BHC: Do you have any favorite filmmakers? If so, who are they?
DC: Definitely Tyler Perry! He came from a place where he had every reason to just not do it – not try to do anything; but when he did embark on filmmaking, he had a passion to send out a message to people. But he didn’t stop there; he also learned the business side of filmmaking, where he not only put together a cast for plays that turned into movies, but he also promised actors their own show and then fulfilled those promises. The fact that at one time he was sleeping in cars in New Orleans wasn’t the end for him. He kept pushing forward. I feel that no one has done it like that. I admire him from a man’s standpoint.
I also love John Singleton and Spike Lee. By the way, I never ever criticize anyone else’s writing. I love M. Night Shyamalan, who has done things like “Children of the Corn,” and “Sixth Sense.” He’s a fearless writer, and you have to have that fearlessness. I love his creativity. You can’t always do things and then worry about what other people think; you have to do what is in you.
TIPS FOR ASPIRING WRITERS/FILMMAKERS
BHC: Thanks so much for sitting down and chatting with us, DeVon. We’ve learned a lot and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to enlighten us. As we wrap things up, we just have one more question: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers and filmmakers?
DC: Actually, I do. First, when you sit down with your pen, paper or laptop….first have an idea of what you’re going to write about. Do an outline. Break down your chapters and scenes so you have an idea of what to focus on at the time.
Next, try to learn your craft. Know how to focus on what you have a vision in. Write your story the way you want to write it; don’t let anyone tell you how to write it.
Last, learn the business side. I’ve been emphasizing this throughout this interview. Learn how to market yourself, learn how to become a company. Learn the platforms that will help you push your projects.
By the way, whether you’re a fledgling filmmaker or a filmmaker on a budget, be sure to get the right software to help you produce a quality product. Invest in Adobe, specifically Adobe Premier or Final Cut. I can’t really tell you what kind of camera to use, because lots of cameras can do lots of things these days. But I can tell you that 1080 HD cameras can go a long way.
THAT’S A WRAP
The Black History Channel would once again like to thank Writer/Filmmaker DeVon Cooper for chatting with us. Be sure to watch INIQUITY!
And now we’ll leave you with this direct quote from DeVon Cooper:
“You can’t argue with potential.”
To contact DeVon or learn more about his work, follow these links: