucess targeting Latino audiences

“A lot of people will say this film came out of nowhere, but we spent a lot of time and energy marketing the film to our core audience.”
-Paul Presburger, Pantelion CEO


“Instructions Not Included” recently surpised the box office and became the #1 movie in America and highest grossing Spanish language film in the U.S. to date. Pantelion the Lions Gate-backed distributor targeting Latino audiences, marketed the film. The approach in releasing the film was a brilliant move on Lions Gate’s part to woo Latino audiences in a way that attracts families and women to the box office — not unlike their approach to marketing African American fims vis-a-vis Tyler Perry. 

Instructions Not Included vs Tyler Perry

Films geared to audiences of color with an interest in family — with the right balance of humor, culture, and compelling themes — can be a recipe  for success!


BABY OF THE FAMILY project website

Check out the website for upcoming feature film BABY OF THE FAMILY (babyofthefamily.com), a family drama I am co-producing with Nicole Sylvester and Rahsan Lindsay; each of us brings a decade of industry experience to the table.

BABY OF THE FAMILY is the story of the Douglas family who come together for Thanksgiving Day, when a newborn is left on their doorsteps. This uninvited guest brings to light family secrets, sibling rivalry and infidelity, forcing them to face the unpleasant truths about their lives.

Soulful, funny, sad and triumphant, BABY OF THE FAMILY will have all the elements of a classic film that will be cherished for years to come.  This is the kind of film that will draw audiences who support entertaining, compelling black films.

BABY OF THE FAMILY’s website features team bios, promo videos and our Director’s Look Book, a visual presentation of the film’s characters and imagery.  Take a look — I am sure you will become as excited about this project as I am!




BABY OF THE FAMILY Director’s Look Book

Check out the Director’s Look book for BABY OF THE FAMILY, my feature film in development. I was inspired to create a Director’s Look Book after attending a NYWIFT (New York Women in Film and Television) sponsored case study on the groundbreaking film Pariah led by Pariah’s writer/director Dee Rees.  Look Books, whether in fashion or film, are a collection of images and  visual ideas that convey what the designer or director wants to achieve for that project.

BABY OF THE FAMILY Director's Look Book

I had actually compiled the images over a year ago, to give my Cinematographer a sense of what the film would be like visually. Developing the images into a Look Book took this process to the next level, as I added visual character sketches and location ideas to the visual motifs I had compiled. Valuable feedback from BABY OF THE FAMILY producers Nicole Sylvester and Rahsan Lindsay helped me to hone what I was trying to get across.  Filmmaking is  a team effort that takes planning…in addition to picking up a camera and going for it!



BABY OF THE FAMILY Director’s Look Book at Scribd.com

BABY OF THE FAMILY Director’s Look Book at babyofthefamily.com

Olu Gittens talks film on WNYC-TV show “Brooklyn Savvy”

WNYC-TV show Brookyn Savvy dedicated an episode to my favorite topic: film. In “Advice for Emerging Filmmakers,” host Toni Yuill Williams talked with me, filmmaker Olu Gittens; Lisa Cortes, producer of the Oscar-winning movie Precious;  author Donna Walker Kuhne; BET senior vice president Depelsha McGruder and Sharon Simmons from The Brooklyn Chapter of The Links. The lively conversation centered around what filmmakers need to do to make their cinematic dreams come true. I even got to talk about Baby of the Family, Oh Gee Productions latest project in development.

Filmmaker Olu Gittens, Host Toni Yuill Williams, noted film producer Lisa Cortes

The episode was broadcast on the award-winning city-wide channel in all five boroughs and is available for on-demand viewing at http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycmg/nyctvod/html/home/brsa102.html.

Check it out! And “Like” it as a way of saying “keep this kind of programming coming!”

Producer Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay

Television executive and film producer Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay began his career at the international advertising firm Leo Burnett USA’s division in Chicago, where he also performed as an actor in regional theater and a number of television commercials.

Rahsan’s aspirations propelled him to leave the Windy City for the Big Apple, where he worked in advertising sales at BET Weekend Magazine. Following that, he became the National Sales Manager for the African Heritage Network, which eventually became The Heritage Networks (THN), rising to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. THN, ground-breaking at its time, was one of the largest independent, minority-owned syndication companies in the country; it carried The Steve Harvey Show, The Parkers, and movie classics from Warner Brothers, Paramount and Universal, hosted by legendary actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Rahsan is now the Vice President of Client Strategy for VIACOM Media Networks, where he is responsible for growing revenue for all MTV and VH1 channels.

While at THN, Rahsan immersed himself in the production process, working closely with the production staff on integrations and branded-content. In 2000, Rahsan produced and starred in the feature film Cold Feet, which played to sold-out houses at Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and received a limited theatrical release and distribution on DVD, pay TV, basic cable and syndicated TV. Rahsan was executive producer for the feature film Get Famous, to be released on home media in 2012. As a producer, Rahsan has worked in the areas of marketing/product placement, fundraising, line producing, script development and casting.

Rahsan understands the entertainment business from both sides of the camera. He is a Screen Actors Guild member who has appeared on daytime television’s One Life to Live and All My Children, and in national commercials for Best Buy, Lowe’s and Amica Insurance. Rahsan is currently a segment host for Made in Hollywood, a nationally-syndicated television series now in its sixth season, broadcast in 90.7 million homes.

Rahsan graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology; he is a former lacrosse player and proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  Passionate about service, Rahsan is a Board Member – alongside such notables as former New York State Human Rights Commissioner Douglas H. White, Esq. – of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, a Harlem-based non-profit organization that has successfully provided support services and leadership training for at-risk youth.

BABY OF THE FAMILY Producer’s Talk

In the BABY OF THE FAMILY Producer’s Talk, Olu Gittens and Nicole Sylvester speak candidly about our work as filmmakers, inspiration to do BABY OF THE FAMILY is about and what’s next for the project.

 We also go in depth about what influenced us to become filmmakers, where African-Americans are in Hollywood right now, theater vs. film, ensemble vs. single protagonist stories, Spike Lee and Tyler Perry, our audience, distribution, why we need a good Thanksgiving movie, the characters and conflicts of BABY OF THE FAMILY, and how you can support this project.

Lots of good stuff — check it out!


Producer’s Talk @ VIMEO

Going for Access

Oh Gee Productions threw our hat in the ring and submitted our project BABY OF THE FAMILY to Tribeca All Acesss 2011.

The super-competitive program, part of the Tribeca Film Institute, provides filmmakers with the kind of access to industry professionals, information and support we need to make our films.  This year’s stakes are even higher, with grants of $10K added to the mix.

Support at the development stage is crucial for films, and Oh Gee Productions is certainly open to it — from TAA and other sources.

With 3 Emmy-winners on our production team, an amazing script, an impressive body of prior work, and a solid plan for getting BABY OF THE FAMILY made, our project made a good case.

We’ve put our best foot forward.  Fingers crossed!

Tribeca All Access

It’s Crunch Time

Number crunch time, that is. Oh Gee Productions has reached a huge milestone with the completion of a detailed budget for BABY OF THE FAMILY. Without releasing any figures, it suffices to say that our well-honed budget covers all the project’s needs while staying fairly low.  Shout out to SAG Indie for the various budget levels for films and their diversity in casting inititative.

Just one more step towards getting the film MADE!