Reginald Hudlin Interviews Denys Cowan On The Importance Of Education!
Denys Cowan and I attended an education conference given by Black Enterprise and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. ProfessU, one of the attendees, wanted to interview us, so I took the mike and interviewed Denys about his educational background. The results may not be what he had in mind when he asked us to do it, but it was still very interesting.
Miles And Me
Me with Miles Davis’ ex-wife Frances. My wife met her years ago and she kept her fascinated with great stories from her life. She danced with the great Kathrine Dunham, who changed our families’ life as well.
The Davis family hosted a small exhibition of Miles Davis’ art at a gallery in Los Angeles to celebrate the publication of a coffee table book of his work.
The art was cool, with music spun by the son of Stanley Clarke. I kicked with Vince Wilburn, Miles’ nephew and a bandleader his self; Nas, who calmly told a hear-wrenching story of owning and losing an original piece of Miles’ art; and some folks who know my mom, because everywhere I go in LA I meet people who love my mom. She has a busier social life than me.
Nas, Vince Wilburn, Miles’ son Erin Davis. Vince grew up in East St. Louis too.
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.
Reggie At The DGA
Fresh from moderating the DGA tribute to John Singleton, here I am having an off the record conversation with the DGA African American Steering Committee. In the photo is Carl Seaton, Oz Scott, yours truly, Jeff Byrd, Abdul Malik Abbott and DGA President Paris Barclay.
DGA members Carl Weathers, Dwight Williams and Craig Ross Jr. When Apollo Creed gives you a compliment, your day is made. Dwight Williams is a legend in the business…he not only had nice things to say, but incredible stories that inspired me. Craig is true independent who keeps making films. What a great way to spend an afternoon!
Here’s the DGA description of the event:
A Conversation with Reginald Hudlin
July 13, 2013
The African American Steering Committee (AASC) hosted a conversation with Director/Producer Reginald Hudlin following their regular monthly meeting in the Los Angeles Boardroom on July 13.
Although known as the director of features such as House Party and Boomerang, the main topic of discussion was Hudlin’s work as a producer on Quentin Tarantino’s controversial feature Django Unchained.
In the film, a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) with the help of a German bounty hunter (Christophe Waltz). Django Unchained earned multiple honors including an Academy Award nomination for “Best Picture,” a “Best Supporting Actor” Oscar for Waltz, and a “Best Original Screenplay” Oscar for Tarantino.
Hudlin sat down with Director/AASC Co-Chair Carl Seaton, (One Week, Of Boys and Men) who moderated a conversation that explored the challenges of making the film, the controversy surrounding its subject matter, and the global success of Django Unchained.
In addition to the aforementioned features, Hudlin’s directing filmography includes the feature films The Great White Hype, Serving Sara, and The Ladies Man; as well as episodes of television series such as Bones, Modern Family, The Office, The Bernie Mac Show, and Everybody Hates Chris.
Hudlin has been a member of the DGA since 1991.
San Diego Comic-Con 2013
This is me and the hilarious, inventive and hard working Orlando Jones at the annual Black Panel. People were really coveting my custom, limited edition Milestone shirt.
I wasn’t on the panel this year so I got to sit next to friend and Hidden Beach Records owner Steve McKeever and enjoy the show. With hilarity from Orlando Jones AND Wayne Brady, and deep insights from the brilliant artist Ken Lashley, it was the best black panel ever.
Even though I was not scheduled to be on the panel, Orlando sent a DJANGO question my way since I was in the audience. I was asked if DJANGO will change Hollywood’s attitude about films with black heroes.
The panel immediately following was the 20th Anniversary tribute to Milestone. Here is a awesome piece of art by John Jennings.
I was the moderator of the Milestone Panel. But the panel started with the Milestone founders Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle and Michael Davis getting Inkpot Awards from the San Diego Comicon. It was a pretty magical moment.
Here’s Denys with his Inkpot Award in one hand, and a fan-made Hardware helmet in the other.
Here are the surviving Milestone founders Michael, Derek and Denys with their awards. My line of questions about the early days of Milestone actually made Michael cry, which shocked EVERYONE who knows him.
Here’s Ken Lashley with actor and voiceover king Phil LaMarr, who is the voice of Static Shock, among a million other jobs.
Here I am (with my Got Funk shirt gifted from Bootsy himself) with amazing artist Shawn Martinborough.
After talking with Marvel Editor In Chief Axel Alonso at the Marvel party the night before, I accepted his invitation to crash the John Romita Jr tribute panel. Axel himself moderated the discussion with the defining Marvel artist, and penciller on the first six issues of BLACK PANTHER. Here I am with Axel, JR Jr, and brilliant inker Klaus Jansen. Sorry for the soft focus on the picture, but that’s because we all felt warm and fuzzy.
Me And JJ Abrams At The Producerâ€™s Guild Conference
Because of my work on DJANGO UNCHAINED, I am a member of the Producer’s Guild, which makes me very proud. What made me prouder was JJ Abrams asking me to interview him for his appearance at the PGA’s “Produced By…” conference.
I asked JJ the questions I wanted to know, like how, as a devoted dad, he balanced work and home life, and how he decided which projects to take on. I also wondered what he learned from two parents in the business.
Before the session, I got a haircut. When they found out where I was going, they insisted that I ask whether the new STAR WARS movie would use material from the “extended universe” novels. JJ said the question was beneath me, and wondered what kind of barbershop I am going to. But between debating Kobe vs. MJ and Ghostface vs. Tupac, such conversation did take place and I had to represent. No answer was forthcoming. Still, a good time was had by all.
Miles 20 Years Later
This is not from the LA show, but this gives a fraction of the feeling of the night.
Miles left the planet 20 years ago, but his music, his cultural affect continues. Three of his alumni, Marcus Miller, Herbie Hancock (lot of alliteration there) and Wayne Shorter teamed up and did a series of concerts celebrating his music. Since Miles didn’t look back, they turned the music inside out and arranged as the soundtrack to Miles’ dreams.
After going backstage, I was leaving with my man Steve McKeever and said I had never met Herbie Hancock. Steve said he’s never taken a picture with him. So we went back to fix both those mistakes.
Herbie was lovely and we got the dope picture with Herbie and Marcus in the shot. Niiiice, real nice.
John Singleton Tribute At The DGA
Speaking of John Singleton, John asked me to moderate a discussion with him about his work in a star studded tribute to his career. As John said, it was like our conversations in the parking lot of Golden Apple Comics, but now with a audience of hundreds watching.
I got a lot of great emails from people who enjoyed our comfort with each other along with our different styles.
Enter The Dragon 40th Anniversary
The Academy had a special screening of ENTER THE DRAGON with key surviving cast and crew present. They told great stories, then we watched the movie again…which I had not seen in its entirely since I was a kid.
Damn it holds up! What a great time! It is lean and mean as a mug!
Afterwards we enjoyed the amazing exhibit of classic kung fu movie posters donated to the Motion Picture Academy by Stephen Chin.
Here’s a picture of Selwyn Hines with John Singleton and his son, who is now a student at USC.
Back On The Fantastic Voyage!
Jamie Foxx kicked it off with a variety show of a performance with music and comedy guest stars ranging from Jay Anthony Brown, Guy Torry and Kym Whitley to Tank, Little Kim, Biz Markie and Trey Songz. He seamlessly weaves comedy and music together like no one else.
Jamie is a world class total entertainer and a great guy on top of it. Afterwards, Tom Joyner told me he didn’t expect Jamie to do all that, and we didn’t know how any other act could follow him.
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