By Charles Fisher and Randy Fisher @HHSYC

Question & Answer Interview With Up and Coming Film Executive Winsome Lennon

FUTURE FILM PROJECTS INCLUDE:
You Winsome – You Lose Some; The FUBU Story; The Prince of Harlem

Recently we caught up with film writer and the CEO of Best Films Financial, LLC Winsome Lennon and make no doubt about it after years of planning, learning the craft and hard work, she is poised to make her mark in the film industry. This is what she had to say about a host of upcoming projects that have a lot of potential to be a success.

Question:  Where were you born and raised?

A-I was born in Jamaica – the tropical island.  My family lived in an apartment in Paterson, New Jersey.  They worked 2 jobs and lots of overtime.  Four years would pass before they were finally able to make a down payment on a house.  Today I live in Mahwah, New Jersey, which is only a few minutes away from New York.

Question:  Give us some history of your Educational and Film background.

WinsomeSource1A–I graduated with honors from Passaic County College with a major in Computing and Information Systems and a minor in Business Administration.  Afterwards, I went on to Rutgers University.  The sensible side of me that needed to pay bills decided to work full-time as a Computer Programmer, even though I didn’t really like my job.  As luck would have it, I found some extra work as a Computer Software Trainer.  I became so good at training that I started my own company.

Even though I had a successful company, I couldn’t shake the artistic bug.  Therefore, I wrote a children’s book, performed on stage, appeared in infomercials and independent films, did voice-overs, wrote short comedic sketches for clients, and wrote a comedic screenplay.  Being a writer was my goal, but I wanted to see how the entire process came together and learn the intricacies of filmmaking.  For months, I researched schools until I found a program at the New York Film Academy (NYFA).

After completing my courses at NYFA, I acquired a Film agent that also employed me for over 4 years.  Some of my duties involved reading scripts, assisting in contacting celebrity agents, reviewing headshots, helping with breakdowns, etc.  Writing is an art and I enjoy this immensely.  My experience as a business owner definitely helps when dealing with the business side of the film industry and my employment with my agent has given me the skills I need to win in the film industry.  I’m also a member of the Nassau County Film & Youth Advisory Council and will use my knowledge in the industry to mentor other inspiring young citizens.

Question:  How did you get started in the Film industry?

WinsomeSource2A–After film school, and getting an agent, and getting experience as an Agent’s Assistant, I did a little “Stand Up Comedy.”  I wanted to get my timing right for my comedic scripts and if nothing else, it would serve as a great conversation piece.  I remember the most embarrassing night was when I did a skit on the experience I had when a senior citizen did my makeup at a department store, and I ended up looking like an angry drag queen.  It was a very light night as far as attendance at the comedy club.  The room was filled with senior citizens who came to see their friend perform.  Oh and they did not appreciate my senior citizen jokes at all.

The story was a fun “ice breaker” when talking with my friends at the studio or attending different networking events.  What really launched my career though, was when an acquaintance from a studio session referred me to a friend, who knew a manager in entertainment.  From day one we got along.  I thought highly of the work he did with children and he admired my work ethics.  Since then, I’ve done some writing for both he and some up-and-coming people from the studio.

Question:  Tell me about your company and what projects you are working on.

A–The name of my company is Best Films Financial, LLC and it was established in August 2009.  Currently, we are in talks about funding the first of ten projects on our “To Do” list.  It is a PG-Rated comedy entitled You Winsome – You Lose Some.”  As our story opens, in her haste, Winsome mistakenly signs a project agreement with a company, but all of her efforts fail as she tries to get out of the contract.  Finally, she is offered a way out.  All she has to do is travel by plane to fetch her boss who has been detained by the authorities.  Her boss is having a midlife crisis and cannot prove his identity because he lost his paperwork.  Though Winsome suffers from air sickness, she takes on the challenge anyway.  Unfortunately, she mistakenly overdoses on air sickness medications and suffers temporary side effects which include temporary blindness.  Lots of comedic situations that personally happened to me are included in this fun-filled story.

FUBUpic4

Daymond John of FUBU

FUBUpic1

J. Alexander Martin of FUBU

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Next on our agenda is the screenplay, “The FUBU Story” – the account of Daymond John, J. Alexander Martin, Keith Perrin and Carl Brown – four urban trendsetters who changed the world of fashion when they created the internationally known clothing line named FUBU (meaning For Us By Us).  At a time when there were no African-American owned fashion companies, these gentlemen secured their place in history when sales soared from $80,000 to $300 Million in two years, and they earned the title of “The fastest growing Minority Company in the United States.”

We are also excited about the biographical screenplay entitled, “The Prince of Harlem,” which highlights Lonnie Youngblood, who worked with the legendary Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970).  Lonnie was also friends with gangster Frank Lucas, and he was in jail with Watergate’s E. Howard Hunt (1918-2007).  Lonnie tells personal stories of fame, betrayal, drug addiction and crime.  He also shares stories of his experiences at The Apollo Theatre and The Cotton Club where he performed in the same shows with many artists such as B.B. King (“Lucille”), Jackie Wilson (“Lonely Teardrops”), and Tito Puente (the legendary Latin percussionist).

Question:  How tough is the Film industry?

A–There are times I just wanted to take my ball and go home.  Other times, I’ve called up my friends saying, “You need to come get me NOW, and be prepared to bring me a change of clothes and some bail money!”  My friends laugh hysterically because yes, apparently I’m much funnier when I’m having a nervous breakdown.  This work can be exasperating, heart-wrenching, back breaking, frustrating, inspiring, fulfilling, and so very rewarding.  Have I ever given up?  Of course I have.  But for those times I did give up, I only gave up pursuing the avenue in which to get my writing and screenplay on camera.  Never have I ever given up on the actual writing process.

Let’s not candy-coat it.  I’ve met my share of let’s say “those who’ve misrepresented themselves”, “those with larger than life egos”, and “those who could possibly be classified as con artists.”  Even when you’re fortunate enough to eventually find a group you want to work with, there are creative differences and personality clashes.  It’s a learning process.  But I’ve also been fortunate enough to have met some very creative, talented, dedicated, and hard-working people.  Those are the people that make it all worthwhile and those are the people I still keep in contact with today.

Question:  What are your goals?

A–My goal is to make at least one film per year and do them all very well.  These include Biographies, Comedies, Mystery/Suspense, Fantasy, and Children’s Animation.  We are not about just doing a couple of movies.  This is a long-term commitment from which we want to establish long-term relationships with our clients.  We want our investors to feel that Best Films Financial, LLC is synonymous with trust, professionalism, and those attributes that would make anyone proud to be associated with our company.

Question: What is your worst experience in the industry?

A–The worst experience in the industry was when my former agent called me  “Colored Girl.  You brush off ignorant comments from other people.  But, it’s different when it comes from a woman who used to tell you how much she loved and appreciated you, and that you were like the daughter she never had.  Wow, that really hurt.

FUBUpic3

Keith Perrin of FUBU

FUBUpic2

Carl Brown of FUBU

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Question:  Give me your thoughts on the FUBU Film Project.

A–What an inspiration.  The FUBU Story is a motivational experience not only for young people, but for all those who dare to dream.  It’s a privilege to write about such an historical event.  Daymond, J. Alexander, Keith and Carl are different in character but their personalities complement each other.  In the interview process with each member, I went through an array of emotions.  There were times when their stories were intense and captivating.  Other times the stories were sad, touching, full of action or loaded with comedy.  Wow!  By the time the interviews were over, I was emotionally exhaustedThe movie will appeal to people of all ages and I’m looking at a 2015 summer release.

Question:  What words of wisdom do you have for those looking to secure a career in Film?

A–I wish I could leave you with something profound.  Instead I’ll give you something heartfelt.  Tell the story for the love of the craft.  Tell the story for the love of the people that support you.  It is so worth it.  Every experience is a stepping stone.  Sometimes you’ll need to pause, stop, start over, or do a little housekeeping to weed out those who would damage your career and/or your reputation.  Surround yourself with those who take pride in their work, and do the best job possible even if you think no one will notice – someone always notices.

Also, if you have an idea, write it down.  It doesn’t have to be constructed properly and it doesn’t have to have all the details.  That will come later.  Start with either the synopsis or the story.  In the end, just make sure your story supports the details of the synopsis in its entirety.

Question:  How does someone get in touch with you if they want to know more about your projects?

A–For those interested in working, investing or starring in our first-rate films, we can be reached at:

Email: [email protected]

For further information on future film projects by Best Films Financial, LLC hit us up at: [email protected]