Category Archives: Screenwriting

Watch Filmmaker “Melvin Van Peebles” Interview

Watch “KINK – A NATURAL HAIR DOCUSERIES (EP 1)”

Watch “Chi-Raq Interviews w/ Nick Cannon and Teyonah Parris”

Watch “The Untold Story Behind the Making of Boyz N The Hood”–Written & Directed by John Singleton

Melvin Van Peebles/– Writer, Painter, Playwright, Actor, Composer, Poet, Author, Astute Business Man 2/–Updated.

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Me & The Legendary Film Maker-Melvin Van Peebles-Chat after National Black Arts Festival “The Legends Celebration” in Atlanta, GA-Sept., 6, 2014–(Rialto Center For The Arts)

Melvin Van Peebles–A Wealth of Knowledge. Very Chill talking with him. Multi-talented–Writer, Painter, Playwright, Actor, Composer, Poet, Author, Astute Business Man.

His Book stays in my Backpack Most of the Time.

* Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song: A Guerilla Filmmaking Manifesto
(Paperback Book)
http://amzn.to/1AwBGva

* Kindle Ebook
http://amzn.to/1d2beP2

A MUST READ BOOK

The book is his journal while making his Legendary Movie:

(((Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song)))

…back in 1971. The book is a memoir, looking back at the movie making period. In the back is the script.
———-
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At one time Melvin was homeless in France. This was right after his independent films were a big hit with the French after they were screened.

Struggle…Something about struggle & hardship, no school can compete wt. Successful people not made overnight. Instant success has no staying power. Because it is like a Mirage in the desert. It ain’t real. Melvin couldn’t get a job in Hollywood as a writer or Film Maker. They did tell him he could be a janitor.

He wrote a book of his observations as a Streetcar driver in San Francisco. He hooked up wt a Photographer and Published a book. It was only a short period later he was fired. A friend told him his book was a movie. So he started the long, hard journey into film making. Self-taught. He made a few films.

Along the same time, his marriage started falling apart. Got divorced and decided to go back to school over in Europe on his GI Bill. Before he left, a Guy stopped by his house and asked him could he show his films in film festivals. Melvin agreed to it and went on to school over in Europe. While in School, the guy showed his films along wt others across Europe.

Melvin’s Films became a big hit wt the French people. They had a big showing of his film and invited him to come. He came and was a standing ovation……Then, he fell on hard times in France. Real Hard times. At one Point he was homeless. But, his boyhood days of selling wares and various items to homeless people in Chicago served him well in these very difficult times. He had setup shop among the homeless as a little boy, selling various items to homeless people for a cheap price. Melvin had a great business mind, even as a little boy. His daddy encouraged him and told him the importance of having all kind of hustles while a boy in Chicago. Melvin always had money in his pockets, even as a little boy–hardwork and grinding to make his goals a reality……during this time, while in France, homeless, he was learning French Language and he was always sharp and picked up fast.
He learned French so well, he became a journalist. A very good French journalist. He also learned if he was a journalist, he could put in for a Film Maker’s Grant. He put in for it and got a Big Grant. Now, he was really able to make movies the way he wanted to wt The Right Equipment. He got so good at it, America was having a Film Festival in California. France sent him as their best Representative.

The Rest is History Folks. He Kicked Down the Doors of Hollywood. Now, they started in after him. He did Watermelon Man wt Hollywood. Saved the Money from That & Bill Cosby Loaned him $50,000 and Melvin made his Own Movie and Became a Multi-Millionaire.

KT
9/12/2014
www.jewels4dmind.com

Melvin Van Peebles/– Author, Poet, Playwright, Painter, Film Maker, Astute Business Man

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* Melvin Van Peebles
——————-
* Watch “Melvin Van Peebles: Classified History X”

——————

Melvin Van Peebles

Author, Poet, Playwright, Painter, Film Maker, Astute Business Man

At one time he was homeless in France. This was right after his independent films were a big hit with the French after they were screened.

Struggle. Something about struggle & hardship, no school can compete wt. Successful people not made overnight. Instant success has no staying power. Because it is like a Mirage in the desert. It ain’t real. Melvin Couldn’t get a job in Hollywood as a writer or Film maker. They did tell him he could be a janitor.

Melvin wrote a book of his observations as a Streetcar driver in San Francisco. He hooked up wt a Photographer and Published a book. It was only a short period later he was fired. A friend told him his book was a movie. So he started the long, hard journey into film making. Self-taught.

He made a few films. Along the same time his marriage started falling apart. Got divorced and decided to go back to school over in Europe on his GI Bill. Before he left, a Guy stopped by his house and asked him could he show his films in film festivals. Melvin agreed to it and went on to school over in Europe. While in School, the guy showed his films along wt others across Europe. Melvin’s Films became a big hit wt the French people. They had a big showing of his film and invited him to come. He came and was a standing ovation……Then he fell on hard times in France. Real Hard times. At one Point he was homeless. But, his boyhood days of selling wares and various items to homeless people in Chicago served him well in these very difficult times. He had setup shop among the homeless as a little boy, selling various items to homeless people for a cheap price.

Melvin has a great business mind, even as a little boy. His daddy encouraged him and told him the importance of having all kind of hustles while a boy in Chicago. Melvin always had money in his pockets, even as a little boy–hardwork and grinding to make his goals a reality……during this time, while in France, homeless, he was learning French Language and he was always sharp and picked up fast. He learned French so well, he became a journalist. Became a very good French journalist….he also learned if he was a journalist, he could put in for a Film Maker’s Grant. …He put in for it and got a Big Grant. Now, he was really able to make movies the way he wanted to wt The Right Equipment and all he needed to make movies….He got so good at it, America was having a Film Festival in California. France sent him as their best Representative. The rest is History Folks. He Kicked Down the Doors of Hollywood. Now, they started in after him. He did Watermelon Man wt Hollywood. Saved the Money from That & Bill Cosby Loaned him $50,000 and Melvin made his Own Movie and Became a Multi-Millionaire.

KT
9/12/2014
www.jewels4dmind.com

Peace of Mind in The Production Lab

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Some people find peace of mind on a basketball court, some on a lake in a boat with their fishing pole/rod in the water, fishing or simply thinking, some take walks through the woods or hike up mountains, some jog or ride their bikes or cars for miles.

Everyone has their own special ways to find peace of mind.

I love reading, writing, poetry, spoken word, music (listening & making music), audio engineering, photography, film making.

This Production lab of Mine has many Purposes.

I Find Peace of Mind Here, but, This Lab is a Production Center as Well.

Jewels4dMind come Out This Lab…

Stay Tuned for what Will Come Out of It Next.

KT
12/20/2014
8:37 am
www.jewels4dmind.com

Poetry is Underestimated/–Hip Your Children to Poetry Early.

Poetry in many forms. Many Folks just not aware of it. What in the world are songs/raps–but/poetry. You mention the word poetry around most youth/–they frown upon it/not that inspired by it. Try this…go on the internet, & print out a few of the songs you hear them singing or rapping. Give it to them. Tell them this is poetry with a beat. Yes, the very songs they know forward & backwards…is nothing but poetry. Many of our youth so worried about being singers and rappers. Ask them who do they think get the major share out of a CD, moneywise from a $17 CD. The answer is the writer and the publisher. The artist is the last one to touch the money from the CD. The writer makes at least $6-$7. The publisher the same.

What if we inspire our children to be writers, singers/rappers & the publishers?

KT
2/29/2012
www.jewels4dmind.com

When Daddy & I Went Fishing on the St. John’s River in Florida…

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Sister Robin. Daddy. Me. About to go catch a cooler full of fish. One Sat. Afternoon back in the day.
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* When Daddy & I went Fishing on the St. John’s River in Florida…

(Memories from when I was 6-8 yrs old)

Daddy and I would go to get the bait, hooks, sodas, ice, everything we need from Wilson’s bait and tackle. School on Fridays almost seemed insignificant. All I dreamt of was hitting that river.

I loved to fish, but I loved being with my daddy more than anything in this world. I knew this was our time together, to talk, to explore, my time to learn and ask questions, to get answers in detail. What I loved most about these times was knowing I was going to learn so much. I did not have any reservations about asking my daddy anything in the world. A child needs that in this world. They need to know they can reach out into the universe with the help of their parents, and pull down a star, ride the milky way, and have their parents explain all of it to them. They need to know their parents will always have a answer for them, and if they do not have the answer—the parents are honest enough to tell them “I do not know, but daddy will find out, momma will find out.” Confidence of our children start at home. God put parents on earth to provide guidance for the children.

We both loved fishing. Daddy seemed to love fishing for two reasons from what I could sense at this young age. It allowed him to provide for his family, and not have to worry about credit at Weed, credit at Town Square (very expensive local grocery stories). He did not have to got to Town Square or Weed at the end of the month to pay on the fish he caught. The fish were free—Gods gift to the world. Fishing had significance to him more than it did to the fellow on the other side of the tracks.

Fishing was survival. Fishing also allowed him the time to teach his son, his daughter, my sister—when she went. Fishing allowed him to be a man as God would have him to be. Fishing, allowed him to set an example for his son of what it took to provide for the family. They say Jesus was a fisherman. Daddy reminded me of the story of Jesus when he took fish, and fed the masses of people.

Once we got home, daddy and I would change the lead on the line to a heaver lead because we had lead on the line set for fishing in ponds and did not have to cast so far. I would ask him why we had to change the lead. He said the river is big, and the currents strong, and the lead allow you to cast further, and keep the bait on the bottom of the river better.

KT
www.jewels4dmind.com

Back in The Day–Family Memoir–1920’s–1950’s

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My Grandparents, my father’s parents, were college sweethearts. They sung in the choir together in college. My Grandmother, Mary Turner sung & played the piano. Grandfather, John Turner, played the trombone & trumpet.

My grandfather went on to be a professional Jazz/trumpet/trombone player. He played all over Daytona & Florida. He also played the music at intermission at the Black Theatres.

They got married in 1923 and had one of the biggest black weddings in Orlando, FL. 

In 1925, they had my father. 1927 my Aunt.

Depression Times rolled around a few years later…getting harder and harder going on toward 1929. The hardest year in America hit 1929.

My grandfather, sometimes took his children to the theatres to see him play and watch the movies. Both my dad & aunt told me many times, how proud they were watching their Father play on stage. Say he had a trumpet of fire. After the show, he would take his children backstage to hangout, meet other performers, and just chill with their daddy.

But times were getting harder. My grandfather was a mechanic by day. But jazz musician by night.

Grandfather & Grandmother started having disagreements as times got harder. She felt like he should have gotten a second job that paid more. But he was not going to give up his passion. He had been in music since a very small boy. I have a very old photo of my grandfather in a sharp suit with his trombone at 13 years old.

My grandmother washed white people clothes, cleaned their houses, & cooked at their restaurants. The children stayed with my Great Grandmother, Carrie B. Turner while they both worked. She taught them to read before they started school.

One day in 1931, my grandfather played in a parade. His children & wife were there. He was on back of a float, just playing his trumpet like it was on fire. Had the crowd doing the latest dances of the day

In that thick crowd, on this Sunny Day in Daytona, FL…Something happened that would change everyone in the family’s life until this very day. Grandmother, my dad at 6 years old & aunt at 4 thought he was on going on the beachside, the other side of the river to play in some of the clubs over there. He was so good, white clubs would have him play very late some nights. Other night, he played in black clubs. The only black people that had any entrance to white places were musicians & entertainers. But they had to come in the back door.

Well, he was not on the way to the beachside. He was playing on back of a medicine show float that travel across the country selling medicine. They played in parades and advertised their product to towns across the country. He was on the way to California. My father told me many times,he could never get that image out his head of his father playing on that parade float. He would not see his father again, until he came back from fighing in WW II for 18 straight months in Italy, North Africa & the Phillipines. He was injured twice & won 2 purple hearts. Infantry/airborne/92 Div. Buffalo Soldiers/366th.

It was already hard times. Depression Times. It got even harder now. So hard my grandmother had to work day and night now. Husband gone. It got so hard, my aunt says she remember it used to be so cold in the winter. My grandmother used to hand wash white people clothes outside and her hands would be so cold, she could see them shaking. My daddy, as little boy had to walk the railroad tracks, picking coal off the tracks to come put in the heater & sold can & bottles he picked up in his little red wagon. Grandmother had to wind up selling the wedding ring to a old white man that went around buying jewelry. She pulled the ring off her finger with tears in her eyes. Hard Times.

One Night my grandmother went out with one of her friends to a party. She met this Tall, dark & handsome Man. Ben. He had just moved in town from Atlanta, GA. He sold insurance with Atlanta Life before moving. Went to Morehouse College. 

They started dating. They got married in 1936. By this time, Mary decided she wanted to make other moves in her life. She and Ben opened a Restaurant. She had enough experience cooking and cleaning and washing for white folks. Now, it’s time to do it for herself. She and Ben did just that. They place was the talk of the town. Good eats. In the 1940’s she brought the Army barracks. Opened a Motel.

She & Ben had businesses in the 1930-1950’s in Daytona Beach, FL. 

She was good friends with Mrs. Mary McCleod Bethune. Founder of Bethune Cookman College. Mrs. Bethune brought Army barracks and used them as some of the 1st building on Bethune Cookman’s Campus.

My grandmother did the same thing. Brought some. And built up the Daytona Black Business Community…off 2nd Ave. They had 7 successful businesses. Motel, Restaurant, Shoe shine business, schools, etc.

Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Jackie Robinson & his wife Rachael & many other Big Time Entertainers, Sports Stars, & Actors ate there. Local Community people ate their too. Prices were good. Food Good. Hospitality Good. They stayed at the Motels too. Because they could not eat or stay at motels on the other side of town. During that time, Black people wanted to patronize their own businesses. We were not sad & depressed about not eating at white people places. We wanted Soul Food. Not Hospital/bland tasting food.

My Aunt graduated in the Spring 1951. She was Charter Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. 

A whole lot more to this story. Will tell more as time go on. Working on a Book & Screenplay. 
6/23/2012

My Grandfather John Turner went on to California as stated earlier. He & grandmother kept going at it about his music. He was not going to give it up. He had good nights & bad nights. Life of musician, in many ways. Remember, we talking in the 1920’s & 30’s. He went on to California. He already played at Theatres. He played in Big Time White Clubs in Daytona on the Beachside too . So he figured the Medicine Show was his only chance to get to the other side of the country to play out in Hollywood. Free Ride, plus work across the country. He could not take his family. He knew his wife would not want to move. Felt it was to big of a risk.

They already were having disagreements about his music already. 

He was no dead beat dad. He loved his family. A whole lot. But they went back and forth on that music.

A whole lot to this story. This is just a window into a much larger work. Can take it back to Grandmother & Grandfathers childhood, on back to 1870. 

My grandmother was adopted & Raised by Rev. Hezikah Keith Tillinghast & his wife. That’s where I get the name Keith. He & his wife helped Bessie Coleman buy her plane after she got her license in France. The country was to racist to even let her in the school back in the early 1900’s. Abbot, founder of The Chicago Defender, helped her get to Paris to learn to fly. When she got back, she needed a plane. They helped her get it. They were one of the wealthiest black families in Orlando, FL.

Bessie Coleman came back to America and was a Star for Black People A Black Woman Aviator. The Tillinghast were one of her major backers and friends. 

She did stunts in the planes & everything. Well one day, she crashed. Broke a lot of bones. Pretty much crippled. But she was tough. Lost her plane. No plane. They helped her get another plane. 

Bessie Coleman gave many lectures of her experiences all over the country and when she was in the South, she stayed with them.

Unfortunately, Bessie had another crash, she and her co-pilot got killed. Bessie’s funeral was going to be in Chicago. But the Tillinghast family wanted give her a funeral in Orlando, FL. They had it in Orlando. Thousands of black people came to the funeral. Then they rode a train with her body to Chicago, and had and even bigger funeral in Chicago. 

This thing can go way back. Come forward like Roots that Alex Haley wrote. Got many hours of audio from interviewing the elders that go all the way back to the 1870 to present. Trust me. Hours and hours of audio from interviewing for years. I been on this since 1994.

KT
6/23/2012
www.jewels4dmind.com