WJBF – Director Bobby Huntley and Producer Eric Raivaun are two unimaginable forces to be reckoned throughout the leisure enterprise, and so they chat with WJBF about how they got here collectively and are persevering with to take the movie world by storm.
Thanks, Bobby and Eric, for becoming a member of us right here for Celebrating Black Excellence. My first query is how did you guys get began with manufacturing and filmmaking?
Bobby: Nicely, for me, I began at ten years outdated. I simply at all times beloved having a superb digicam in my hand telling individuals what to do. All by way of highschool and center faculty, my lecturers inspired that by having me do quick movies and documentaries versus writing analysis papers. Then, I went to movie faculty after which, just about simply then been slowly, organically constructing my filmmaking and artist group, and it’s been on and off and ever since.
Eric: I’ve been within the leisure business of about 15 years now. I really began off as a choreographer-actor, and as a just lately possibly the final 5 to six years, I moved into that producing function.
How did you guys come collectively?
Bobby: Shout out to Colbie [Fray], one other dope filmmaker in Atlanta. We met at a filmmaker occasion, and it was sort of like in passing. It really took us a few years with simply inboxing one another, like checking in or no matter till we lastly began working collectively. So, truthfully, the pandemic introduced us to love really working collectively.
Eric: Colbie sort of like blackmailed me into doing that as a result of I made this quick movie, and I by no means did something with it. She’s like, “You’re going to indicate it at my first one.” After which, I met this man, and it’s like, you already know, you simply can’t do away with some issues. It’s been that sort of time with this man. (Laughs) However he’s a artistic genius, and that’s why I mess with him. I cope with lots of people, particularly on this Atlanta business, who’re like self-proclaimed individuals or those who like discuss a giant sport. However this man, you already know, he really does what he says he’s going to do. You’re going to get a top quality work whenever you’re coping with him, so I used to be like, “You understand what? I assume I might tag alongside.”
Bobby: I received to get it finished. If I say I’m going to do it, it’s on the market. I received to see it by way of.
So, let’s discuss one thing actually big that occurred for you. You started working with Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker of their film, The Move, which is now streaming on Peacock. Are you able to please discuss that course of? How did you become involved with that manufacturing?
Bobby: So, we’ve really been in communication with Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker for the previous few years looking for the appropriate challenge to work collectively on. Quick ahead to final 12 months, 2022, they’d a challenge they had been very obsessed with. I do know Todd had been making an attempt to get it finished for years at that time. He introduced me into it, and we simply slowly chipped away at it with constructing the crew and all of that. In fact, I wished my proper hand proper right here, you already know, to be my assistant director, my first A.D., to assist hold issues transferring and hold issues going. We shot it over, I consider, two weeks – 10 days – again in January. It was a trip, you already know. It was all concerning the love of impartial filmmaking. Todd was very obsessed with it. He mentioned, “That is my movie. I need to get it finished, you already know, as naked bones, as fast, quick as doable.” Fortunately, he had the appropriate staff and the appropriate individuals round him to make it occur. We’re doing exceptionally effectively on Peacock. Todd was actual steadfast about you already know, actually desirous to get this challenge finished actual fast and naked bones and quick. And by chance, all of it turned out amazingly effectively due to the crew that we constructed round him to help this job. Our complete complete staff was so wonderful. So, we’re positively one of many high movies on Peacock proper now. The followers are excited. You retain speaking about it and inboxing us.
Eric: They’re saying they need a sequel.
Bobby: Yeah, they need a Half 2. So, Todd, what’s up? What are we doing? (Laughs)
How are you feeling concerning the reception of the movie?
Eric: It was bizarre at first as a result of it was such a brief discover of me realizing it was going to come back out. Then, when it got here out, lots of people had been astonished that we had been capable of deliver that out. Then, it went primary for, I don’t know, possibly the primary week or one thing like that. So, it was dope to get that sort of reception, you already know?
Bobby: I do know Todd has been making an attempt for years to get a movie finished and, you already know, actually wished to solidify himself on this place as a producer and govt producer. So, you already know, for us to have the ability to be part of serving to him and Kandi make that occur as a result of, you already know, they’re killing with all of the wonderful companies they’re doing, Broadway, and all this stuff. So, we helped make that step occur for them within the impartial movie world. It’s a blessing to be a part of that story and part of the journey.
And as you talked about, you guys shot The Move in 10 days. Please discuss that course of.
Eric: 10 days could be very aggressive.
Bobby: Actual aggressive, and what made it much more aggressive as we had been filming that at the very same time as The [Real] Housewives [of Atlanta] present. So, whereas our cameras had been rolling, the Housewives crew would come roll. Shout out to Drew Sidora: wonderful, lovely individual. I beloved working together with her.
Bobby: Seamless. We had been making an attempt to work, and they’d be like, “Maintain up. We have to movie a Housewives scene together with her.” So, she needed to go do change her hair, change every thing, and shoot a scene. She would basically be gone for like an hour. Then, she would change her hair and garments again to the scene we had been filming, after which, knock it out. And I used to be like, “How do you do this?” However we solely had 12 hours in a day… most days, and the way we had been capable of full our movie within the midst of the Housewives manufacturing is past me. It got here collectively exceptionally effectively. I’m not going to lie. I used to be a little bit shocked as a result of I used to be like, “How? We don’t have sufficient time. How are we going to do that? Are we’re going to return to re-film?” However they pulled it collectively.
So, let’s discuss your newest challenge. You guys simply launched a trailer. It’s a criminal offense drama twist on the Nickelodeon sequence, My Brother And Me. What was the inspiration behind you deciding to do that twist on the present?
Bobby: Nicely, it’s a part of my story. As a child, I’ve at all times been impressed by Mad TV and Saturday Evening Dwell seeing like humorous twist on trailers, motion pictures, and various things like that. So, I’ve been doing that just about since I used to be ten. And yearly, particularly for the previous 5 or 6 years, I’ve been constantly going viral with these sorts of issues. So whereas we’re doing our personal initiatives, engaged on different individuals’s initiatives like The Move, and finishing our scripts and all these different issues, I at all times do one viral trailer a 12 months that sort of assist stir the pot a little bit bit reminding individuals who we’re, what we do, and what we’re able to.
Eric: He’s one of many causes – he’s actual humble typically. He’s one of many the explanation why they did the New Version sequence on BET. It’s from his one in every of his trailers. In order that’s the kind of stuff that we’re doing yearly. You understand, it’s one in every of our initiatives that we give again. We create an setting the place the those who we’ve met throughout each degree of the business, like we go to Cannes and stuff like that for one in every of our initiatives or stuff like that, can come along with people who find themselves aspiring into our units. We deliver everybody collectively to offer them a little bit household to construct with and encouragement. Additionally, now you’ve received dope footage to place in your reel. Lots of people have gotten booked off of our work on main initiatives.
Bobby: It’s a enjoyable method for us to love work with some new individuals. We at all times attempt to deliver new individuals on for these little initiatives, so, after we do our larger initiatives and have movies, we solidify that bond with them. They know the way we work, and we simply deliver them alongside that journey. We had been in a position to do this with The Move and a few different function movies this 12 months.
So, let’s discuss this trailer. What’s the storyline about?
Bobby: For me, I’ve by no means finished a criminal offense drama earlier than. So, it was a method for me to stretch that muscle. I used to be impressed by My Brother And Me after which additionally exhibits like Energy and BMF. So, I simply mixed these collectively. So, I took the characters that all of us grew up with and beloved on Nickelodeon again within the 90s. So, we aged them as much as as we speak, and we put them in actual life conditions. You understand, Goo was making an attempt to get out of the road life; Alfie did a little bit little bit of time. They’re grown and making an attempt to make issues occur for themselves. Simply seeing the trajectory of what that appears like. Additionally, seeing a household on each side of the regulation, and the stress and toll on the household and the relationships. It’s a extremely wonderful story.
I watched the trailer. You’ve got the character Dee Dee as a cop, Goo married to the older sister, Melanie, and Dionne as a information anchor.
Bobby: Shout out to, Amanda Seales; [My Brother And Me] was one in every of her first roles. Shout out to Eddie G., who co-wrote it with me. We took what we all know of Amanda Seales now as an individual and as a persona and infusing that within the function. We additionally combined in a little bit little bit of her character that she performs on Insecure in sure moments to name again to a whole lot of various things.
If somebody needs to observe the trailer, how can they accomplish that?
Bobby: It’s throughout social media: YouTube, Fb, Instagram, and Tik Tok. It’s spreading like wildfire proper now. So, thanks all a lot.
Eric: We put a whole lot of arduous work into it.
Bobby: Yeah, we filmed it proper earlier than the strike so it was similar to actual anxious. I actually wished to place it out in June, however simply didn’t seem to be the appropriate time, you already know? So, we simply waited till the appropriate second. And like, now it looks like each strikes are just about going to be on the best way over. So, now’s the proper time. And as of mid-October, it’s going to be the twenty ninth anniversary of the My Brother And Me premiere. So, it’s the proper time.
Have you ever gotten any reception from the solid members [of My Brother And Me]?
Bobby: Oh, sure, I’ve seen that they’re sharing it, and so they’re posting about it. We love y’all, and we like to work with every one in every of you.
What different initiatives did you guys discuss? Did you guys have developing?
Bobby: We simply launched our personal manufacturing firm. You understand, he has his personal manufacturing firm…
Bobby: And mine is Bobby Huntley Movies. The 2 of us and likewise a whole lot of our collaborators that we labored with over time, we’ve established Birdstone Leisure Group, and it’s a method for me to offer again to all of the those who’s helped on my challenge and issues like that. It’s one thing that all of us personal collectively. We’re creating extra function movies, quick movies, and sequence, and My Brother And Me is the primary challenge that we’ve finished beneath that emblem. So, I’m very enthusiastic about that.
What phrases of encouragement are you able to give somebody who needs to get into filmmaking How are you going to assist encourage somebody?
Eric: One, don’t examine your self; two, simply do what you may proper now. You don’t must go from A to Z and maintain your self accountable to one thing that you just haven’t even finished earlier than. So, simply take your time, get to know individuals, and be adventurous. Meet new individuals. The extra individuals you meet, the higher odds you’ve got and simply proceed to place your toes to the pavement.
Bobby: It’s all about group; it’s all about constructing group. That’s why, you already know, I’m grateful for this knucklehead proper right here. He’s so much. (Laughs) Nevertheless, he helps me with all this craziness and zaniness in my head. It’s wonderful. I’ve really prayed for years to have someone I might simply name and say, “Hey, I received this concept I need to do.” And he’s like… what do you say?
Bobby: So, I’ve someone who’s simply prepared and prepared to go to bat for you and show you how to in your artistic journey. Everyone wants someone like that within the nook. So yeah, I’m appreciative of that. So, I pray that everyone can discover that for themselves on their journey.
Talking of journeys, how do you individuals comply with you in your journey?
Bobby: On Cineshot, we break down all of our movies, how we do them, and what goes on behind the scenes. So, that’s a terrific little masterclass for different up and coming filmmakers.
Eric: You get to see how annoying he’s. (Laughs)
Bobby: I’m so much, however you need to present those who we don’t play video games. We take it very severely. He brings the humorous, I deliver the intense. We’re going to work arduous, however we’re going to have a tremendous challenge on the finish of it that everyone’s going to like. So, I’m about that work.
Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker’s The Move is now streaming on Peacock. You possibly can watch the trailer under: (Warning: Viewer discretion is suggested.)