Faith to Produce | Shaundraey E. Carmichael
I never imagined a time where so many women are passionately and fearlessly curating careers and narratives the way they are now. The female Millennial population are blessed with something so extraordinary. I grew up with women that I admired for sure. There were women making history in the 80's and 90's no doubt. But there is something different about the times now. Your everyday woman has the potential and resource to inspire and connect with other women, while in pursuit of their passions all around the country and world. There are free resources out there that we can all take advantage of - if we have the courage and determination to do so. However, it's the personal connection and insight to be that, that is so great.
I can find women from all walks of life, trying to make a career out of their passion(s) for themselves in their own way. When you find out that these women are in the same genre/field you are - it just makes that connection even greater. Being on social media now has allowed me to not only connect with new women but also women from my past and childhood. And Shaundraey is definitely one of those women.
Shaundraey E. Carmichael, is a fellow Warrior alum and Atlanta, GA, native with a passion for Film and T.V. After working in marketing management and public relations for years, she finally decided to start her own production company "Berlezraelette Productions". Since then she has produced the film " The Games That Children Play" and a supernatural thriller series called "Clairvoyance the Ellis Files". Shaundraey is another multi-talented woman forging a place for herself in an industry that hasn't welcomed women in this light. A light that women are now demanding. I have been watching and liking from afar all the wonderful and inspiring moves she has been making in the last 7 years, since she started her production company. I have no doubt that she is one, you would want to keep on your radar.
I am looking forward to the variety, us as women (goddesses) has to offer in our respective fields. For, we all have something unique and different. Something for everyone to choose from, which gives us the opportunity to support and celebrate each other's individuality. So, I had to hit up my fellow classmate for an official interview. Check it out below!
1. Were you named after someone? I was named after my grandmother. I have her middle name. Her name was Elizabeth Gay.
2. How did you get involved with film? I got involved in film by stepping out on faith. I decided to write, direct, produce a film with my friend Dominque Williams (She is a North Atlanta Alumna 2001 graduate) in 2012. We were submitting our head shots to become extras in the film industry and eventually work our way up to principal roles and then get into the production side of things. We never received any call backs for our submissions, so, we decided to write a short film. The short film was never produced. Instead, I decided to write my first feature film titled "The Games That Children Play".
3. What or Who inspired you? When I was working at the APEX MUSEUM as an intern eventually became a full-time employee the owner of the Apex Museum Dan Moore Sr. asked me what were my long-term career goals. I told him I wanted to pursue a career in film that included writing, directing, and producing. Dan Moore Sr. pushed me and advised to film my first film. He said the best way to do it is to cast up and coming actors and provide them with copy, credit and food, and also give the actors footage for their reel. Promote the film and the actors as a big Hollywood production company would do. I was also inspired by Wes Craven, Alfred Hitchcock, Dario Argento Stephen King, Sean Cunningham, Dino De Laurentis, Don Coscarelli. George A Romero and John Carpenter.
4. What did you want to be when you were a child? When I was a child I wanted to be an actress on the soap opera All My Children and write children’s books.
5. What were you doing before you started officially pursuing a career in Film/TV? I was working a Mass Comminutions student working as a curator for The APEX Museum and as a Call Center agent.
6. What has been the hardest part in developing and maintaining your career so far? The hardest part is seeking funding for my projects. My film genre as of now is Psychological Thriller Horror. The budget can be expensive because of VFX Make-up and locations, paying actors because as a film maker you do want to make your projects SAG because of incentives and to receive tax credits.
7. What would you tell your younger self when it comes to where you are now in life? I would tell my younger self not worry about what people say. You can find success at any age and not listen to society when it comes to being in your career the age of 26.
8. What do you want to be known for? I want to be known for my directing and writing style. It’s very old school like the films we saw as kids in the late 80’s.
9. How would you describe your style as a writer and producer? I would describe my writing style as Psychological Macabre Mystery Thriller. Macabre is a filming style and genre they used to describe American International Films and Hammer House Films back in the 70’s. My films are horror but not on the style of Slasher Films.
10. What have been 3 key points in branding yourself? Advertising, promoting my projects on all social media out lets and networking.
11. What advice would you give aspiring producers and writers? I advised them to step out on faith and produce a great project on little to no budget, film the first three pages of the script, or pick the best scenes to film to compose a trailer and use a crowd funding platform to raise money for their funds. Also, have fundraisers like a community fish fry, skate night at a local skating ring, or sale hot plates. I did all the above for my first film and I was very successful.
Now for some fun questions. 12. What is your favorite genre? My favorite genre is Psychological, Thriller, Horror. I like the shock value in those films. I like to be confused and try to figure out why the characters are so is diabolical.
13. What is your must have when you are in the studio or on location filming? I must have my pen, script, and storyboards along with my laptop. Bottled Water, a pack of gum and some hard candy.
14. What was it like for you, seeing your work featured/screened for the first time? It’s was a breath of fresh air because I'm seeing my characters come to life and performing the dialogue I wrote. I was in awe because the first scene I saw from my finished product was for my web series Clairvoyance: The Ellis Files. (2015) The actor Tony Vaughn from Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns TV Show portrayed the lead character’s father Marisa Ellis portrayed by Angelina Cortez. They were having a father daughter moment. I felt warm inside. I will never forget how I felt. I felt like I finally accomplished a project.
Checkout Shaundreay's Youtube Channel for her previous projects.
Games That Children Play Trailer 2014