Meet the creator Behind the Film: One Last Goodbye
Hey lovely people!
I'm so excited to have a guest on the blog this week! I met this amazing actress, filmmaker, director producer (Did I mention she's also a mom and wife?) last year over Instagram! (Thanks to @brazen_ari) for the connect! She has been a source of inspiration and encouragement to me as a fellow mom and woman of color in film with big ambitions.
Meet Latasha Kennedy
Actress, Writer, Producer, Director
Latasha Kennedy is a screenwriter, actress, producer, and filmmaker. Recent credits include For My Man (BET), I Dated a Psycho (Investigation Discovery), and Nightmare Next Door (Investigation Discovery). Latasha has also been afforded the opportunity to sing for two U.S. Presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, for special events including Kennedy Center Honors (CBS), Christmas in Washington (TNT), and We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration (HBO). Currently, she is developing content for television, film, and new media through her production company, LMK Entertainment Group. Her content is inspired by her esteem for fearless, young women on the rise, young families striving to raise next-generation leaders, and the African-American community at large.
Let's get into the interview!
How did you get started in acting and filmmaking?
I've been an artist since I was a child. I was super shy so my mom put me in dance and that was the beginning of my journey. I evolved as an artist throughout my childhood and young adulthood working in theatre, film, commercials, singing and modeling.
I've always created my own work. I wrote and directed plays for several years, and used the arts to incite conversations with other artists and the local communities about current issues impacting the culture at large. As my interest for digital media, tv and film increased, I decided to jump in and learn as much as I could in front and behind the camera. Once I'd learn a skill, I'd apply it. For instance, I wanted to be a skilled screenwriter, so I got coaches and took classes to help strengthen my craft. Two years ago, I produced a comedic short film called Meltdown that I wrote while I was pregnant with my second son. It was my love letter to moms who were struggling to find themselves, particularly their waistlines, after childbirth. I loved making that film, and learned so much in the process.
What inspired you to tell this particular story through film?
I was inspired to write One Last Goodbye after a friend of mine died by suicide. I was heartbroken when I found out, but I was also very concerned about her husband and what this loss would mean for him. So I started writing, and combined with my feelings due to loss and grief in my personal life, this film was created.
Why do you think the world needs to see this story?
I love that we're starting to have a conversation, especially in the black community, about mental health. But I also think we have to give attention to loss survivors who suffer from the trauma caused by their loved ones death by suicide. So we hope that this film will shed light on that experience, but will also give loss survivors hope in knowing that they're not alone.
I love that we're starting to have a conversation, especially in the black community, about mental health.
What have you learned through the process of raising funds so far?
Well raising funds can be fun, but it can also be challenging. There's a lot happening behind the scenes with my team to make compelling posts, and identify potential investors, sponsors and partners. We're currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Out the gate we did well, but the campaign stalled and it's been a little challenging to push it over that hump. But we're committed to every part of our process. We never stop, not until we're done.
What are your tips for other female filmmakers looking to get their movies made?
There are so many things to share:
Number one: write a film that you can make. Consider resources you have at your disposal, like a friend with a dope apartment or someone who owns a bar and would be willing to let you use it. I shot my first film in my home with a friend who was a director. Another friend knew someone with a catering business who was willing to donate meals for one day of shooting. Options like that will save you a lot of money.
Number one: write a film that you can make.
Next: while writing your film, share it with your followers on social media. Start a conversation about your piece even while you're writing it. You'll find that it offers another level of accountability and also creating helps you build the interest in your project.
Also, if you haven't already, build your tribe. You need people to help you so be willing to help and support others. Identify events, film shoots, workshops that you can attend to meet others and build relationships. Many dope folks currently on my team have known for me for only up to a year, and they've been extremely helpful and generous with their gifts and talents. So I implore you to get out there and feverishly share who you are with others to attract the tribe you ultimately need to create great work.
Build your tribe. You need people to help you so be willing to help and support others.
Lastly, I'll say that the most important thing you must do is quell the noise in your head that tells you that you can't do it. Do not compare yourself or your process with other people. But rather embrace your own journey and do your best as you take the next best step towards making the film that you want to make.
How can we get involved with helping you make this movie?
So many ways! You can support the campaign by donating.
If you cannot make a monetary contribution then we'd love for you to comment on our campaign page and share the campaign on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
We're also looking to partner with businesses and individuals who would like to offer services.
You can check out our website, lmkentertainmentgrp.com and follow us on social media to learn more about us and our film. Our social handles are:
- Twitter: @olgfilm
- Facebook: @onelastgoodbyefilm
- Instagram: @onelastgoodbyefilm
Please check out Latasha's campaign video for One Last Goodbye.