Interview with Filmmaker Marcellus Cox (MICKEY HARDAWAY)

MICKEY HARDAWAY was the winner of BEST DIRECTION at the May 2021 BLACK & WHITE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

* I wanted to make a story about dreamers, artist that love there passion and craft and have something more to bring to this world. But I also wanted to make a story about the harsh realities of being a artist in this world and folks including love ones who don’t believe in your worth, in your vision and preach the tradition 9-5 methods of life. As someone who has and continue to deal with the realization of folks constantly crapping on your dreams I wanted to get this story off my chest as a healing tool and a study not just for the artist but the folks who cause the mental and physical fatigue.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

* Oh My God, it took 16 years to make this lol. I wrote it my freshman year of Film School and I kept it after a Film Professor told me he love it. I never felt I was ready to make so after a number of successful shorts and when Covid hit in 2020 and my Investors back out on me for the Feature Version my Producer Partner Armando Townsend put our money together and we made the proof of concept short to raise funding on our own. So far the film has far exceeded expectations.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

* Completely Honest

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

* COVID-19!!!!!! Lol. It’s not a laughing matter in anyway shape or form but it was difficult as hell. Having to create are own safety protocols since the CDC or SAG-AFTRA didn’t release any during our shoot but I made safety the top priority at all times. Plus dealing with the Black Lives Matters protest taking place all over Los Angeles because of the tragic death of George Floyd so it was a lot. I also had to replace my original lead actor for Mickey because of Covid concerns but I found a great replacement in Rashad Hunter. Who gave a unbelievable performance and he did it with barley 2 weeks before shooting.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

* I cried tears of joy watching the feedback. It absolutely blew my mind listening to the wonderful reviewers talk about how much they enjoyed my work I would’ve never imagine anything like that happening in a million years. Such beautiful insights and points of views of how they saw Mickey Hardaway was just so overwhelmingly terrific.

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

* I was in class one day my Junior Year of High School and one of my teachers told me I was a really great writer even tho I was getting a D in her class lol. She told me I should consider doing screenwriting and I was already interested in Filmmaking but mostly as a Director so when she spark that writing aspect I took to it and never let it go. It’s my entire favorite part of Cinema, because you literally have nothing without the story.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

* Who Framed Roger Rabbit lol. It’s the film that made me want to become a filmmaker and till this day I’m still blown away by the live action/animation mashup built into a wonderful old school Film Noir. It’s just a great film.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

* It’s okay, well put together and organize properly. Very simple and easy instructions on creating your projects as well as submitting to festivals.

9. What is your favorite meal?

* Oven Baked Macaroni & Cheese, especially when my mamma make it lol best in the world I don’t care what anyone says or think about it…

10. What is next for you? A new film?

* My Next Film will be the Feature Version of Mickey Hardaway. If everything goes according to plan and so far it is I plan to shoot it in early 2022. So wish me luck!


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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