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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Tales And Vision of Marti Hines & Jasmin Greene: Changing The Narrative Of Hollywood With Women Behind The Camera,Creating Dique Pic Productions And Their Film "Paper Friends"


written by Evan Jackson

It's no secret that Hollywood is heavily male dominated industry especially behind the scenes. So how do you carve out a space for yourself in the television and film industry? Well you create it and link up with a like minded creative, and that's exactly what  Marti Hines & Jasmin Greene did. Friends from college and continuing this formidable bond into adulthood this dynamic duo made their own vehicle within Hollywood to change the narrative, have a platform to tell stories that resonated with the world, and provide opportunities for women of color and their projects  with their Dique Pic Productions.

I knew of Marti Hines and her current venture WanderLuxxe imprint, a luxury travel experience where guests can get exclusive experiences, and when she reached out to me about the film "Paper Friends" I was delighted. I've always loved exploring the thought process of what it means to create your own niche in Hollywood. Especially when it comes to Black Women whom often get overlooked and cast aside. As we conversed Marti opened my eyes to her business partner Jasmin Greene and what they've done with their production house, Dique Pic Productions. They are two pieces of the puzzle that fit so perfectly together. Both with unique qualities and when they come together they have their shared purpose of highlighting women of color, which is a beautiful and necessary mission point to have in the medium of Filmmaking.



The two of them work so brilliant as a team, setting the tone of their films and how they reflect universal themes through their intimate characters. With 'Paper Friends" it follows the journey of friends from college who come together years later, each going through their own trials and tribulations. It begs the question - Even in later years where you've expected to have everything figured out: What Is Success? Marti and Jasmin do a tremendous directorial effort of making you feel the angst and pressure of figuring out life and they do great with the audience feel the emotional weight and exhaustive effort of keeping up the facade to your friends. The close up shots combined with tense moments and coldly balanced off with scenes of silence which speak volumes. Continue to support Marti and Jasmin and see how they discovered what Paper Friends meant to them and what they want you to take from it.


Q&A Interview Questions: Paper Friends 

1.   What inspired both of you to start this production company together? And explain your chemistry  as business partners when it comes to developing projects?

MH: Jasmin and I are sorority sisters from Hampton University, so we have known each for quite a bit of time, deciding to go into business together was an easy decision, Jasmin with the creative chops and my business mind makes for perfect synergy. 




2.               Explain to us how your second feature film “Paper Friends” came about? 

JG: Being in our mid 30s, I have friends that are in all sorts of stages in their lives: married, divorced, with kids, can’t have kids, successful, lack of career etc. I thought it would be interesting to explore how being in different stages in your life at a certain age can affect a friendship.

3.               How did you utilize New York City as a character itself within the context of the film?

JG: NY is one of the only places in the world where your evening can start at dinner, go from bar to bar to club to random concert and next thing you know the sun is coming up and you’re hanging with your friends on a stoop. It’s what makes NY so special. I really wanted to capture that energy and movement that is so one of a kind and unique to this city. 


4.               What experiences in your formative adult years did you use to influence the characters motive throughout the film? 

MH: we have seen a lot of these characters in our friends and peers mid to late 30s is huge shift in a lot of people’s lives bringing light to those experiences came about very organically.

5.               What message do you want to convey to that crowd and people at large who see the film?

JG: One of the Characters is a struggling actor at 40. She’s broke but she believes she was put on earth for a specific reason and so even when things get hard she refuses to give up. That message is very important to us-the overnight success took years to make.

6.               How exciting is it for this film to premiere on the new channel, BETHer which is dedicated to women & female led content?
MH:We are thrilled to be premiering on BETHer this is an exciting time to be a female filmmaker and are so happy that the Viacom family is helping to promote this inclusivity.


       7.   In the landscape of Production Houses, led by male & female, where do you two see yourselves? Where do you want to go from here? And what stories do you want to tell?
 MH: Our production house Dique Pic Productions (DPP) is soley focused on creating content by women of color with strong female leads. We plan on continuing to tell those stories while finding more platforms in which to share them. 


 8. What full circle moment or self - realization did oth of you have on the production of Paper Friends?
MH: Sometimes your best intentions, your dreams, take you on a different path. It’s up to you how you let that shape the next step on your journey in life, don’t waste time playing the victim.

     9.   What’s the boldest move you’ve ever made?

MH: I quit my six figure job in DC and moved to LA to get into the filmmaking business 6 years ago, two feature films later I haven’t looked back.

       JG: In 2015 I moved to Berlin, Germany and for several years built an entire life there, including having a son born in Germany. I was totally engrained in EU life. I recently moved back to NY a few months ago, another bold move but I believe both of these moves were the right choices at the time and for sure have changed me as a person.
  10.         What makes you Regal?

MH: What makes a person Regal to me is what energy you are putting out into the world on a consistent basis. Staying intentional on sending out love and light is what I strive for everyday and with that I can claim and expect to receive it in my endeavors.


11.Through this production of Paper Friends what did you two learn from each other? 
MH: every project that Jas and I work on reaffirms for me that I have found the best partner to be on this journey with, to be so different from each other but yet 90% of the time be on the exact same page is a real blessing.

12.Where can we see Paper Friends & where can we see you two on Social Media?
MH: You can catch Paper Friends on BETHer all this summer and find us on IG @martiehines @greenewithe


Paper Friends Promo from DPicProductions on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

This Is LA Season 3 Premiere


Photos By Evan Jackson
Written By Evan Jackson

The exciting Season 3 of the television show "This Is LA" held their premiere at the Hollywood Hills swanky venue of Yamashiro. Helmed by Actor, Producer, and TV Host Robert Parks Valetta "This Is..." also has many locations in San Fransico, Miami, Dallas, and  London. The best part of the night was seeing the Hosts come together, with a very family feel. Robert has created such a wonderful series that explores the nooks and crannies, hot spots, and hidden gems of Los Angeles.

One of the most charismatic hosts is Actress Estrella Nouri. Talking to us about what it means to be a foodie and also the importance of diversity and women being represented in Hollywood. Joining in on the fun were show hosts Derrial Christon, Adam Kruger, Paige Lorentzen, Estrella Nouri, Lyssa Roberts and Antje Utgaard.

Actor David Bianchi, on the new season of USA Hit Show Queen Of The South, gave us passionate insight on Afro- Lations being represented among the TV & Film Landscape. I loved how "This Is LA" ties in the many cultures and traditions of Los Angeles and bringing us a fresh perspective!



















Saturday, March 9, 2019

2019 NAACP Image Award Announcments: Presented by Actor Winston Duke & Actress Logan Browning


Written by Evan Jackson

Well of course, isn't it always challenge day? With all Black Panther references  aside, the 2019 NAACP Image Awards Nominations wasn't a battle to see who gets the last spot it was beautiful celebration of Melanin Magic Moments that have transpired this last calender year. Special thanks to Crystal Williams and JL Media PR having us and being so gracious & complimentary.  Presented by Actor Winston Duke - of 'Black Panther' fame and up coming highly anticipated Jordan Peele Horror film 'Us' & Actress Logan Browning of the Netflix Hit 'Dear White People' they gracefully continued award season with these great announcements.

A few particularlly great moments was seeing Winston Duke earn an NAACP Image Award Nomination for his role in Black Panther  and his mom yelling for joy. The family atmosphere was definitely amazing! Thrive With Your Tribe. And when Winston Duke announced Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Drama, with his co-announcer, Logan Browning being a nominee she shortly teared up while Winston and the entire room clapped. Those are the moments we'll remember and love. We hope to see all of those great moments continue at the 50th Annual NAACP Image Awards.

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

Outstanding Comedy Series
Atlanta
black-ish
Dear White People
grown-ish
Insecure
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy
Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Cedric the Entertainer, The Neighborhood
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Dwayne Johnson, Ballers
Tracy Morgan, The Last O.G.
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy
Danielle Brooks, Orange Is the New Black
Issa Rae, Insecure
Logan Browning, Dear White People
Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
Yara Shahidi, grown-ish
Outstanding Drama Series
How to Get Away With Murder
Power
Queen Sugar
The Chi
This Is Us

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy
Jason Mitchell, The Chi
Keith David, Greenleaf
Kofi Siriboe, Queen Sugar
Omari Hardwick, Power
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy
Alfre Woodard, Marvel's Luke Cage
Naturi Naughton, Power
Rutina Wesley, Queen Sugar
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Outstanding TV Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special
Behind the Movement
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert
Seven Seconds
The Bobby Brown Story
The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar

FILM CATEGORIES

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther
Michael B. Jordan, Creed 2
Denzel Washington, The Equalizer 2
John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman
Stephan James, If Beale Street Could Talk
Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Amandla Stenberg, The Hate U Give
Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians
Kiki Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk
Sanaa Lathan, Nappily Ever AfterViola Davis, Widows

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Brian Tyree Henry, If Beale Street Could Talk
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther
Russell Hornsby, The Hate U Give
Winston Duke, Black Panther

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Danai Gurira, Black Panther
Letitia Wright, Black Panther
Lupita Nyong'o, Black Panther
Regina Hall, The Hate U Give
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
BlacKkKlansman
If Beale Street Could Talk
Nappily Ever After
Sorry to Bother You
Traffik


The 50th NAACP Image Awards will air live Saturday, March 30th

  

2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Health Foundation Gala



written by Evan L. Jackson
Photos by Evan L. Jackson 

As we embarked on a new year the "Share The Dream" 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Healthcare Foundation Gala was held at the Dorthy Pavilion Center. This Gala is special to me because it signifies the emphasis on giving back to the community at large. It's humbling to see medical professionals and celebrities come together to celebrate Dr. King's legacy and to continue it with the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital. Honoree for the night was  Game Changer Award: October Gonzalez accepting for Tony Gonzalez | NFL Hall Of Fame Nominee, Fox Sports Analyst and Advocate Award: Marian Wright Edelman | Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund. Special thanks to the Public Relations team of the Lippin Group for having us there. The atmosphere of celebration and hope were in the air and it felt very good to be there. 

My absolute favorite moments of the Gala were when I spoke with Mistress of Ceremonies - Entertainment Personality Extra TV Tanika Ray. Often seeing her on Extra TV she was a mentor from a far, without even meeting her beforehand, and a role model on how I wanted to conduct myself as an Entertainment Professional. I so loved very much her passion and zeal for Entertainment speaking to her within this interview. And the backstory on how she got her start was so astounding. She did not limit her self or her abilities. And that is exactly what Dr. King what want from all of us - to soar towards our dreams without any limitations being placed on us. Check out the interview below to also see advice she gives to up and coming creatives! 

My other favorite moment was speaking with the creator of Doc McStuffins creator Chris Nee. Serving also on the board for Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, I've interviewed her before but this time I went more in depth and spoke on my personal connection to the hospital. I reminded her that my sister is a medical professional, being a Physician's Assistant. And that recently we gave our cousin a Doc McStuffins doll, and my cousin gleefully said to my sister, "Brittany, that's you!". Such a sweet moment provided context on the impact of seeing someone that looks like you or close to you represented. Chris Nee lit up when I said this story and said that's what she wanted when she created this character. A global impact on what children see and she said that's also the reason why she felt compelled to be a board member. To create actual change in the community. This continues to be one of my favorite events every year. So please support and take an interest in the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital because it is definitely well worth it. 

   





Saturday, February 16, 2019

Pre-Grammy Party Presented by 1500 or Nothin, Boss Lady Entertainment and DJ Snoopadelic

photos by Evan Jackson
Written By Evan Jackson

Grammys Weekend was especially lit with the Pre-Grammy Party Presented by 1500 or Nothin, Boss Lady Entertainment and DJ Snoopadelic aka the Hip Hop Icon Snoop Dogg.There were many appearances like L.A. Hip Hop Artists  O.T. Genasis and Casey Veggies . California Love was in the building! As well as notable Stars like 'Love Jones' Actor Larenz Tate and R&B crooner Eric Bellinger. Amazing sponsors like Ciroc provided drinks & Carls Jr. provided the great food. The big event was all in honor of Grammy winning CEO of 1500 or Nothin' Larrence Dopson who won for his work on Ella Mai smash hit 'Boo'd Up' ! 🙌🏾  Special thanks to CEO Kiki Ayers of Ayers Publicity.

My favorite moment was seeing Snoop express gratitude for his peers coming out to enjoy the night’s festivities. And it was very fun about the night was seeing his fellow artists all joy in on the fun. Right next to the Carls Jr. was a great taco stand. And throughout Snoop Dogg's Compound in Inglewood, where the event was held, there were vendors and attractions. What was interesting is I never saw Snoop Dogg enter, it's as if he appeared out of thin air! As he did the obligatory opening of a Carls. Jr. burger - he does what he has been able to do his entire career. He makes the mundane moment into a magnificent spectacle. He's cool about it, he's floating through the crowd, and he makes his way to the red carpet. Smiling from ear to ear he only gives one interview with Spectrum News. He emphasizes community and appreciation for everyone there. That's his legacy: an easygoing, crowd pleasing lighting rod of attention smooth talking people person. He'll always treat you with good greetings and of course there's no party like a Snoop Dogg Party, cause Snoop Dogg Party don't stop! 

Actress Taja V. Simpson

Journalist & Writer Bree Scott and Publicist Parker Scott

CEO of Young Bold And Regal Evan Jackson 
Snoop Dogg


Friday, January 25, 2019

J Cole : The Rap Game’s “Middle Child”


Written by: Nepri James

He’s coutin' his bullets, he’s loadin' his clips, he’s writin' down names, he’s making a list. As he tweeted, “This is going to be a tough year for the haters.” 

 J Cole took over 2018 with not only the release of his fifth studio platinum selling album,KOD, but also with having the hottest features of the year. J Cole : The 2018 Takeover Playlist

It does not seem that J Cole is stopping anytime soon. In fact, he is applying more pressure. On January 6th, Dreamville artist such as Cole, Ari Lennox, JID, and Bas began posting their invitations to the Revenge of the Dreamers III recording sessions in ATL from the 6th to the 16th. This marketing strategy has built up the hype for this album for sure. Some of the best artist and producers in the game received invitations to be apart of the project. Here is a list of all artist and producers that were apart of the recording sessions. Just look at the versatility!


 Ibrahim Hamad, J Cole’s manager and president of Dreamville Records, described the sessions as a camp. During his, IG live he explained how they wanted to bring a different energy and this list 
shows just that! The album has been completed and is rumored to be released on his birthday, January 28th. 

Cole also is bringing a different energy to his solo projects. It has been confirmed that he is currently working on his sixth studio album. In the meantime, he released his latest single Middle Child on January 23rd.



Cole partnered up with T-Minus (producer of Kevin's Heart  and Pretty Little Fears) for the track. Now most of you may be thinking “Is J Cole a middle child?” He actually is not! The title is a metaphor for his position in rap, meaning he is sitting between lyrical OG’s and today’s popular "trap" artist. He also used switched things up by using trap drums and autotune to utilize modern aesthetics but still remaining true to himself.

It seems that Cole is going to diversify his sound on these upcoming projects. Between his forthcoming solo project and ROTDIII, it seems that 2019 is going to be another Dreamville takeover. 




Sunday, December 9, 2018

BlackKkKlansman Review: A Timely Spike Lee Joint


written by Evan Jackson

Saying a Spike Lee Joint is "timely" may be redundant but it couldn't be any more true with his latest film 'BlacKkKlansman'. Based off the true story of African American Police Detective Ron Stallworth who went undercover at the Colorado Police Department to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. Serving as only the voice behind the telephone, with his detective partner being the "Ron Stallworth" who showed up to the meetings. An obvious serious story that's deeply rooted in racism, politics, justice, and identity Spike Lee masterfully directs this film the only way he can. With just a tinge of satirical nature which is his usual style, he hones in on what this true story can mean for us today. Adam Driver is many of us in this film, coming to terms with his own Jewish heritage and how racism affects you even if you don't identify with your own. Actor John David Washington gives a sobering performance which serves the film well and dives deep into what it means to be Black and an authoritarian figure. Spike Lee Joints are always near and dear to my heart because they reflected the times and peaked into the future. His films are alternate universes that come to light in the real world. As scary as that is the hope he gives at the end of this film is that hate always loses when you laugh in the face of it especially when you stop it in its tracks.


Spike Lee creates his own world and once you step in it he reveals the truths many are afraid to speak of but that's what make his film so special. The truth about this film is the vitriol of hate groups are still present. Looking back  throughout the film there are clear links to Donald Trump and a coy  or how you take it a crude reference to O.J. Simpson. Steeped in recent history when Harry Belafonte is on screen with eager young woke minds huddled around him it's the one of the most gripping scenes of the entire film. Utilizing historical figures and placing them iconic scenes is what Spike Lee does best. What's more interesting is they aren't just used to draw the audience in; as Harry told a horrendous story about a hate crime committed against THE Emit Till the ongoing intensity of the film was heightened. Spike Lee Joints evoke that visceral feeling and when you step into his mind frame for a film it's all too real.


 Actor John David Washington & Actor Adam Driver's chemistry plays like a 1970's buddy cop all grit-no bullshit detective drama TV series. Both characters revealing insight on each other serves as a mirror. Ron Stallworth in the film pushes his partner to not only take his role as an officer of justice to the edge but helps his partner comes to term with his own Jewish Heritage. In seemingly quiet scene Ron asks his partner why the Jewish epitaphs spewed doesn't bother him. Simply saying he doesn't identify with being Jewish, Ron's retort is the erasure and degradation of your people's heritage starts with you denying it. And allowing other to shape that narrative through scare tactics and propaganda is a dangerous path. Adam Driver steps into this role so brilliantly, evolving from a state of  "I'm just doing my job here" to "Let's catch these racist fools" is a testament to his acting. To join in on the cause against hate, to have an ally, as Ron Stallworth did in real life was just as incredible.

Actor John David Washington, son of famed Denzel Washington, plays mostly reserved in this role. Stoic and yet conflicted in his own woke mind on what it means to be a detective, a precieved enemy of the people, and attracted to the activism of his fellow Black brothers and sisters. A victim of his own police department when it come to harassment the frustration comes out to how to change the system from the inside out. Instead of an overly emotional performance that could of worked, John's confidence in coolly playing a real life figure brings a calmness among the chaotic. Laura Harrier who plays woke bae and more importantly is Ron's window into the other side of the matter. That tug of war with identity politics: Can you be down for the cause & be a good cop at the same time? It may look as two opposing mindsets but this film brings it in the middle. To be highly conscious of the racial issues in your community and offer a great solution & be an officer of justice is two sides of the same coin. You can help your people by doing your job and utilizing your platform to stomp out oppression. You easily could of played the theme to Shaft when Ron Stallworth enters the KKK meeting escorting Klan Leader David Duke. That's why John David Washington got his recent Golden Globe nomination, in a such a high octane plot line his cool as a cucumber performance with answers to the character's identity crisis comes off so convincingly.



via GIPHY

Spike Lee has delivered a film that calls on today while taking a look at the past. What better way to hark on the feelings of those seeking to speak on racial issues without stepping on their mindsets. Through the art of film he encapsulates different perspectives so well. The driving force of BlackKklansman is yes, this is America. This is exactly the United States you live in that still has hate groups but this is the same America that has those who will oppose and end those hateful activities. The hope is you will be a vigilant enough to know the truth. And better yet use your platform to say your own truth.





Feel Young, Be Bold, Live Regal

Feel Young, Be Bold, Live Regal