Cultural Entrepreneur Roland Lair passes

14 Feb

Roland LairdI was saddened to find out about the passing of Roland Laird, CEO of MIST (My Image Studios) a multi-million dollar, state of the art film center in Harlem, and co-owner/founder entertainment firm Posro Media, which promoted positive images of African Americans though a number of multimedia initiatives. Roland was a fellow alum of Brown University whom I met through our Inman Page Council, Brown’s African American alumni network. A genuine person with a passion for film, Roland took an interest in my work and offered advice and encouragement. Roland was an entrepreneur, author, activist, supporter of the arts, family man, and friend to many.

He leaves behind his wife Taneisha Nash Laird, with whom he co-founded MIST and Posro, and two beautiful daughters. He will be greatly missed.

-O.G.

LINKS:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/uptown-roland-owen-laird-harlem-mist-dead-age-52-article-1.1266559

http://www.trentonian.com/article/20130208/news01/130209627/laird-146-s-passing-mourned-in-two-cities

http://www.posro.com/?page_id=75

http://www.blacksci-fi.com/news/article/the_industry_remembers_roland_laird/

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TV show ‘30 Frames a Second’ Interviews the Cast of TRUST NO ONE

23 Nov

Producer and Host Nat Wood of TV show 30 Frames a Second interviews the cast of ‘TRUST NO ONE’ about the dynamic stage play. Guests: Stephfon Guidry, Olu Gittens, Kai Baltimore and Mario Melgare.

Come see ‘TRUST NO ONE’ 4 shows only! Nov 24-25, 2012

2 Nov

Come see TRUST NO ONE, the Chance Anderson comedy thriller I’m directing. Great script! Great cast! Nov 24-25, 2012 at the American Theatre of Actors at 314 W.54th St NYC. 4 shows only! Sat, Nov 24 & Sun, Nov 25, 3pm & 8pm.

TRUST NO ONE, presented by What’s the “T”?, is a comedy thriller about 2 best friends – a gay guy and a straight girl – who fall for the same man… a food delivery guy with a shady past.

TICKETS: $25 in advance, $30 at door. TIX & INFO: 646-810-0001. Go to http://whatsthet.org/ for EventBrite ticket purchase links.
Written & Originated by the late Chance Anderson. Directed by Olu Gittens. Starring: Stephfon Guidry, Dominique Darrell, Shanise Beck, Tavarius Graves, Kai Baltimore & Stephani Ouzts.

‘TRUST NO ONE’ STAGE PLAY NOV 24-25, 2012

13 Oct

Trust No One, the comedy thriller stage play I’m directing, runs in New York City at the American Theatre of Actors 314 W 54th Sreet, New York, NY.

One of the most anticipated off Broadway shows in quite some time is finally opening in NYC on November 24th and closes on the 25th, 2012. Trust No One, is a brilliant comedy/thriller that was slated to open back in January of 2012, but was unfortunately pushed back when the brainchild and leading man Chance Anderson suddenly passed away just two weeks before it was to open.

“Chance was an amazing person, a wonderful talent and a very good friend” says co-producer and cast member Shanise Beck.

Beck, along with fellow cast mate and co-producer Dominique Darrell and the director Olu Gittens are helping to keep his name, his vision and his spirit alive though this amazing show.

The well rounded cast includes Stephon Guidry, Tavarius Graves, Kai Baltimore and Stephani Ouzts. Critics are calling this amazing comedy/thriller “a laugh out loud thrill ride not to be missed…”

For tickets and info you can call (646) 810-0001 or click on the Eventbrite links on this website.

Saturday, November 24, 2012
Eventbrite TICKET link for Nov 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm show
Eventbrite TICKET link for Nov 24, 2012 at 8:00 pm show

Sunday, November 25, 2012
Eventbrite TICKET link for Nov 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm show
Eventbrite TICKET link for Nov 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm show

Come out and support, enjoy and rejoice in the memory of Chance Anderson and his amazing show…

Adventures in Multi-Camera Televsion Part XIII: Joining the crew of the Better Show

13 Oct

The Better ShowExciting news! I am now a Studio Camera Operator for The Better Show show, a nationally syndicated lifestyle TV program hosted by Audra Lowe and JD Roberto. Produced by media and publishing company Meredith, Better cleverly takes its name from Better Homes and Gardens magazine and features celebrity interviews, on-location segments, expert advice, studio performances, cooking and more.

Better is shot at Meredith Video Studios, a multi-camera studio in the heart of Manhattan where branded content and other programming are also created. The show is in its sixth season and is broadcast in 85 million homes.

You can watch Better in New York City weekdays at 6:00 am on CBS-owned WLNY Ch. 55.  For other locations, check your local listings!

-O.G.

LINKS:

Better.TV

Better on IMDb

BABY OF THE FAMILY project website

22 Sep

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!

-O.G.

LINKS:

BabyOfTheFamily.com

BABY OF THE FAMILY Director’s Look Book

20 Sep

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!

-O.G.

LINKS:

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

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

CHOICES is now on IMDb…add your review!

20 Sep

Rate it! Review it!

CHOICES TV and web series is now listed in the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2288614/

IMDb is the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content, a key online database that verifies and lists shows and allows users to discuss and submit reviews.

Submit your review for CHOICES TV & Web Series at IMDb!

Talking film “The Intouchables” with LET’S TALK FILM

26 Jun

I had a fun time joining the women of Let’s Talk Film, a television series where contemporary women get a chance to have their voices heard on the latest film releases. Hosted by Stefanie Alleyne and produced by Denise Goines, Let’s Talk Film is broadcast in Manhattan on MNN-TV and its full episodes are also posted online.

The Intouchables film

The Intouchables starring Omar Sy and François Cluzet

My co-panelists and I munched on macroons at the Love Peace Cafe in Tribeca as we mulled over this moving film told with a light touch and interesting insights on race and class in contemporary Paris. Directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache with great chemistry and wonderful performances by  François Cluzet and Omar Sy (winner of France’s prestigious Cesar award), The Intouchables was a huge hit in France but hasn’t really gotten its footing among audiences in the U.S.

Let's Talk Film-The Intouchables

Let’s Talk Film host Stefanie Alleyne and panelists Valerie Peterson, Olu Gittens and Yael Reed

Word of a Weinstein Brothers remake has peaked some interest; I wonder if the cultural nuances and emotional integrity of the original will translate?

I recommend seeing this gem in its original form when it comes out on home video; The Intouchables DVD release date to be announced.

-O.G.

LINK:

Review of The Intouchables at Let’s Talk Film

Adventures in Multi-Camera Televsion Part XII: Studio Camera Person for TV’s “The Jump”

31 May

Working as studio camera person for TV’s The Jump and other shows on MNN-TV has influenced my work as a multi-camera director. 

The Jump, produced by Vaughn Oliver’s DJTR Media & Production Company and broadcast on the country’s largest public access station MNN-TV, showcases a beautiful and eclectic array of musical talent. Live bands perform in studio under the best lighting, sound, camera work and direction money can’t buy. Vaughn Oliver transformed the studio into a space comparable to notable shows on network and pay cable television. The Jump is public access’ answer to PBS’ Great Performances and MTV’s Unplugged.

It’s been great being part of a team that was encouraged to take risks: deliberately soft focus shots; deep close-ups; panning, zooming and trucking; dissolves; straight cuts, and starlight filters were all techniques we employed under masterful direction by Vaughn Oliver and others.

Check out some of the episodes of The Jump that I worked as camera person for. You can see me in the show’s opening in the control room on the right :)

The Jump Season 2, Episode 2
Musical Guest Sarah Renfro f. Michelle Casillas
[blip.tv http://blip.tv/djtr-media-production-company-presents/the-jump-season-2-episode-2-1986914%5D

The Jump Season 2, Episode 1
Musical Guest Christina Lee and band
[blip.tv http://blip.tv/djtr-media-production-company-presents/the-jump-season-2-episode-1-1932137%5D

The Jump Season 1, Episode 1
Musical Guest “Gringa”f. Jessica Sarles
[blip.tv http://blip.tv/djtr-media-production-company-presents/the-jump-season-1-episode-1-1677672%5D

Shout out to Vaughn Oliver, hosts Ohene Cornelius & Jen Kwok and The Jump’s amazing crew!