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Interview with Pete Chatmon


Pete Chatmon, the director/writer of Premium, believes in universal stories and excellence in craft. Her are some excerpts from my chat with him...

On working with Zoe Saldana & Hill Harper: “When you do an independent film like that everybody is there for the right reasons. Because nobody’s there for the paycheck. You know what I mean? It’s professional talented people.”

On not being boxed in:
“There’s this idea that black is a genre. And that genres mean that certain things have to happen is this totally off-based. At least as far as what Hollywood is making. They’re essentially saying ‘this is black people'...I think everyday we were all committed to and my job was to best translate that to the actors in the sense of like we’re not making that ‘black film’ we’re making a film about real-life experiences that are universal.

On films he’d like to see made:
"Overall I’d like to see a greater diversity of stories…because of a lot what’s going on isn’t really being put on screen."

On what he looks for in a script: "It’s something that has to connect with you...I kind of like stories that reflect this pursuit of the American dream. The story of Premium is much like that. You have this guy, a struggling actor, who really just wants to be able to work and not have to be pigeonholed by the ideas that other people have of him. And in a sense I think what the dream boils down to is having the ability to work and if you work hard enough, if you’re smart about what you do, you can break the confines of how people want to define you.

I look for that human personal struggle that we all go through."

On films that have influenced him: "My favorite films in no particular order are Casablanca, Do the Right Thing, JFK and beyond that they start getting into cop films like Se7en and stuff like that."

You can check out Chatmon's blog at www.double7film.com and follow his tweets at twitter.com/petechatmon