Steven Spielberg and George Lucas predicted a Hollywood “impulsion” that could transform the shape of the movie industry forever, so who is going to save it?
Yearly festivals produce lists of the next director elected to shape-shift the industry. In 2013, the Sundance Film Festival alone had 29 black themed films showcased, such as, “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete,” “Blue Caprice,” and “Fruitvale,” which gave the industry a hopeful lifeline.
Continuing the quest to provide a distinct voice in today’s cinema is “Newlyweeds,” writer/director Shaka King. “Newlyweeds,” follows a young couple (Amari Cheatom, Traeauna Harris) who are compatible by the way of weed, but also suffers because of it. Some may view it as a “Love Jones,” with an herbal romantic-comedy twist, which can be a hit or miss with audiences.
M: How do you feel about the feedback you received so far?
S: So many viewers take so many things from this movie, because they bring in their own life experiences. They bring their own feelings about marijuana, about relationships, about who these people are, about young black people. It’s always unique to receive the critical response. There are a few instances were some people don’t get it at all, and I realize it’s because those people, just don’t get these people at all.
Although the ‘new black director’ tag is not uncommon after festival buzz, King does recognize the interest is inspiring and waits for the day a black director making waves by sharing his narrative isn’t news.
M: Best advice for aspiring filmmakers?
S: Film school is not for everybody. Not going to film school is not for everybody. The main thing I tell folks is, if you’re doing it, then you’re doing it. You have to just continue doing it, and pushing yourself, and keep trying new things and learning, and overtime you’ll look back and realize you created a body of work.
Life in the entertainment industry is known for being a marathon, not a sprint. The NYU alum made 10 short films before “Newlyweeds,” which is also a Sundance NEXT film, and the anchor that helped his film receive a theatrical release. While “Newlyweeds,” just completed the New York screenings, King is already on his next writer/director project “Liquid Courage,” a satire. However, King notes his ambition is not just for the big screen, and wants to bring his creative ideas to the television screen as well; a desire fellow Sundance writer/director Sheldon Candis made true by selling a pilot to ABC.
In the end, King plans to stay relevant and make money as a director without chasing blockbuster studio films; an act that may keep Hollywood from imploding anytime soon.
Keep track of “Newlyweeds,” screenings and the winter DVD release date HERE.