Spotlight on Ohlone:
Ohlone professor makes film debut

By Anna Alfafara, Staff writer.

Thursday, February 26, 2009—Reprinted from Monitor.

Living in West Oakland means there are many dark and troublesome days to overcome. In a movie entitled, “Everyday Black Man” a man, named Moses, is a reluctant hero who has done exactly that. His past has shaped his approach to the world with the self-imposed responsibility of fixing the community saying “I’ma fix everything.”

Man looking at sky with light shadowing his face.Screenshot from the Everyday Black Man website (www.everydayblackman.com).

The creator of this film, Carmen Madden, an English teacher at Ohlone, showed the movie’s trailer on Thursday, Feb. 19, in Building 1 to a small group of students. She explained her experiences of making the film and all the time and planning that went into it.

Madden had a final script and started creating the film, then bringing together a cast. Madden used to run a training school, which made it easier to cast the film.

Because of the limited amount of funds, scenes were deleted or touched up to eliminate factors such as location and setting props, that would be very expensive to get.

In making the film, she learned the value of time and that there would be a lot of obstacles that she will encounter. One of her obstacles includes location. “You’re shooting based on the location you have to work with.”

Madden also didn’t expect the obstacle of when her main actor got sick and he couldn't on set for a few days. They had to send the main actor to the hospital, which stopped production for a couple of days.

The job of making a film requires long hours. “You get up at the crack of dawn or you sometimes don’t go to bed until the crack of dawn,” said Madden.

Her plan for circulation is a film festival, with the requirement that there may be no circulation of the film allowed until after festivals. Madden is also trying to arrange a viewing of the film at Ohlone. After she is done with this film, she plans to move onto another film called “Shadow Fight.”

Madden hopes her film will do well, however, she doesn’t want to sell the movie to a studio because they tend to require more of the profits, so she prefers smaller distributors.

One of the students asked what Madden hopes the viewers would get out of the movie. Madden replied “with the hope that people will take it upon themselves to improve their communities; to start discussing ways to revitalize hope within their communities.”

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