Atlanta (Aug. 4, 2006)I recently had the pleasure of
participating in a Film/TV seminar sponsored by R&B sensation
and burgeoning actor, Usher Raymond. The event (produced by the
nonprofit organization, New Look Youth Foundation) was a component
of Raymond's "Camp New Look" - a two-week intensive program
for 150 talented youth, aged 9 -17. Participants traveled from all
over the country to Atlanta during July 10 - 22 to participate in
this year's 2nd annual event, which divides campers into three tracks:
Dance, Music, and Sports.
The Film/TV seminar was new to the curriculum this year, added
under the coordination of Vince Jones, CEO of Dynasty Group, Inc.
(who also put together a similar event for the Independent Black
Film Festival). Jones collaborated with New Look organizers to create
a one-day program aimed at exposing attendees to opportunities in
the film/TV industry, including those that are often overshadowed
by more high profile positions directly in front or behind the camera.
Usher's presence was obviously not a media attention getter, but
a genuine and developed interest in cultivating young minds in preparation
for the future. The rapport between the 150 camp attendees and "Big
Brother," as he's affectionately called, was evident with camp
nicknames and secret hand signals, and further indicated Raymond's
vested interest in the entire program.
The day's activities focused on key strategies for pursuing a career
in the entertainment business, opening with a panel of accomplished
professionals representing varied disciplines within the Film/TV
- Noni Southall - a Senior Legal Attorney for Turner Entertainment
- Emmy award winning Producer/Journalist Karla Winfrey
- President/Producer of IKAM Productions Carletta Hurt,
- Entertainment Career Consultant Atinna Roshelle
Moderated by Nicole Watson, an award winning
journalist and CEO of Watson Communications and Consulting, the
panel discussed everything from methods and tools for aspiring actors,
the importance of a positive attitude, protecting and pitching your
ideas and the function of the production crew including screenwriters,
producers and directors. Following lunch, campers divided into small
groups for interactive workshops with industry professionals discussing
headshots, make-up, modeling, acting, and even post-production to
name a few.
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