Production, PUMP, and Passion: A Chat with Filmmaker Angela White
Angela White has been in the entertainment industry for over 25 years and works full-time as a television and film producer. She’s worked with talent like Tiffany Hadish, Jay R. Ellis, Omari Hardwick and more. However, she’s not in it for the glitz and glam of Hollywood. Angela has a sincere passion for mentorship and helping others grow within the industry.
That driving force coupled with her knack for strategy, has allowed her career to blossom in many ways. She’s an author, motivational speaker, and creator of Backstage Pass to the Movie Industry, an educational online platform created to assist entertainment hopefuls navigate the industry. During our conversation we chatted about life as a working producer, current projects, and more. Check out the conversation below.
A lot of times when I speak to people about production. It’s hard to explain the role of a producer. How would you explain it?
I am the quarterback. I’m what is called a produced by producer, there are different levels. But as a produced by producer I find the: talent, script, distributor, financing, and run the marketing campaign. There are other types of producers who only secure the financing, like an Executive Producer. Another type is a line producer; they’re involved during shooting, and manage budget and crew. And sometimes there are producers who simply secure the talent, and they’re not involved in any aspect. It varies but the type of producer I am, and being a production company, we’re responsible for the health and financial success of the film. Thus we’re the beginning and the end, the quarterback.
How is that, being a black woman in such a powerful position?
It’s still very difficult. I’ve done three TV shows in the last nine months and I was one of the few women producers on the team. It’s a real issue in the industry. Women have to understand it’s a male dominated industry, we’re really going to have the break the barriers down. We have to have diversity in the executive positions, hiring, and more. It starts from the top and trickles down. And when a woman gets to a position of power, I feel she has a responsibility to help break the walls down for others. Everybody has to be involved in making the change.
Interesting, what has been your biggest obstacle so far?
Definitely, breaking in. It’s one of the hardest things to do, people are not accepting of new people. I didn’t go to film school, and I was breaking in as a black woman. I had to prove that I was not only a business woman, but a creative.
I noticed you earned your Law Degree. How do you feel your background has affected your career in the filmmaking industry?
It’s good to have experience in other areas. Talent management and artist representation enables me to understand working with talent, and my attorney background helps me understand contracts. When I worked years ago as an event promoter, that taught me how to put together productions. I think it’s very important to wear many hats before you find your passion. It all comes into play, and producing isn’t even where I want to land.
Nice, what is the final thing you want to do?
I don’t know, it could be running a studio or being a humanitarian and focusing on philanthropic work. I just know there’s more in store.
Speaking of more, I see Question of Faith is airing again on the Lifetime Network. Can you tell me more about the film? How did you get involved?
In the past, I did another faith-based film for BET called Who Can I Run To. And I was advised by Bishop T.D. Jakes and a few others that, that type of content was needed. Later I was introduced to a writer who had a ten-year old script, but I felt like it was the most timely thing I had read in a long time. The film deals with three families of different races connected by tragedy and how they overcome it. I felt like it was positive and aligned with my production company, Silver Lining Entertainment. It aired on Easter but it’ll be airing again on Mothers Day, and is available on their streaming platform as well.
That story seems very relevant with the current pandemic uniting us. How do you feel this story can impact families?
Well, it first came out in theaters in 2017. Back then I feel like it was teaching about forgiveness and love, healing through racial reconciliation and understanding. But now the message to me is just that, God is always in control. Whether it’s loss or losing finances, God is in control. I think we’re coming together as a nation too. But, we’re questioning why now? We have to remember that God has us, this too shall pass.
What’s next for you?
My newest show is called PUMP, it stars Ray J and is available on UrbanFlixTV.com . It’s a great comedy written, directed, and created by Corey Grant, and co-created by Lanett Tachel. We shot it in the summer of 2019 and had a lot of fun. In this series you’ll see what it’s like having a bunch of misfit fitness trainers working at the gym. I’m really excited to be producing high-quality content created by a black writers.
Written by: Kirby Carroll Wright