A lot of burgeoning moviemakers need a little boost to get them started on the path to realizing their dreams. And if you’re a moviemaker of color, breaking into the business can seem doubly challenging. In order to demystify this process and encourage urban moviemakers in their efforts, Camille Irons and H. M. Coakley founded the Rockstone Foundation, which reaches out to up-and-coming moviemakers across the country with its Urban Filmmakers Workshop.
“We created the Urban Filmmakers Workshop because we wanted to educate filmmakers of color around the country about the film businessâ€”the stuff that they won’t tell you in Hollywood. The UFW brings the secrets of Hollywood directly to this under-represented group,” says Irons.
After taking a two-year hiatus to work on the horror film Holla (which is being released by Lionsgate in December), Irons and Coakley have returned with the UFW, touring a total of eight cities from Philadelphia to Houston with a series of intensive, two-day workshops covering screenwriting, producing, acting and directing, using Holla as a case study of how to take a film from script to major studio distribution and beyond.
In future years, Irons hopes to expand UFWâ€™s efforts even further: “We’re looking to transition the Urban Filmmakers Workshop into the five-day annual Urban Filmmakers Conference, which we plan to launch in Los Angeles in Fall 2007.” For more information and to sign up for the last stop of this year’s UFW, November 24 and 25 in Houston, Texas, visit http://www.rockstone.org.