Installment number 2 of a new S&A feature I introduced last week – what I’m calling “10 Questions With A Black Filmmaker,” in which, as the title states, a filmmaker will be asked 10 questions, they’ll answer, and I’ll share both questions and answers here with the rest of you to read.
Barry Jenkins kicked off the series last week, and his responses to my questions were very-well received on this site, and others who shared that post (click HERE to read).
Mr Seith Mann is up next; another name I hope most of you are familiar with; like Barry, Seith has received mucho ink (or is it pixels) on S&A, from his internationally acclaimed short film that launched his career, 5 Deep Breaths (watch it HERE), to the several critically-revered TV drama series he’s since directed (including The Wire’s fourth season, episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, Cold Case, Entourage, Friday Night Lights, Heroes, and many more shows), to the 2 feature projects he’s currently working on – his feature debut titled Come Sunday (a story about a father, a son and the black Baptist church they make their battleground), and his adaptation of the graphic novel MISS: Better Living Through Crime, which Spike Lee is executive producing.
Seith’s a busy dude, and we’re all looking forward to finally seeing his feature work on the big screen.
His responses to my 10 randomly-selected questions follow below:
1. Film school is overrated, underrated, neither?
Definitely NOT overrated. I loved my film school experience. I think film school, like most things, is what you make it. If you immerse yourself in production (yours and other people’s) and watch all the films you can with what little time you have left – you’re gonna come out a better filmmaker than you went in. If nothing else, you will have made three or four films (depending on the program) by the time you get out.
2. If I were to die and be reborn, I’d like to come back as…
Hank Willis Thomas.
3. How do you define “blackness”?
I don’t. I just know it when I see it.
4. Preferred mode of travel: Plane, train, automobile… or teleportation?
Train. Easily. Unfortunately, I don’t get to do it that often. New York Subway or Amtrak are my favorite ways to fly.
5. I had Bill Gates’ billions, I’d do this…
Give away a 10%. Start a fund to finance independent, Black film. Starting with three or four of my own. I’d move back to NY full time.
6. I’d like to see what this musician could do with a film camera…
Me’Shell NdegeOcello. I’d like to make films like she makes music.
7. My ideal professional life as a filmmaker would look like this…
A feature every two years. A pilot the years in between.
8. The last stage play I saw was…
A Free Man of Color
9. If I could go back in time, I’d return to this period/moment/place/etc…
Edmund Pettus Bridge, 1965.
10. Favorite Blaxploitation movie?