Interview With Film Maker & Actor Gerald Webb

Pump It Up Magazine caught up with film maker, Actor, rapper, and DJ Gerald Webb and asked him about his 7 minute short film $tack$
1.      What made you pursue film making?
I think it’s in you or it’s not. I just got to a point where despite being a very successful DJ, I wasn’t fulfilled and did a t of soul searching for what I really wanted. I did a lot of soul searching, read books, took personal development classes.  Acting, film making and moving to L.A. kept popping up in my thoughts. I finally decided to choose whether to go for with everything I had OR to give up the idea of pursuing film making forever and never say would of, could of or should of in the future. When I realized I couldn’t give it up completely, what had always be in me, made the choice for me.
2.      What roadblocks did you faced when you were starting out?
Sometimes I feel like I ran into EVERY road block. The biggest one early was just not knowing what I was doing while thinking I did. I had to really humble myself and approach the industry from a place of knowing nothing in order to start finding my way.
Money was also a big obstacle. 
It takes a lot more money than most people think to start your acting business- photo shoots, head shot printing, memberships to casting sites, acting classes etc. Access is also a big roadblock that doesn’t really go away. You get into one room and there you see another door, and another with each level you rise through.    
3.      What is your greatest achievement till date?
To have the opportunity to pursue my dreams and make art. Awards come and go but not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to choose to do what they love. It’s a rollercoaster with many ups and lots of downs but being able to pursue it every day is an amazing achievement for me and just about any one.       
4.      How did you come up with the idea for your film $tack$?
I was watching the early stages of the Covid-19 toilet paper hoarding and was really upset by the selfishness and complete lack of concern shown by some for other human beings. Rather than get into a fight at a retail store, I tried to find a better way to express my frustration and frankly anger with what I was seeing materialize in front of me. As I got home and stewed, the idea for $TACK$ came to me.  
5.      Can you tell us more about your upcoming project(s)?
I’m currently writing a PSA type project inspired by seeing the beautiful response to the murder of George Floyd.
Seeing this generation stop the world by standing up against racial inequality was beautiful despite the tragedies that created the backlash.
I’m also developing a film based on black voting rights and the abolition movement in the late 1800s. And at Deinstitutionalized Films, my business partner and I are in post-production on the digital series FraXtur, a post apocalyptic coming of age story and the film ASSAULT ON VA-33 starring Michael Jai White, Mark Dacacos, Sean Patrick Flanery and Abigail Hawk.
6.      Can you tell us about the greatest moment in your film career?
I’m not sure but it might be the moment I truly realized I was a professional and could work with anyone at any level in this industry. I was working as an actor on the film Zombie Apocalypse with Ving Rhames, Taryn Manning, Lesley Ann Brandt and Eddie Steeples.
I had a death scene and after we wrapped, I was about to head back to base camp and Ving pulled me aside. He then said, ‘that was really nice Webb. That was really nice work.” I had given up my DJing career, moved to Los Angeles and worked for 5 years to be a ‘professional actor”. To hear a legend like that validate all of the hard work that was put into that performance was a key moment for my confidence and my career.
7.      Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful film maker?
It is absolutely not essential. There is no right way to become a filmmaker. School and institutes can be really helpful but just making a film with whatever gear and team you can put together can be invaluable.
Learn as much as you can but there is no substitute for just making a film. Nowadays with all the available tutorials online, you can learn from some of the best filmmakers on the planet right on your laptop.
8.      Which particular film maker has influenced you the most?
I can’t name just one. Some of my favorites are Antoine Fuqua, John Singleton and Ron Howard.

       9.  If you got the opportunity to remake a classic, which one would you go for?
I’d remake the TV series M.A.S.H. or Scarface.
     10.   Any advice to young film makers starting out?
Be prepared to work ridiculously hard. Seriously, you will have to work 300 times harder than you think you will to be successful in this industry. It’s uber-competitive but that doesn’t mean everyone is against you. You’re really only competing against yourself. Learn everything you can about the film industry, it will come in handy.
Believe in yourself but also humble yourself.
Remember you have to develop all sides of your filmmaking business technical, artistic, political, financial etc. The more you know the better off you’ll be. .
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