Good morning Stage 32 Creatives! Believe it or not, it’s time to kick off another week of creative endeavors. There is no better way to start than to highlight a member of our community who took the bull by the horns, financed and produced his own film and who just signed a shopping agreement with a producer after getting feedback on his pitch deck through a Stage 32 Mentoring Session!
Stage 32 member, Antoine Allen is a screenwriter, director and producer. Antoine began his career in the music industry, successfully managing indie hip-hop artists for many years. Forgoing the traditional film school route, he began educating himself on all creative, technical, and business aspects of the process and never looked back. Antoine transformed himself into a successful writer, director, filmmaker and producer. He sold his first screenplay, NO WHERE LAND, an animated feature film in 2008. As an award-winning director, Allen has gone on to be involved in a variety of film and music video projects.
For a while, Antoine was pitching the script for his female boxing script, LOLA, around town. As Antoine explains, “Everyone passed on [the script]. So I decided to fund the film myself and now people love the finished product. It’s better to show people the vision sometimes.”
Stage 32 Filmmaker Antoine Allen connected with Producer Derek Gordon through a Stage 32 Mentor Session!
Before officially taking out the film to the market, Antoine wanted to get feedback on the pitch deck for his completed film. “I went to the Stage 32 Pitch Session and submitted my pitch deck [for feedback] to Derek Gordon.”
By way of a bit of background, Derek Gordon is a successful independent film and tv producer with several shows in development at various companies. Most recently, Derek set up a TV series with ViceLand based in the urban car racing underworld, which is currently airing internationally. Derek started his career as an assistant for director Steve Carr, the director of PAUL BLART MALL COP, DR. DOOLITTLE, and ARE WE DONE YET? Derek quickly rose to a Development Executive. After selling his first project to VH1, he went independent and has been hitting the ground running ever since.
Derek gave Antoine feedback on the pitch deck. Antoine explains, “he loved my package and asked to see the completed feature film. He loved the film and now he is trying to get distribution for it.”
“I have relationships with distributors and networks, many who are looking for urban content,” Derek continued. “I felt with a little tweaking of Antoine's overall film package, LOLA would be an ideal project to get in front of them.”
Antoine self-financed his film LOLA taking money from his 401K to invest in the project
Derek offered to shop the project on Antoine’s behalf and as Antoine explains, “I signed a distribution shopping agreement and [Derek is] currently pitching my feature film for distribution to networks.”
True to form, Derek already has LOLA in front of his contacts. “I have a distributor currently looking at the project,” Derek said.
This story illustrates that when we take control of our circumstances and are entrepreneurial in our creative efforts, great things happen! When Antoine was unable to get traction on his script, he took charge and financed the production himself! And now when distributors are clamoring for completed films, Antoine and Derek are at the right place at the right time.
Please help me congratulate Antoine and Derek on a fantastic success story that proves there is always a way to see your vision come to life!
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