Women

“Half The Picture” trailer

Half The Picture opens in select theaters in NYC and LA this June!

Via https://www.halfthepicture.com/:

HALF THE PICTURE consists of interviews with high profile women directors including Ava DuVernay, Jill Soloway, Lena Dunham, Catherine Hardwicke and Miranda July, and many others, discussing their early careers, how they transitioned to studio films or television, how they balance having a demanding directing career with family, and challenges and joys along the way. We also interview experts about gender inequality in Hollywood including the ACLU’s Melissa Goodman, Sundance Institute’s Caroline Libresco, Vanity Fair’s Rebecca Keegan, USC’s Dr. Stacy Smith and San Diego State University’s Dr. Martha Lauzen, who establish the magnitude of this employment discrimination issue as woman are shut out across the board, of an industry that systemically denies their expression and point of view.

OPENING IN THEATERS

Friday, June 8 – Village East Cinemas, NYC
https://www.citycinemas.com/villageeast/film/half-the-picture 

Friday, June 22 – Laemmle Monica, LA
https://www.laemmle.com/films/44008

Inspiration: Deborah Willis

I own a copy of photographer Deborah WillisReflections in Black that chronicles black photographers and photography of black life from 1840 to the present. 

Even before I knew of her own photography achievements, I knew that her work in this project was special and something that I had to own.  I tracked down a hard copy at a fabulous black owned bookstore in Harlem called Sisters Uptown Bookstore  and began my journey into a comprehensive history of black photography.  I stumbled upon a Vice article about her and it quietly relit the flame under my own journey as a black woman carving out a space for herself in this white male dominated industry.  As a 30+ year old digital photography student, it comes as no shock that most of the studied “greats” of this field look nothing like me and do not capture work that reflects my existence.  Representation matters and Deborah Willis’ continued effort to share stories of our existence inspires storytellers like myself to soldier on and continue sharing our perspective.  Check out the Vice article featuring Deborah Willis here and Reflections in Black can be purchased here.  

 

What I’m Reading: Citizen: An American Lyric

I’m not exactly sure how to describe Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric, but I can say that I can’t put the book down.  I’m a few pages away from finishing it (devoured it in 3 days) and it resonated deeply with my being as a black woman.  Her combination of poetry, essays and what I would call think pieces weave together to form an intricate and important collection of timely work in a society undoubtedly fueled by race. 

Via bn.com:

Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.

 

Taking it Back: The B Side Show Podcast #50something May 2013 Project Hygiene

Once again, it’s ON!  I’m resurrecting another classic episode of The B Side Show for your listening pleasure.  This was a great episode featuring my interview with Anshia B. Crooms (formerly Anshia B. Tull) of Project Hygiene http://projecthygiene.org/.  With the holidays just around the corner, this is a great time to revisit this show and focus on the importance of giving back.  Project Hygiene is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established to support underprivileged youth, ages 10-18 by promoting health and wellness while denouncing bullying.  Through generous donations of personal hygiene products from supporters, Project Hygiene has been able to donate thousands of products to hundreds of adolescents across the country who could not afford or gain access to them.  This interview was taped over 4 years ago when the organization was in its infancy but I am happy to report that the organization is still going strong and making a difference with every child reached.  Check out the interview below!

The B Side Show Podcast #50 something

STEP (Documentary)

Whew.  @Stepthemovie

I watched this trailer a few days ago without sound and without hearing a word, I knew it would be good.

   

Step hits select theaters August 4th.  Head over to http://www.foxsearchlight.com/stepmovie/ for more info!

What I’m Listening To: H.E.R. & Zonnique

I don’t claim to keep up with any of the music that the young folk are bumping, at least not the rap music.  I couldn’t tell you who Lil Uzi Vert is, what Lil Yachy sings (raps…whatever) or what Future or Migos latest hits are and I’m OKAY with that.  It’s not for me, that is until I’ve had a few drinks or am at a club listening to their music at obnoxious levels because everything sounds AMAZING in the club at 2am.  I do however seem to appreciate some of the r&b that’s being created by a couple of young ladies.

I recently discovered the sounds of an artist named H.E.R (twitter is good for something).  What initially attracted me to the artist was the mystique of H.E.R.’s Vol. 1 ep cover, a simple silhouette of a woman against a blue background.  I quickly discovered that the artwork added to the mysterious story of the woman behind it.  Upon the release of her ep, her record label (RCA) sent out her promotional package with no information or photos of the artist.  She dropped her ep, shook up the world and had everyone from Alicia Keys to Wyclef Jean talking about H.E.R. but no one knew who she was!  Well, not exactly.  A few Google searches and I found who most believe the mystery woman is *spoiler alert, this isn’t her first rodeo*.  I spent the past weekend absorbing the 6 song EP and I love it!  Her music is smooth, sensual and addictive.  I’m no music journalist, so I’ll skip further trying to explain why I enjoy the ep, I just do.  It sounds good to me and left me wanting more.  Luckily, Vol. 2 is set to be released June 2nd and can be pre ordered here.  Give it a listen.  

Ever since I began my Tidal subscription I’ve been more open to trying new music that I probably wouldn’t have had it not been for its availability through the app.  Occasionally, I make my way to the “Tidal Rising” section which features young up and coming musical talent and a young lady by the name of Zonnique caught my attention.  What really caught my eye was the name of her ep: Love Jones.  “What this girl know about Love Jones?” is what I was really thinking.   The title alone seems like enough to generate interest from an older crowd and I fell for it hook, line and sinker.  While listening, I discovered that she’s the 21 year old daughter of Tameka “Tiny” Cottle of the r&b group Xscape and step daughter of rapper T.I.  Love Jones is the opposite of H.E.R.’s Vol. 1.  It’s fast paced, catchy and has just the right balance of energy and melody.  There’s no doubt that having the talent of her parental unit added to the sonic success of the project.  After learning who she was, I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that I couldn’t get enough of the ep.  Purchase or stream the project and let me know what you think.  Happy listening 🙂

What I’m listening to: NAO “For All We Know”

I’m a little tardy to the party on this one but better late than never.  NAO hails from East London and might not be a new name to many but she is to me and her debut album For All We Know which dropped back in 2016 has been in heavy rotation in my household.  I was first introduced to the artist, who for some reason I assumed was a band and not a solo artist, via a playlist on Tidal.  NAO’s song “Girlfriend” was on the playlist and I instantly fell in love with her high pitched melodic tone.  I really thought (and still do think) her voice was the product of a producer or engineer going a little too heavy on the effects, but it worked and I loved it. Whether it’s all her or a creative enhancement on her vocals, that unique sound that she seems to be well on her way to mastering is what works throughout For All We Know.  Other standouts for me include Bad Blood, In The Morning, Blue Wine and (Feels Like) Perfume.  As always, you be the judge and check out NAO for yourself.   

2017, let’s get it! (Say what’s real)

First off, THANK YOU!  Thank you for supporting everything that Visuals by Shavon Meyers has done in the past year.  Yes, 2016 the year that we we don’t speak of was a bit of a shit storm for many but I have to admit that personally, professionally and academically I excelled in the past year.  A few positive moves made by myself last year include:

Professionally:

A 100% increase in voice over work.  Seriously, I went from not having done any major voice over work since I left radio around 2011 to being a regular voiceover artist for a news app!  It’s funny how the universe works.  I say that because the minute that I decided to expand my brand and offer more services such as voiceover work, the universe said “Ok, here you go!”. 

I created my first client website.  Now I created and have been running my website for over 8 years now, but it’s my website.  I have total control over it and have had time to learn the various platforms used throughout the years, but this was different.  For the first time I was commissioned to create a website from scratch for a well know and established author and professor in anticipation of his new book.   No pressure! 😉  Well I did it and he and his fan base love it so I intend on learning more about website development and will continue to offer my services in that field as well.

I finished my screenplay for what will be my fourth short film!  This film will be longer than the last three but not feature length so it will still be considered a short.  I anticipate production beginning this year.

I graced two major set productions that will hopefully make their premieres this year.  The first involved me being an extra on Spike Lee’s Netflix series “She’s Gotta Have It”.  The overall experience was great and seeing Spike Lee work first hand was an inspiring moment in 2016.  The second involved me flying to LA for a totally different video production experience.  I can’t say anything else about it (the way this non disclosure agreement is set up…) but when it’s released you’ll hear more about it.

I launched sometimesshewrites.com in hopes of being more consistent with my writing.  I said I would give it a good solid year, so here we go.

I’ve been shooting!  Photography is my passion and I’ve been able to continue capturing moments and creating stories with new and existing clients throughout the year.

Personally:

I paid off TWO credit cards putting me one credit card closer to being debt free.  That’s a huge accomplishment that once did not seem to be attainable but with a bit of sacrifice and consistency I did it! 

I ended the school year with a 3.8 GPA.  3.8 GPA!  

I survived the madness that was the election season without harming myself or anyone else.  That was an accomplishment.  

Overall, I had a pretty good year and I hope you did as well.  If you’ve been with me for awhile by now you now that I don’t really do new year resolutions, I just aim to do better.  Get shit done, talk less and do more.  I’m all about results because talk is cheap and in 2017 EVERYBODY has a platform to speak from which leaves room for lots of empty chatter.  Each year I strive to be more present in this social media infused world and this year is no exception.  Disconnect a little more from time to time and have real life connections with humans.  Read more.  Learn more.  Grow more.  Love more and allow myself to be loved more.  Continue growing spiritually.  Be more creative in my art forms and push the boundaries of these creative arts a bit more.  These are honestly my everyday goals that are magnified at the top of the year.  I hope this new year brings more prosperity, blessings, love and joy to you.  Once again, thank you for your support.  Let’s fuck 2017 up in the best way possible! 

Wishlist: Reflections in Black A History of Black Photographers 1840 – Present by Deborah Willis

‘Tis the season to be jolly and shit and I’d be the jolliest photographer in all the land if someone were to put this book in my Xmas stocking this year!  Ok cut the cheesy holiday talk,  I really want this book.  I’ve had my eyes on it for awhile now but have never gotten around to hunting down a new copy.  It’s out there for sure and I’m sure it is waiting to start its new life on my bookshelf 😉

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