Promise Me This
CSN Productions Never Stops
By Robert Jeffrey II
As more filmmakers discover that independent filmmaking provides
an ever-flowing river of opportunities, Victor Jones, CEO of Atlanta-based
Can't Stop Now (CSN) Productions, has dipped his hands into this
With aspirations of becoming an entertainer since childhood, Jones'
primary focus had always been acting, not producing.
"I thought it was amazing how people like Sammy Davis, Jr.,
Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, etc., could sing, dance, and act
they weren't confined to just doing one thing," said Jones.
With dreams of becoming a multi-faceted entertainer, Jones spent
years honing his craft as an actor, appearing in theater productions,
television programs, and films. It was only after a meeting with
famed director and actor Bill Duke that the seeds of creating his
own production company took root.
"As an actor, I had no desire to start a production company.
I loved acting, and that was all I wanted to do," Jones said.
"However, after having the opportunity to meet, study, and
learn from Bill Duke, he suggested the idea of writing my own scripts
and starting my own production company."
Jones didn't immediately follow this path, but began writing a
screenplay for a short film. Once he completed the script, he decided
to create a production company with the goal of making his award-winning
film, Promise Me This.
Jones expressed that one of the reasons he founded his organization
lies within the title of his company, Can't Stop Now Productions.
He says he created a company that seeks to make films and also assist
other aspiring filmmakers.
the name was shortened to the acronym, the philosophies and the
attitude behind it remain the same," Jones explained. "Plain
and simple, I know that there are obstacles, hazards, rejections,
and a host of other things out there to get in my way as I strive
to reach my goals. But for me, a decision has been made. I've been
doing this too long and I know too much -- and even though things
will come up to stand in my way, nothing stops CSN other than me."
CSN Productions has made impressive strides in the four years since
its inception. The first feature film completed by the company,
Promise Me This, tells the tale of a married couple
(starring Jones and Arianne C. Price) who are asked to make a life-altering
decision. Submitted in 2005 to the Atlanta Urban Media Makers Film
Festival, the film received the festival's Audience Award, and was
nominated for Best Feature Film.
Riding on the heels of this successful film Jones changed gears
and penned a script for a suspense drama, entitled 5,
which tells the story of Atlanta detective, Russell Harris (played
by Jones), who leads a career-making bust against one of the East
Coast's largest drug suppliers.
"5 is just pure entertainment. Come in, sit
back, and just enjoy the film," Jones said." The film
had a theatrical premiere where nearly 400 people came out to watch
and afterwards raved about it."
The director expounded more on what he seeks to bring to the filmmaking
experience and what he seeks to offer to audiences.
"Generally speaking, some people will go see a film because
an actor or actress they like is in the film. My goal is to get
audiences to the point that when they see CSN Productions attached
to the film, they know that they are going to see a film that is
well written, well produced, and will feature some of the most talented
actors and actresses available."
"When I have an idea for a script, I immediately start thinking
about the audience and asking myself, why anyone would want to see
this story? The other thing that happens as I'm writing is that
I want to make sure I am truly entertaining and engaging the audience
with the events or the lives of the characters they are watching."
Within his capacity as CEO of CSN Productions, Jones joins the
company of many African American entrepreneurs in the film industry.
Acknowledging that African American film production ownership is
on the rise, Jones believes that people in positions such as his
have a responsibility of sorts.
"With ownership comes responsibility and accountability,"
Jones said. "What I mean by that is, what difference does it
make if an African American owns a record label or a production
company if the company continues to perpetuate negative lyrics or
images about African Americans?"
"This is not an attempt to censor or make judgment against
what might be considered negative lyrics or images or those who
use them, but instead to encourage artists of all types to keep
in mind that the images that they put out are often viewed as how
African Americans really are."
Hoping to continue to make his mark as a filmmaker and CEO, Jones
has plans for continued growth.
"Right now we are in the process of self-distributing Promise
Me This and 5," Jones said. "As
for 2008, my goal is to produce two feature films, one in early
2008 and one in late 2008."
In addition to producing their own films, CSN Productions has expanded
into a full-service video production company, offering services
that include marketing DVD, commercial, and music video production.
For more information, go to www.csnfilms.com.