Inner City Filmmakers Commencement
Rick Hess, an old friend of mine I met when he was an executive at TriStar when I first came to Hollywood, called and asked if I would speak at the graduation of Inner City Filmmakers, which I was glad to do. I knew if Rick was involved, it was worthwhile, and I’m always happy to talk to kids.
This was one of those events that is so inspiring, I worked extra hard to give to the kids as much as they were giving me.
I met the kids at the reception where we took this picture. Mainly Latin and Black kids who otherwise would not get a chance to work in the entertainment business.
The folks who put it together are Fred Heinrich and Stephania Lipner, a husband wife team who basically gave up a successful career in commercials to do this full time.
The event was at the Academy of Motion Pictures…here I am posing with two of their executives. Bettina Fisher heads up their education efforts, and Vic Bullock just joined the organization after a long tenure at the NAACP.
First they showed a reel of alumni of the program who have gone on to have great careers in the business, down to winning Emmys. Then I got up and did a question and answer session with Rick Hess (who is Chairman of the ICF Board) and then opened it up to questions from the audience. The questions were smart, real, and made me dig deep.
Afterwards they showed the short films the kids did…so much great talent! I hope to bring some of them onboard my upcoming projects.