I enjoyed this interview with super producer Will Packer, with The Breakfast Club on Power 105.1, which was published this morning. I’ve interviewed Packer twice on this blog over the last few years, but our conversations were much more formal and serious (and shorter), in that strict writer-interviewing-public-personality kind of way, than the enjoyable casualness of his chat with The Breakfast Club below.
Packer talks about the business in general, and does get specific with stories of his early days in college, in the 1990s, hustling to gain traction in the film business, through the present. And he’s certainly come a long way, via hard work and resilience, building a resume and becoming a “name” and even a recognizable brand himself.
It’s a worthwhile behind-the-scenes listen at how someone in his position got to where he is, the relationships he formed along the way (with Kevin Hart, for example, who he gives some career history on), and just how the business, in general, works.
My only quibble occurs when he’s asked why there aren’t more movies that tell historical stories about black people other than the usual slave or Civil Rights narratives. His answer was that, essentially, much of black American history is wrapped up in slavery and Civil Rights, and that’s why there’s more of a focus on those themes in American cinema, specifically. What I would add is that there was a time before slavery, when black people were royalty – kings and queens, ruling over empires, building dynasties in continental Africa, which is where we’re all from, ultimately. There’s a wealth of stories from that well that haven’t even been considered yet, let alone turned into movies. Unless the assumption in Hollywood is that these aren’t stories that would appeal to black Americans. You folks tell me… Is that true?
Also, even if we were to only consider stories from Slavery or the Civil Rights fight era here in the USA, within those periods, there are still many stories about black people simply loving, living, creating, building, excelling, conquering, etc to be explored. Every movie doesn’t necessarily have to be entirely focused on slavery itself and/or the fight for Civil Rights, do they?
But watch the full interview below and hopefully learn a few things: