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Monday
Nov152010

The Blogmother Makes a Movie! We're Coming for YOU Tyler Perry and Lee Daniels :)

 

Does anybody remember THIS comment from January 9, 2010?

It’s clear to me you have no idea how difficult it is for a black woman to make films. The lack of support at the ground floor up is never afforded to us, no matter how hard we lobby on behalf of our projects.. .You have to understand that the Republican party is way more progressive than the film industry! And then when you add race to that mix…Black women DO want to make films. It’s insulting to me that you would suggest we don’t. Disgruntled WAOD Reader

After I responded to this Disgruntled Reader who called herself "effingfilmaker" she returned to say:

Ugh. Honestly, it's impossible for me to have a serious conversation with someone who feels she's an authority on filmmaking and never made a film herself. Double ugh. Disgruntled WAOD Reader

*Evil maniacal laugh of irony* - I mean the disgruntled reader basically DARED me to make a movie :)

After three years of studying, plotting, concocting, and deconstructing. I finally completed production on my first movie, Namaste.  Namaste is the final project in my 14 week filmmaking course. It is a 6 minute "experimental" short. Namaste is a comedy about three Black women's search for peace and the divine in the midst of a chaotic and increasingly intrusive world. Yes, I said it is a comedy. I was forced to write around the limitations from my film instructor and this is like the 15th version of the concept, but I think a much better one visually.

Stills fromt he movie "Namaste," a Gina McCauley Production. SQUEE!

 I can guarantee you that nobody is beaten, abused, exploited, or killed in this movie. No Black women were required to yell, scream or cry at the screen in faux OSCAR-by-the-numbers fashion. And most of all, I wanted Black women to look FABULOUS throughout the entire film.

Still from the movie "Namaste," a Gina McCauley Production.

Both cast and crew were comprised of Black women- a Black male will most likely be doing the score if I can get my editing together in time. Woot! They were a complete joy to work with. I was the writer, director and director of photography. I was supposed to just write and direct, but my DP backed out of the project. 

Still from the movie, "Namaste," a Gina McCauley Production!!! SQUEE! Happy Dance!

Strike that, the Good Lord knew I was completely capable of handling the technical aspects of the photography and removed  the stone I was attempting to hide behind because I didn't think I could do it. These shots came out amazing and I'm extremely proud of myself and being able to handle the camera myself opens up lots more possibilities for me. I learned a great deal as well like NEVER EVER EVER shoot a digital camera into the sun without a graduated filter :) 

I love making movies.  I really do. And I'm good at it. Its not a struggle for me and taking the formal filmmaking class was the best thing I ever did because my instructor's process work extremely well for me.

In addition to all of the lessons I learned from a technical sense, this journey really has taught me the value of letting people know what you need. My crew and cast came to me through the Central Texas African American's in Film group.  I tend to want to do everything myself, but you can't make an indie movie without asking for help. Even if you had a massive budget, you'd still need to hire people to help. 

A big thanks to Veola, Christie, Rochelle, the cast of Namaste.

 

And super dooper big thanks to Raycheal my assistant director and audio engineer
Cast and crew of "Namaste," a Gina McCauley Production. SQUEE!

No, you won't be seeing  Namaste anytime soon. I have two weeks to finish post production including the score . 

  What's next? As soon as I finish my filmmaking course, I start pre production on my next short, a story about Black fairies. I wrote the screenplay for the Shadow and Act Filmmaker Challenge. I didn't win the competition, but I got a screenplay out of it. 

 

Reader Comments (41)

This is brilliant. I really look forward to viewing your movies one day.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNia

Wow! Gina, you just go, go and go!!!

Did I mention you're inspirational?

Did u get my email. I'm nowhere near making a movie of your caliber, I'm sure. But I"m definitely working towards cartoons.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermiriam

Yes i got it Miriam. I'm thinking about a way to showcase the work that WAOD readers create on a regular basis.

Thanks Nia!

November 15, 2010 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

Congrats! Can't wait to see it.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZoopath

About dam.n time. This is wonderful. We need more black women making movies about us.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Thang

You know we'll be looking out for it... :)

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShadow And Act

Awesome.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterk8dee

YOU ROCK!!!!

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRose32

{playing dumb} So dis goin' be about three sistahs being Ninjas? Yo, that's dope!

:)

Congratulations. Look forward to seeing your work.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBetty Chambers

This is great! Can't wait to see it!

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDROCK

haha Betty! You laugh, but my first feature will be putting Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon to shame.

November 15, 2010 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

Excellent! Congratulations, Gina. Can't wait to see it!

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCryMeARiver

Yay !!!

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAroundHarlem

Jumping up and down and making a joyful noise!! Can't wait for the Ninja movies!

" I can guarantee you that nobody is beaten, abused, exploited, or killed in this movie. No Black women were required to yell, scream or cry at the screen in faux OSCAR-by-the-numbers fashion."

There will be a special place in Heaven for you......

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

This is fantastic! And I have to emphatically agree that you shot the cast beautifully.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdaphne

Looking forward to seeing it!

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterforeverloyal

This is awesome!

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterzabeth

Thanks y'all!
@daphane I really wanted them to look as fabulous as possible and was worried about my ability to compose the shots, but its just a tribute to their inherent beauty. But yeah I was really happy with some of the shots. I was so worried that my vision wouldn't match up with my abilities. These DSLR and micro 4/3 cameras are ridiculous!

@tracy BWAHAHA! My Mama's prayer circle already has my spot reserved :) But thank you. Your reactions are an encouragement to keep going.

November 15, 2010 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

This is great stuff...it is so refreshing to watch you grow. Truly inspiring.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter2Unruly

Well hello,

I saw this posted @ WHOA! Now that I am here, I see that you are familiar with Shawdow and Act. Well , I am sorry that you didn't win the competition (neither did I) but like you, I've picked up a few serendipitious rewards from visiting that blog. So here we are and you dropped the names of Tyler Perry and Lee Danials and took a few shots at them. Well, I am not going to step in the shoes of Disgruntled WAOD Reader, but I do have a small bone to pick with you.

Actually, I've picked at this bone with several people, including our friends a S& A. So hey, what about... What About Our Daughter. I'm gonna give the drummer some.

I stumbled upon your site but I invite you and your gallery of fine chocolate sisters to chime in. HERE it goes: http://careycarey-carrymehome.blogspot.com/2010/11/to-my-nay-say-friends-of-tyler-perry_13.html

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCareyCarey

Tribeca All Access Info Session

Cantor Film Center · Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 6:30pm, NYC

Submissions are currently open for Tribeca All Access (TAA), a grant program of the Tribeca Film Institute that features year round opportunities for an exceptionally talented group of U.S. based filmmakers to meet with high-level film industry executives in support of their feature-length films. The deadline is Monday, December 8, 2010.

RSVP:

Rsvptaa1@tribecafilminstitute.org.

Submissions are currently open for Tribeca All Access (TAA), a grant program of the Tribeca Film Institute that features year round opportunities for an exceptionally talented group of U.S. based filmmakers to meet with high-level film industry executives in support of their feature-length films. The deadline is Monday, December 8, 2010.

RSVP:
Rsvptaa1@tribecafilminstitute.org.

Facebook: Tribeca AllAccess
Twitter: @TribecaAllAcces

Natalie Mooallem, Program Associate - Tribeca All Access

Tamir Muhammad, Director - Tribeca All Access

Tribeca All Access (TAA) is a year round networking and career development program of the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) that supports the work of directors and screenwriters from traditionally under-represented communities within the industry.

In 2011, TAA will provide grants of $10,000 to ten exceptional filmmakers working in narrative and documentary film. Selected participants will be offered one-on-one meetings with key industry players, targeted networking events, dedicated panels and comprehensive workshops during the Tribeca Film Festival.

Tribeca All Access is open to both mid-career and emerging narrative and documentary filmmakers. Applicants are required to submit a completed feature length screenplay, documentary proposal, or documentary work-in-progress and must have at least one qualifying screenwriter or director attached. Projects may be of any subject matter, genre, or budget range.

This year, TAA will extend its year-round programming and support for alumni by awarding over $25,000 in grants and fellowships along with industry cultivation initiatives for past TAA projects in development or new works by program alumni.

The Tribeca All Access program is a recognized talent pool within the industry and an unrivaled opportunity to advance your filmmaking career.

http://www.tribecafilminstitute.org/taa/

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAroundHarlem

Yay! Looking forward to seeing your work :)

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Glamtastic (Tia)

Go Gina Go Gina Go Gina! I'm sooo proud of you!
I think you should do a spoof horror film next.Not that what I think really matters but I cannot wait to see your films.Good luck in everything!
You really don't know how truly happy hearing this makes me.It makes me soooo hopeful.Gem, i'm a bit of a procrastinator but reading this makes me feel like why should I keep procrastinating from living my dreams.I am so encouraged by your posts.I have been making moves but reading this puts the "fire under my behind".I'd love to see myself on the other side of my dreams where they are a reality.I just keep reminding myself steady wins the race.For now i'm in the trenches working on accomplishing my goals and i'll be getting my happy fix off of celebrating all your accomplishments

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTruth P.

Congrats Gina! If I could describe you in one word, it would be "driven." Looking foward to that day when I watch the Acadamey Awards and you walk up on stage to embrace a little nekkid gold statue for Best Picture.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMommieDearest

Thanks everybody!

@truthP It took me a long time to get to this point. Three years from the time I thought about making movies to actually saying action on the set. But all along the way, I jumped off tiny cliffs. We only get one life. Everyday we're not living our dreams is a day we don't get back. Don't live through me. Find your dream on a tiny level in what you do everyday.

@MommieDearest You know I already picked out the dress right? Gold, one shoulder and I'm gonna rock my 6 inch fro Angela Davis style.

November 15, 2010 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

I'm really happy and excited for you! This is AWESOME. I can't WAIT to see it! May God bless your future endeavors.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterformavitae

CONGRATS BLOG MOTHER!! AND CONGRATS AGAIN!!!! :) :) :)

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrevmamaafrika

CONGRATS! Can't wait to see it and your hair looks fab ;)

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAminah Hanan

Yeah. My hair is in the zone. I'm extremely over do for some new twists. It was standing outside in the humidity that made it pop like that

November 16, 2010 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

Congrats, Gina.

I smell an Oscar in your future!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commentershell

Please tell me when and where to see whatever movie you make. I will be there. :-)

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMari-Djata

Rock on, Gina! Namaste!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFortitude1913

to be fair perhaps the other ladies were speaking about how hard it is for black women directors to get backing from studios for distribution...making the film is the easy part but if you have nowhere to show it...anyway, good luck with your movie!

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertj

@tj so now we're moving the bar? First its "You have to make a movie" in order to comment, now its get studio backing for distribution? Okay, that's fine. So I'll just keep ticking off all of the boxes I must check before we finally basically call folks out for sitting on their hands while technology has enabled us to do something about a disparity.

The sad truth is that with computers and digital cameras and good light and shot composition, the average reader of this blog could be producing movies that are capable of being projected in high definition, but we aren't

Regarding distribution, in addition to big studios, there are a number of methods to disseminate your content and make a massive profit without even getting near a big studio. 50 Cent is making tens of millions on direct to DVD sales.

And I kind of resent you saying making the film is "the easy part." Making the film is the HARD part on account that effingfilmmaker was whining about not being able to "get off the ground."

If you want to stand around helpless waiting on Hollywood to rescue you, fine, but don't insult those of us who use the power of technology to move ahead by saying that we were able to do what you could not do because its all of a sudden easy.

November 17, 2010 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

The screencaps look beautiful! Congratulations on your accomplishments!

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBuccinator

@Gina,

To expand on your point about distribution outlets, Robert Townsend has a webseries out entitled "Diary of a Single Mom." I haven't watched it, but heard good things about it. Anyway, my point is, he's created an entire television series, except it's on the internet. Technology has made it possible for anyone with creativity and a little chutzpah to get their products to the masses without going through the traditional channels. Go get that little nekkid gold statue gurl!

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMommieDearest

Gina,

Congratulations on wrapping your first film and welcome to the world of independent filmmakers!

Doesn't it feel good to tell your story the way you want to tell it?

I look forward to the premiere!

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSonya Steele

Sometimes a dare can be a good thing. Good Job.

November 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlois

The actresses are absolutely stunning. :-) Congratulations and keep proving that yes you CAN.

November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSpinster

Yes, I am looking forward to seeing your work. I would love to see a black movie directed by an intelligent black female director. It is about time! Thankyou for your accomplishments and I wish you well.

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeri

Great source of motivation, Well done, hope to see this movie!

January 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThevisionarybutterfly

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