Monday, November 12, 2012

Terence Rosemore explains Film+Art Vocational Initiative |

In addition to acting, writing and producing, Terence Rosemore, who plays NOPD Deputy Chief Eugene Marsden on ?Treme,? is cofounder of the Film+Art Vocational Initiative, which introduces local young people to arts-and-entertainment career opportunities.

Here?s an edited email Q&A with Rosemore:

Q: How were you cast?

A: I had been living in Los Angeles since 2002 writing screenplays and producing indie films and TV shows while moonlighting as a set assistant to actors, directors and producers. When ?Treme? was first announced, I was working for ?The Dr. Phil Show? and ?The Doctors? in post-production. I called Wendell Pierce, who I'd known from our days of competing in Little League baseball and who has served as a professional mentor to me, and asked him if he could refer me for a writing gig on the show.

Wendell told me that David Simon usually hired from within the circle of writers they've worked with in the past.

After watching the first season of ?Treme,? I told my producing partners in Los Angeles that I was going to New Orleans to be a part of this show. In fall 2010, as they were gearing up for season two, I auditioned for a role but didn't get the part. A few months later, in January 2011, I was called in to read for two other parts, and I got the part of Marsden.

What's the shooting experience been like?

The shooting experience has been one of the best experiences of my career. It starts in the writer's room with the rich material we're given to work with. The producers, writers, and entire production staff are some of the best in the world at what they do. It is a privilege and an honor to participate in the documenting of a watershed moment in our city's illustrious history.

Any other upcoming credits?

In the summer of 2013 I hope to start production on the feature film ?3rd World,? which I co-wrote with C.L. Taylor. The film is set in New Orleans and documents the arrival of crack cocaine to New Orleans in the mid 1980s, and the spiraling violence, which accompanied it. I am presently working on several screenplays and shopping a horror script titled ?Z,? written by Los Angeles writer Jason McNeese.

Tell me about Film+Art Vocational Initiative. When was it founded? Who does it serve? How can people get involved?

The Film+Art Vocational Initiative is an organization that I co-founded with visual artist Jamar Pierre in November 2011. The ultimate goal is to introduce local youth to the many career opportunities available in the arts and entertainment industries in New Orleans.

This summer we partnered with Lake Area High School, NOLA Youth Works and Young Audiences of Louisiana for a six-week pilot program. New Orleans youth aged 14-18 studied acting, screenwriting, filmmaking, graphic design, visual arts and entrepreneurship. The students received a stipend for attending the program. They produced several short films, started four businesses, and created artwork for a benefit art show and film festival at the New Orleans Museum of Art in August.

When you provide young people with viable options, you're giving them permission to succeed. In light of the recent spike of juvenile crime in our city, programs like these are important and can make a direct impact on the entire community. I am currently teaching filmmaking at Gentilly Terrace Elementary as part of the Young Audiences after-school program.


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