On Saturday, December 2, 2017, from 1-3 p.m., the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland, Inc., (www.blackwritersguild.org) hosted the panel discussion “Lights, Camera, Action: Journey from Book to the Big Screen.” The event was held at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 4330 Edmondson Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21229.
The panelists were:
- Odessa Rose, author of Water in a Broken Glass, and In the Mirror
- Jamelle Williams-Thomas, filmmaker of the movie Water
- Devin J. Ricks, filmmaker and mogul
- Teresa Davis, author and filmmaker
- Leonard Coleman, filmmaker
The facilitator was Wilma Brockington-Parker, BWG Communications Officer and the author of books: Cinnamon Girl Blues, Office Politics, and Been There, Done That. The presentation concluded with a 3-minute pitch from individual BWG author/members, a question-and-answer period, and networking.
Author Odessa Rose uses Baltimore City as the backdrop for her fiction. She was influenced by her mother, who is an avid reader of horror authors, especially Stephen King. Odessa received her B.A. in English from Coppin State University and her M.A. in Literature from the University of Maryland at College Park. She is nearly finished her film, “Water”, being produced by Jamelle Williams-Thomas. On her website, http://odessarose.com/, tickets can be purchased for the March 1, 2018 premiere of her movie, “Water”. See also http://www.amazon.com/Odessa-Rose/e/B001KC6HBS, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5038298.Odessa_Rose, and https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/water-a-dc-love-story#/.
Jamelle Williams-Thomas is a D.C. filmmaker and Digital Engagement Specialist. She specializes in developing winning social engagement and marketing strategies through channels like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. As a child, she would create characters and make stories from anything. Jamelle studied Film Production at Chapman University in Orange, CA where she met screenwriters Mildred Lewis and Jeff McCracken. They challenged her to rise above the adversity of being one of the only Black female film students at a predominately white institution. Right out of college she founded her production company, Lodge Street Films. As a filmmaker, she manages full-scale film production services for Lodge Street Films and strongly advocates for the representation of all facets of the Black diaspora in film and media. Lodge Street also strives to give those stories a place in the light. Jamelle has served in several positions in all aspects of film and video projects including production management, location scouting, writing, editing, and directing. She has experience in fictional shorts, features, and corporate videos. Her previous work includes Transplant and trailers for Odessa Rose’s critically acclaimed novel, In the Mirror. George Bernard Shaw is the person from whom Jamelle gets her favorite quote, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life’s about creating yourself.” https: //www.indiegogo.com/projects/water-a-dc-love-story#/, http://m.imdb.com/name/nm2059616/bio?ref_=m_mn_ov_bio and https://www.lodgestreetfilms.com.
Devin J. Ricks, a filmmaker, is also a videographer, director, editor, producer, and radio/media personality. He creates music videos, commercials, weddings, tutorials, and stage plays as well. Devin graduated from Morgan State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Broadcasting and Integrated Media/Video Production. He has released over 70 episodes of his online reality show called “Dev TV”, has 3 films under his belt and is working on more to add to his Love Cycle Saga. Devin also has a clothing line titled “No More Apologies” under his brand The DJR Experience. The young mogul is on the rise and ready to inspire, motivate, and further our humanities. He can be contacted at Devydev092@gmail.com. His website is https://www.TheOfficialDJRP.com.
Teresa Davis, author and filmmaker is a Baltimore native with five self-published novels to her credit: Ghetto Misery Uncut, Ghetto Misery Uncut: Street Land Lords Part 2, and co-authored Pistol Whipped, Hysterectomy of the Hood and Dope Dick. As a filmmaker, Teresa’s work has earned her the 2014 Titan Arts Awards Best Film Director. She is also the Titan Arts Awards 2015 two-time nominee for Best Film Director of the DMV and Best Film of the Year. Her films include Laced, which stars Love and Hip Hop’s Momma (Nancy) Jones, The Last Laugh, and the anticipated movie Perkaset. Teresa also directed and co-filmed the documentary No Hands King, Lor Dev Story, which won first place at the 2017 Born in Baltimore Film Festival Audience Choice and is also up for Best Film of the Year 2017 Titan Arts Awards. Teresa was also featured in the magazine, Courbe’e Revolucio’n. https://m.facebook.com/Author-Teresa-Davis-657395994352053/
Leonard Coleman, videographer, rapper, and actor partnered with Teresa Davis five years ago and has worked on such projects as Laced, a film starring Momma Jones of Love and Hip Hop, The Last Laugh, and Teresa Davis’ anticipated film, Perkaset, which was inspired by Leonard. Teresa wrote the film after Leonard developed cellulitis of the skin, which left him wheelchair-bound for a year. In an effort to lift Leonard’s spirits, Teresa created the character “Little Head” for Leonard, who did a lot of the scenes from his wheelchair. He also filmed from that very same wheelchair. Since regaining his ability to walk, Leonard has worked on other great projects, such as Ghetto Misery Uncut and the documentary No Hands King, Lor Dev Story, which was the Born in Baltimore Film Festival Audience Choice Best Film of the Year 2017.
Rosa L. Griffin