An existential comedy with rappers.
Interview with Writer/Director Weldon Wong Powers
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thank you! Lamar Woods (writer/producer) and I wanted to create a film that represents our experience growing up in the Atlanta suburbs and depict the young community of musicians that we grew up around.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Check out this film if you want to laugh at some really talented and funny young comedic actors.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I connect to this film’s premise of observing young people and how we deal with the success of others. The fact that this film is about “rappers” can be irrelevant at times because it’s actually about the insecurities we have about ourselves and our relationships. The characters will likely remind you of people you know or possibly even your own group of friends.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
The script has been a fluid blueprint that changed over the course of production. Lamar acted as a writer at times on set, hitting a last minute revision or building alts. Some choices were made later in post, when we had a stronger understanding of the film’s tone and we could see what jokes worked best.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
We ended our festival run at Urbanworld Film Festival, and we got to see the film with a New York audience, who I think tend to have good comedic tastes. They know what’s funny and not funny. We’ve had a few sold out screenings in Los Angeles and Atlanta, and in watching the film with a big audience, it’s helped me get to know the film better myself. This is a comedy that’s multilayered and a little alternative, and it still plays as a straight comedy.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
You know, festivals are really great because they also work as sort of test audiences. You get to understand some of the audience members’ relationship to the subject matter. I also got to see people that are not necessarily our target audience enjoying the film. There’s something uniquely satisfying when a viewer that seemingly has no cultural connection to your film laughs at the jokes.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
Visibility from a film audience. There’s a lot of influence in this film from classic ensemble comedies like DAZED AND CONFUSED (1993), and connecting with the music industry aspect going even further back to NASHVILLE (1975).
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Journalist to help us reach audiences that want to party with us. We’d like the younger folks to come out for this film in December. I think the humor sensibilities are for a young and smart crowd.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
We want the viewers to have a good time while they’re watching. And then later reflecting on a scene, and thinking “You know, that was a pretty real moment right there.”
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
I think it’s about if we are too influenced by each other’s lives. The whole center anchor of the story, the birthday boy, is absent. So everyone low-key questions how significant they are to someone they think is important. I think with social media, we are bombarded with the lives of others at rates we’ve never experienced before.
Would you like to add anything else?
Shout out to our key crew, particularly producer Shanon Serikaku and cinematographer Carissa Dorson. They played a big part in casting our film and hiring our crew, which was 85% women and people of color. We’re really proud to create something that is representative of a more diverse entertainment industry, which is the community we’re a part of and continuously building.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Lamar Woods is a writer on ABC’s SINGLE PARENTS and is developing a comedy with FX Networks. Weldon Wong Powers is prepping a romantic comedy feature film SUMMERTIMES, scheduled for production in 2019.
Interview: November 2018
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
It’s A Party
An existential comedy with rappers.
Length: 78 Minutes.
Director: Weldon Wong Powers
Producer: Shanon Serikaku, Lamar Woods
Writer: Lamar Woods, Weldon Wong Powers
About the writer, director and producer:
LAMAR WOODS (writer) is currently an executive story editor on SINGLE PARENTS (ABC). His writing credits also include NEW GIRL (Fox) and SURVIVOR’S REMORSE (Starz).
WELDON WONG POWERS (director) is the writer-director of the comedic feature IT’S A PARTY (2018) and over 50 digital shorts, including work for online networks All Def Digital and Rooster Teeth.
SHANON SERIKAKU (producer) carries a variety of production experience in film and television, with shows including BOJACK HORSEMAN (Netflix), FAMILY GUY (Fox), and AMERICAN DAD (TBS).
Key cast: Ego Nwodim (“Saturday Night Live”- NBC), Carl Tart (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” - Fox), Tone Bell (“Fam” - CBS), Lamar Woods (“Single Parents” - ABC), Open Mike Eagle (world touring musician, “The New Negroes” - Comedy Central), Tony Baker (world touring stand-up comedian, social media influencer), Kirby Howell-Baptiste (“The Good Place” - NBC, “Killing Eve” - BBC America)
Looking for: foreign distributors, journalists.
Facebook: It’s A Party film
Official Website: https://www.itsapartythefilm.com/
Funders: Private Investment Financing.
Made in association with: Giant Interactive (http://giant-interactive.com/)
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? Rent it in December on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and In-Demand. We’ll premiere on Showtime in February 2019.