By: Raquel Deloatch
Keith Laken Powell is an exceptional director and storyteller. He currently has two films playing on Seven Clubs TV platforms, ( Hussle Game and Something in VA). He is currently planning to release three more titles before the year is over. Raised in South Boston, VA by his grandmother when his parents broke up. There is where he developed a passion for creativity. As a child, Keith was fascinated with toy figures and sticks, creating stories and characters with his imagination.
How did people first respond when you told them you wanted to make movies?
People thought I was crazy and told me I would never make movies. I started by making short skits to learn my craft.
When did you shoot your first feature?
2017 I made the Rise of the KryptTaker. However Stay Woke is my favorite film, but couldn’t distribute the fan film because of the horror characters I had in it like Freddy Krueger Michael Myers Jason and Candy Man.
How did you come up with the idea of developing Hussle Game and Something in Virginia?
I was shooting them at the same time. Hussle Game took longer to shoot because it had more locations. It took me 6 months to complete Hussle Game because I wanted to have it finished before the NBA basketball playoffs. After all, I knew people would watch the Hussle Game. Something In Virginia had two main locations and I shot it in 2 days. The idea behind Something In Virginia was when I was on a set and noticed an actor who owned a realistic wolfman costume.
Shooting in 5 days or less has allowed me to keep the creative momentum and build a library of films. My strategy is to keep releasing good movies and build an audience and fan base around the world that recognizes my cast and me.
That is fantastic that you shot a feature in two days. Tyler Perry gets a lot of negative slack because he can shoot a motion picture in five days. However, what people don’t know in early Hollywood filmmakers were shooting motion pictures in 7 days or less. The first black singing cowboy movie “ Harlem on The Prairie “starring Herb Jefferies was shot in seven days. And they were shooting on film.
What is your screenwriting process?
I develop an outline of a story and write up a Scenario Script then allow my actors to have creativity in the projects by improving their own dialogue that makes sense with the scene.
I have built a small community of 30 actors that I work with to make moviesKeith Lakean Powell
What is your casting process?
During the audition process, I describe a scene and see how they ab-lib interpret each scene. If they are good at ab-libbing and can identify with the character, they are offered the role. If not, I move on to another candidate.
What is your process of working with actors preparing them for a role without a solid script?
I call each actor up individually and we discuss each scene. If we are shooting a scene and I am not happy with their improvisation I will give them dialogue to build on the scene.
I noticed you have a group of actors that have worked on several of your movies.
Yes, I have built a small community of 30 actors that I work with to make movies. We are working together to advance our careers. In addition, I am always working with new actors who are seeking opportunities. In addition, I am always working with new actors who are seeking an opportunity that they normally would not have.
Did you start oﬀ as an actor or director?
I really wanted to be an actor and became a director, screenwriter, editor, and cinematographer out of necessity. I wanted an opportunity to be a lead actor in movies which prompted me to produce and direct my own films.
How do you fund your productions?
I self ﬁnance all my productions and I own my equipment. I work a full-time job and shoot movies on the weekends.
I had a conversation with a ﬁlmmaker who eloquently linked ﬁlmmaking to a gambling addiction. What are your thoughts on that statement?
I agree. You have to love making movies. Although things have changed since I signed on with Filmhub to handle the distribution of
my ﬁlms. It is not like I am making millions of dollars however the money I earn on Filmhub allows me to reinvest in other projects to continue to grow as a filmmaker.
How many feature ﬁlms have you shot and released?
I have shot over 20 ﬁlms, however, I currently have ﬁve titles on Filmhub. And I currently have three in post-production awaiting to pass Filmhubs’s QC process.
Are you happy with Filmhub?
Yes, I am. They pay me monthly. The biggest obstacle I had to overcome with Filmhub was passing their QC requirements.
What platforms are your titles on?
Seven Clubs TV, Tubi, Plex, Amazon Prime, Cinverse, Herogo, Box Brazil, Mometu, Reel Tv, Revel OTT Studio, and Onyx Streaming Channel.
What is your top-grossing title?
So far, Hussle Game has generated the most income.
How do you market your ﬁlms?
We all ( cast/crew) pitch in to promote the ﬁlms on social media. Of course, you will have one actor who will disappear and not help promote after the ﬁlm is completed. However, I explain to the actors to tell share an article, poster image, etc with friends and family. At the end of the day, it is helping all of our careers.
Are your productions union or non-union?
All my productions are non-union.
What is your ultimate goal with a ﬁlmmaker?
I want to be known internationally as an actor/ director. And I would love the opportunity to act in a major Hollywood production and win an Oscar.
What’s are the names of the titles you are expecting to release later this year?
Beware of Paul Pry, Celebrity Fever, and Number 1 Fan.