Forty eight hours of the movie life. PCC instructor and students working together outside campus.
On screen, the audience sees a caramel-skinned beauty in her towel, looking for her Lean Cuisine. Behind the camera, however are an amalgam of students, actors, producers, assistant directors, assistant camera operators and sound operators.
They have all managed to squeeze themselves, along with cables, chords, boom microphones and heavy lighting equipment into a studio apartment in Santa Monica to shoot a scene for the independent film “Isis Dynasty.”
Former PCC cinema Instructor , Fatima Washington takes on multiple roles in this film director, producer, and lead actress. Along with her is co-producer and co-director, Corey Johnson. The duo makes up CorFat Productions, in which “Isis Dynasty” is set under.
Washington regularly works on documentaries, reality TV, and talk shows (Dr.Phil). “I started off doing documentaries, until I just got burnt out”, says Washington. “I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere for a while, I wasn’t producing, I wasn’t telling a story.” So she departed away from the “real-life” gene while creating the idea that eventually came to be “Isis Dynasty”.
“Isis Dynasty” is the story of Isis Angelo, a middle-aged African American writer, giving herself thirty days to “make it” or “break it” in the harsh Hollywood world of broken dreams, after an encounter with a magical black cat and visit from goddess Isis.
The dramatic yet comedic story reflects upon Isis’ life as a single woman of color, and the physical and emotional obstacles she faces in trying to make her dreams come true.
Filming of the independent movie took place in the summer of 2010. PCC filmmaking Instructor Lindsey Jang was director of photography for the two day shoot. “I thought of a couple good students of mine that I trusted to know what they were doing, that they would treat this as if it was a real paid set”, says Jang.
One of the film students, Laszlo Bolender, who worked with sound on the mixer, recalls the day of the Santa Monica shoot fondly. “It was such a long day, but definitely a good experience,” he says in a comforting French accent.
The second day of shooting had double the amount of people, the crew consisting of professionals, PCC students, high school students and additional cast. “Part of my mission as a teacher is to try to encourage people who are not typical powerbrokers in filmmaking to try for it, to go for it!” Jang exclaims passionately, slamming his fist on the table top for emphasis.
Cinema Instructor Washington says that the project was all about” artist supporting artist”. When she overheard a PCC student explaining to another student how the lighting in a movie could be artistic, she found herself moved.
“I know it may sound corny,” says Washington proudly, “but I really couldn’t have done it without PCC.”
Described as an avant-garde dramedy with a docu-feature style, “Isis Dynasty” is to be released sometime in 2012.
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