Michael “Boogie” Pinckney got his start over twelve years ago under the tutelage of filmmaker Spike Lee and soon joined The Director’s Guild of America. He has over ten years experience as an assistant director on films such as The 25th Hour, The Best Man and Inside Man. He won an award for Excellence in Media from the Black Men’s Film Conference for his HIV film “The Candy Store.” Pinckney is also the founder and managing editor of Black Noise Media, a full service production house based in NYC.
If you attended the ANF Frantic Film Screening on August 11th you were fortunate enough to catch the film “Gun Play” directed by Pinckney. We recently caught up with filmmaker to talk about his film and how he got his start.
What led you create Gun Play?
I was approached by the producer Taj Lewis on behalf of Goodwill to create a short film that would speak to the issues of young people and I thought gun violence was an important issue for young people.
How was the editing process of Gun Play? Was it difficult to omit certain scenes?
I actually hired an editor and then later decided to edit the film myself. I wanted an edgy film with a gritty and high contrast look. I also wanted the effect where the whole film is black and white with only the cool red and blue showing, that was the first time I attempted that effect.
What impact do you think this film will have on audiences at the screening?
I think it has a hard and real effect on audiences. I added the documentary element at the end for that effect.
One of your films jobs was being a PA for Spike Lee. How did you get the opportunity to work with Lee?
When I was a sophomore in college I was taking some workshops that Spike was giving and I met a few people from 40 Acres, his company. I was able to score an internship from there.
What was the best of piece of advice you received from Lee?
Spike told me if I wanted to direct films I should go make a film
You've worked on many films, Malcolm X, The Best Man, Inside Man, which set gave you the most hands on experience?
Inside Man was a film I had the most creative input on. As an assistant director you’re given a lot of responsibly. But being that I had worked with Spike for over 10 years he puts a lot of trust in me.
What inspired you to create your production company Black Noise Media?
I created Black Noise Media to develop and shoot content I felt wasn't being produced by Hollywood.
You served as producer on the film Spare Change, which just premiered at the NY Latino Film Festival, How did you get involved with project?
With regard to Spare Change I knew the writer/director. She was an actor in my film You're Nobody Til Somebody Kills You. She called about a script she wrote and wanted to direct. She asked me to be a part of the project and help her make the film. I liked the script and saw how passionate she was about it and I came aboard.
What can you tell us about your first feature You're Nobody Til' Somebody Kills You?
You're Nobody Til Somebody Kills You is a feature film I wrote and directed. Spike Lee Executive produced the film and it's about a serial killer targeting rappers.
Congratulations on being tapped to pen the Bobby Brown biopic! How did that come about?
An actor friend of mine is friends with Bobby and they were talking about a movie being made on his life and my friend told him he should talk to me about it. So we all talked and I started researching and writing the script.
How would you best describe your writing style? And what advice can you give to writers struggling to complete a project?
My writing style is very mechanical. I breakdown the whole story idea and location and character breakdown before I actually start the writing process.
Writing is like giving birth. I mean I'm not a woman but I know giving birth is hard and painful. Don’t procrastinate. Stay up all night and complete it. The only thing stopping them from finishing the script is themselves.
Finally, can you name a film that changed your life?
The film that changed my life (In regards to film) was Do The Right Thing. FIGHT THE POWER!!