Boogeyman of the Black Neighborhood

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Boogeyman- a common allusion to a mythical creature in many cultures used by adults or older children to frighten bad children into good behavior.

Red, white, and blue lights flash in two separate neighborhoods. In neighborhood one, the children continue to play, they smile and wave at the drivers cruising beneath the lights, who smile and wave back. The Andy Griffith theme song seems to blast full volume across the subdivision, whilst the lessons learned from that wise old sheriff play in parent’s heads. Knowing that these people are around to protect and serve them is a weight off of their minds. No one will hurt their children while these guys are around, they are the quintessential good guys. They are a heavenly mix of Andy Griffith, John Mcclain, and Jim Malone, always doing what’s right for the people.

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Serving and Protecting with a smile, whistle, and a well timed joke.

When the children of neighborhood one come in from playing and ask about the lights and the men beneath them, the parents can proclaim with total honesty that they are here to help you, when you’re lost you go to them, tell them your name and address and they’ll get you home. Be grateful for them, they’re our heroes in blue, always have been. You can have a full out pumpkin riot, burning cop cars and not have to worry my child. You’ll be fine.

In neighborhood two the scene isn’t quite as picturesque. The same lights flash, the same drivers peer through the window. But this time the children flee, jumping fences, leaving their toys where they lay. Parent’s heads are filled with grotesque images as old as The Good Ship Jesus and as fresh as the loose cigarettes still burning on the asphalt. One mother may recall a San Francisco cop saying it’s okay to kill black people as “It’s not against the law to put an animal down,” before pulling their child in doors. Another father may recall the hundreds and thousands of lynchings throughout the United States aided and abetted by the police. And yet another would recall the recent shooting of a little boy named Tamir Rice gunned down for playing in the park. And another still would recall a woman named Rekia Boyd, being shot and killed for no reason while the cop who did it walked off a free man. When these guys roll through, their children are in danger, their wives, husbands, and daughters are in real danger. They are to be feared, but unlike the tales of the monster under the bed others may tell, this monster is real, and can kill with no consequence.

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Unarmed peaceful Ferguson protester

They must tell their children to do so many things to walk away with their lives from an encounter with these men in blue. Don’t sag your pants, don’t raise your voice, don’t move quickly, don’t wear that shirt, effectively micro policing an entire group of people. And even then, they may still be shot and killed. And what happens when Blacks know their rights and react with intelligence, rightful anger at an officer’s blatant disrespect for their consitutitional rights, and refuse to comply with illegal demands? Well…Sandra Bland.

These differences are why white people always ask “well why did he/she run”, and black people always say “of course he/she ran.”

The difference between the two neighborhoods is of course racial, the first being white and the second black. But it’s more than “just” the skin tone. It’s the history that has been caused by the vilification and criminalization of that extra pigmentation in their skin. Because this country and its infrastructure was built with the idea that black people weren’t human, and darker skinned people were the enemy, the intuitions meant to protect and serve only do that for a certain few, while they target and attack the rest.

Social conflict theory states basically that the more powerful groups use their power to exploit the groups with less power. We can see this currently with the immense wage gap between those of the 1 percent of 1 percent and the rest of the country. In the beginning though, the power structure was a caste system set by not only wealth, but skin color.

Imagine a society set up by poor people. A country founded by those who had nothing. Well laws would be different. They’d probably have something in there about sharing, about caring for someone who needs help. But a country founded by the wealthy would have more about protecting their own wealth. Nothing wrong with that, but replace that wealth with skin color, things get a bit more problematic. Add in the fact that after a huge civil war you’ll want these people to be functioning, contributing members of your society without giving them any recompense (land, money, or even trying to change public opinion) for what’s happened to them…and you’ve pretty much made it almost impossible for that to happen on a grand scale.

Due to being seen inherently as the enemy, black families must teach their children not to embrace the police, but fear them. Black families don’t need a fictional boogeyman, the police fill that role impeccably.

Often times members of white liberal society who genuinely want to help ask “why so angry? Why the violent rhetoric” without understanding that the anger and rhetoric used is a symptom, merely a result of the society that creates racist policing practices. Police, politicians, doctors, writers, we are all born into a racist, patriarchal, homophobic, transphobic society.

This is the one time I’ll say this, it’s not your fault you became a racist, it’s not your fault you became a misogynist, it is not your fault you became transphobic or homophobic. It is your fault that you are STILL one. Your fight to remain firmly inside your privilege bubble is not a victimless act. It’s killing people as we speak.

The doctor that thinks twice before operating on a Trans man or woman just lost the second they needed to save a life because religion taught them that this is an abomination. The cop who barrel rolls into a group of teenagers and pulls his weapon on unarmed children because he’s been taught that black people are inherently dangerous through various media outlets. The young children who think it’s funny to beat up Homeless people. They do this because of the deafening silence that gives them the go ahead. They do this because the fight to keep the status quo makes them believe ideas about minorities that should’ve been thrown away with the dismantling of Jim Crow. But because this fight to keep everything the way it is has been going on for so long, ideas and opinions are formed with no basis in reality, which in turn literally kill people. This unwillingness to admit that something is terribly wrong with this society, is what haunts each generations fight for justice and equality.

And therein lies the real struggle. I had a teacher that always stressed the importance of how a group of people are regularly portrayed on television. For many this seems insignificant, “it’s just TV right”? But please if I may… In many places of this country people live in groups that are mirrors of themselves and their parents. We are still very much a segregated country. So there may be a white person who goes their whole life form birth to 18, never interacting with a black person. Never getting to know an Asian or Native American, transgendered person, or a homosexual person. So where does this person get their ideas on how these people act? Why films and television of course. Now this person sees the slanted media coverage showing black crimes over and over while not showing the reality that whites are more likely to commit dangerous crimes like rape and armed robbery. So they think, this is the real danger, THEY are the real problem, and when they go online and hear blacks talking about hard facts and statistics they say “no I’m the real victim” and then they walk into a black church full of misplaced self-righteous bullshit anger and shoot 9 people. Or they join a fraternity and chant gleefully about a “nigger not joining SAE.” (That fraternity has produced some very influential members several senators, governors, and even a President.) Or they hunt black people in Mississippi. Or they join hate groups and infiltrate police ranks. Or they become Senators, Congressmen, Police officers, and have all of these prejudices and pass laws to “control blacks”. These politicians aren’t feared like the cops are, but they are the ones that facilitate the means for the boys in blue to be monsters in the black neighborhood. They pass drug laws because drugs make Blacks think they are as good as whites. Because it’s more than blacks being portrayed as less than human, it’s about blacks being portrayed as problems. The problem is “they want our women”, see birth of a nation, the problem is they are taking over the country see the Charleston shooter, the problem is they aren’t capable of greatness see every whitewashed Egyptian/biblical film.

Now to the work. See the call for justice in cases of police brutality against minorities, is really a call to just say, hey you can’t do this and get away with it. This is very important to note because we haven’t even gotten to the point where people are saying stop doing it. It’s just being asked that those who do it pay for it so that maybe, others won’t do the same.

It’s about changing the culture, changing society, it’s hard and easy at the same time. All it would take are classes that are taken seriously, changes in media to reflect the diversity of character that a group of people truly can encompass. How many more people have to die before our humanity is recognized and respected? It’s been going on for too long, the stakes are high and there are solutions, but who’s listening? At this point it probably doesn’t matter, it seems Black America is demanding a change and an impasse will come, the result of it, is up to all of us who refuse to give in to the boogeyman.

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Sources: FBI, Society Pages, NY times, Gawker, LA times, Youtube.

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The New York City International Film Festival 6/13/2013-6/20/2013

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Please pardon the quick advertisement for something near and dear to me. For quite some time now I’ve been volunteering my spare time with the New York City International Film Festival(NYCIFF). I went from just hoping to get to watch a few cool indie movies to helping with advertising, sponsorship requests, and being one of the primary operators of Israel day.

So now that you know my connection to this great event, let me explain to you about what’s going on. From 6/13/2013 through 6/20/2013 the NYCIFF will have different days dedicated to different international interests. All of the movies that have been chosen to screen are amazing. I’ve had the privilege of watching all of them and they definitely will not disappoint even the toughest of critics. With a wide variety of genres and topics tackled by extremely talented film makers there will be something for everyone. Not to mention the amazing locations that they will be screened at including the historic MIST theater in Harlem and the Tribeca Cinemas!

Special guests will include Danny Glover and Al Sharpton, Tom Murrow, Michal Yannai, and more!

So if you’re anywhere near New York City in the following week, do yourself a favor and get tickets to the best international film festival in the north, NYCIFF.

Visit the website here at www.NYCIFF.com

We hope to see you there!

Thanks you guys

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

48 hour film festival completed Film title: Aphrodite’s Arrow

So the film festival was a success! We successfully created a great short film titled “Aphrodite’s Arrow”. Let’s go through the past 48 hours with Team Wiseguy Industries!

Kickoff

At the Kickoff
Team Wiseguy Industries at the Kickoff

So the kickoff was at on Waverly place. My behind the scenes team got there early and waited around for the drawing where we would receive our genre. My actors were waiting by the phone to hear what we’d be doing. This was everybody’s first time participating in the 48 hour film festival and we were all excited to see what we would create under the pressure. The genre we would randomly pick would be the entire basis of this 4-7 minute movie that we were to write,shoot,edit, and score in 48 hours. They called us by groups and when it was our turn I went up representing the team and drew ROMANCE. Romance? I was hoping for dark comedy or sci-fi and I get romance? Well the good thing about that is romance can also be a dark comedy or sci-fi! So immediately my mind and my co writer’s mind(Dave Carlson) starts racing. We had to stick around because we were still waiting on the prop, line of dialogue, and character that they assign everyone to put in their movie.

The prop ended up being a trophy, the character was Cat or Cam dean, and the line of dialogue was “when do you expect her?” At that point my team and I split ways to get everything in order and do our parts! The race was on!

WRITING

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Dave and I immediately went to this tea cafe down the street to set up the laptop and start spit-balling ideas. We came up with several really great ideas and it was pretty hard to narrow them down. Honestly we’ll probably end up shooting at least two of the ideas we came up with. In the end it came down to what would be the best film to shoot for the situation that would still give us the best movie. I believe we made the right choice. Soon the tea cafe closed and we set out looking for another place to write with an outlet because my computer shuts off if its not plugged in. About thirty minutes later we were in a diner cranking out a script. We worked out dialogue and character motivations/archs and finally at exactly 12 o’clock got the script finished, we sent it out to all the actors and set up a call time for 7 the next morning.

THE SHOOT

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Time to get into my director’s chair! But like the guy said at the kickoff, “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” I got an email from an actress that said she was sick and couldn’t do it, one of my actors got lost on the way to the shoot, we ended up having to make a few changes to get the first scene shot but honestly I believe it was for the best. However in waiting the first scene ended up taking WAY longer than expected, which would be the case for the rest of the day. One of the actresses had to go to another performance during the day so we left the first location and began setting up in the second. Apparently in my house the a/c decides when it wants to work, and I guess when there’s a house full of bustling film makers with 10000 degree lights, well that just isn’t a good time for it (now its working wonderfully by the way.) So we’re all in there sweating like, oh I don’t know, some animal that sweats a lot and we have to keep wiping the sweat off the actors for the scenes. Then someone doesn’t show up, great, because the other actress has ANOTHER performance so when people don’t show up it REALLY messes with our deadline. However even this we got through but instead of being done at 7 like we were supposed to be, we weren’t done until about 12:00. Right, so now its time to run this out to our editors, composer, and audio guys.

POST

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It took me about an hour to get it out there. Everybody in the house had a setup. Music was being composed in one room, video was being edited in another, audio was being modified in a third. We turned in for the night around 2 in the morning and got up again at 7. This was it, the last day, we basically had it in the bag, the music was almost done, the audio was looking good and the video was in the correct order, just a few touches here and there. Well of course we didn’t actually have everything ready until about 6:30. We left the house with the intent on exporting it on the train. When we got on the train however, the Mac had other plans. We couldn’t find the files. So it wouldn’t export. Luckily I brought my dock with me and when we got to the bar we used an outlet to hook it up. We found the files and re-attached them and hit export. Hm interesting the export time says 10 minutes…and so does the official clock well isn’t that a coincidence.

It was now LITERALLY down to the wire. As it exported I paced back and forth, Damon did a chant over the computer.

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I kept checking the official time but it was hand and hand. As soon as it said less than a minute on the computer, they began counting down from ten.

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FINALLY it was done, we ejected the flash drive and ran it over to the table….at five seconds! After a HUGE sigh of relief we congratulated each other and I sent out the text to the team congratulating them as well on a job well done. We had a few mishaps, mostly people not showing up or calling out last second but all in all it was one of the best experiences of my life. I feel the entire team has grown so much just over these 48 hours. Hopefully we’ll get back together soon to make something great! I’m so thankful for all of the people who joined up with the Wiseguy industries team on this, you’re the best team I could’ve asked for thanks for helping make this dream a reality!

Brian Bell(that’s me!)-Team leader, Director,Writer,Producer

Dave Carlson-Assistant Director,Writer

Douglas Guerra-Director of Photography

Mike Sayre-Composer

Damon Griffin-Editor

Roy Scandela-Actor

Shuiken Chan-Actress

Bill Sullivan-Actor

Samira Gibson-Actor

Jahim Henry-Actor

Fransisco Gregory-Actor

Natalie Harris-Actress

Courtney Harris-Actress

Thanks in advanced for all of you talented, driven people!

If you are in the NYC area check out the screenings! Team Wiseguy Industries will not, I repeat WILL NOT disappoint!

We are in group E which screens June 9th at 6:00 pm

Cantor Film Center, 36 East Eighth Street, New York, NY 10003

Come by and see the movie Aphrodite’s Arrow!

Thanks everyone again!

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

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48 Hour Film project

Well its Thursday! I’m currently headed to a meeting to get the rest of the paperwork from everyone. I’ll be updating the blog with pictures from the set over the weekend but I won’t have time for any actual articles and may be to worn out to make any Sunday night for Monday. However the funny pictures are still coming and I will see you guys no later than Tuesday! Wish us luck! Team Wiseguy OUT!

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IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT Movie review: On the Waterfront

“I coulda been a Contendah!” For me this is THE call of the downhearted, hopeless, and regret filled man. This is a classic line from the classic film “On The Waterfront” starring Marlon Brando. Terry(Brando) is a small time dock worker who is the younger brother of the accountant of the mob leader. The mafia runs the docks dolling out work to those who they feel are falling in line and removing those that don’t. Everything’s going pretty well for Terry, his connection to his brother helps him get consistent work and eventually a lofty position as a guy who does nothing but gets paid…pretty sweet. However, ever since his unwitting aide in the murder of Joey Doyle, Terry’s been thinking about his turns in life. He meets Joey Doyle’s sister and as usual the woman throws everything out of balance. She is bent on finding her brother’s murderer, putting Terry in a strange predicament that ultimately changes his life.

This is a great story of redemption, sacrifice, struggle, love, anger, and finally justice. This film takes you down several different roads of emotion and really delivers in its ending scene when you realize that Terry was meant to be more than just a Contender.

Marlon Brando turns in another amazing performance and he has great help from Eva Marie Saint playing the sister and Brando’s love interest. Everyone in this film did a tremendous job portraying their characters and above all making them very believable. The direction was also superb and everything came together beautifully to make an amazing experience.

If you haven’t watched this film do yourself a favor, ignore that its in black in white, (I know they lived like cavemen back then!) and watch it. One of the best films I’ve ever seen!

Here’s the complete cast and crew as listed on Internet Movie Database
Directed by
Elia Kazan

Writing credits
Budd Schulberg (screenplay)

Budd Schulberg (based upon an original story by)

Malcolm Johnson (suggested by articles by)

Cast (in credits order) verified as complete

Marlon Brando … Terry Malloy

Karl Malden … Father Barry

Lee J. Cobb … Johnny Friendly

Rod Steiger … Charley Malloy
Pat Henning … Kayo Dugan

Leif Erickson … Glover
James Westerfield … Big Mac
Tony Galento … Truck
Tami Mauriello … Tillio
John F. Hamilton … ‘Pop’ Doyle (as John Hamilton)
John Heldabrand … Mott
Rudy Bond … Moose
Don Blackman … Luke
Arthur Keegan … Jimmy
Abe Simon … Barney

Eva Marie Saint … Edie Doyle
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Martin Balsam … Gillette (uncredited)
Dan Bergin … Sidney (uncredited)
Zachary Charles … Dues Collector (uncredited)
Jere Delaney … Bit Part (uncredited)
Robert Downing … Bit (uncredited)

Michael V. Gazzo … Bit (uncredited)

Fred Gwynne … Slim (uncredited)
Thomas Handley … Tommy Collins (uncredited)
Anne Hegira … Mrs. Collins (uncredited)

Pat Hingle … Jocko (uncredited)

Scottie MacGregor … Mother of a Longshoreman (uncredited)
Barry Macollum … Johnny’s Banker (uncredited)
Tiger Joe Marsh … Longshoreman (uncredited)
Edward McNally … Bit Part (uncredited)
Mike O’Dowd … Specs (uncredited)

Nehemiah Persoff … Cab Driver (uncredited)
Johnny Seven … Longshoreman (uncredited)

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Brian Bell

48 hour film festival Official!

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It’s official. Wiseguy Industries is in the 48 hour film festival thanks to sponsorship by The Home Medical Supply store!

We look forward to uploading the trailer to this very blog on June 2nd right after we drop off the video to the judges! The next week they will be screening our film and I hope some of my readers in the New York area will attend to see that we can do more than just talk about movies, we can make them, in less than 48 hours!

We have our whole team together from Directors to PAs and everything in between. Amazing actors have signed on, some I’ve worked with before, and others that have been recommended. This will be 48 hours of struggle but at the end I know we will have a film worth watching again and again!

Date 6/7/13 6/8/13, 6/9/13
Time 6p, 8p, 6p, 8p, 7p
Place Cantor Film Center, 36 East Eighth Street, New York, NY 10003