Meet Millennial Mogul Marcus Wells, filmmaker and founder of Wells Productions. We spoke with this dope creative on filmmaking, how he started his own production company, and his advice for young aspiring filmmakers. Check it out below!
Q: For those who don’t know who you are and what you do, tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: My name is Marcus Wells, I’m a young filmmaker from Indianapolis, IN. I’m currently working on my Master’s in Filmmaking at the New York Film Academy in South Beach. I’m also a 2015 graduate from Bethune-Cookman University where I received my Bachelor’s in Mass Communications. Outside of school, I direct music videos and do photography.
Q: What inspired you to get into filmmaking and directing?
A: I wasn’t inspired to be in this world of film until my junior year of high school. I worked on my high school’s TV show where I had the opportunity to be as creative as I wanted to be through storytelling and editing. I’ve always been inspired by the world of creativity because there’s endless possibilities. My love of filmmaking comes from being able to share my own vision and perspective with others. Honestly, I’m inspired by those around me doing amazing things whether it’d be filmmakers, athletes, or any other professionals. I just want to be great and hope to inspire others to do the same.
Q: How exactly did Wells Productions come about?
A: Wells Productions was started when I was in college. I had finally gotten my own DSLR (Canon T2i) which allowed me to shoot music videos and other promos for friends and different organizations on campus. The following years allowed me to establish myself as one of the “go to” filmmakers on campus. Since then I’ve filmed promos, music videos, and weddings. I’ve also had the opportunity to take on photography as well.
Q: What project/film are you most proud of and why?
A: The film that I’m most proud of is my most recent film “Soiled Roots”. It’s about a black mother who’s influenced by her own mother's drug dealing lifestyle which leads to risking the lives of their family. It recently won "Best Web Short” at the South Florida Web Festival and was an official selection at the Hollywood Florida Film Festival. I had a great time working on this project because it explored several themes including how one’s actions can affect the rest of their family. I also had a great cast and crew which helped me bring my vision to life.
Q: Describe your creative process.
A: Well I start off with a story idea or concept or visual. A lot of my story ideas come from watching the news because there’s a plethora of content there for film. A concept or visual can come from anything you see or hear that triggers enough interest where you can mold it into a story. Once I have the story, I’ll write an outline that breaks down each scene and/or the major plot points. Next, I’ll completely write out the script. Then I’ll rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite so more. I’ll let people I trust read my script and give me feedback. Once I’m satisfied with the script, I'll begin pre-production (which is a whole other story). Nevertheless, once pre-production is taken care of, you’re then ready to shoot. This is my favorite part as I get to work with actors and come up with creative shots that help convey the emotion of the scene and/or character(s). Once production is set and done, it’s time to edit which is another strength of mine. An editor is like having another director because he/she has the power to alter the mood of the film. I personally like it because it’s as if you’re putting together a puzzle that’s never been made. Overall, I enjoy the process but you must be patient.
Q: Can you tell us what we can expect from your upcoming web series “Pride Called Worth”?
A: Pride Called Worth is a web series based in Miami where 4 college females explore the world of dating in 2017. Ladies should be able to relate because there’s talk about boyfriends with female friends, giving it up to the wrong guy, living life with no regrets and just living the college life. It’ll show you the highest of highs in a relationship and the lowest of lows. The writers and producers, Jhaneal Hector and Nothando Palesa Xulu, both worked extremely hard to put out this project and I’m glad I had the opportunity to direct it. Season premiere is April 28th!
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers and young creative entrepreneurs?
A: I say anyone trying to get into this field should be fearless but most of all patient. It's a long process to make a film and if you want it to be great then you must be patient. Also, look at the people who've been successful. Copy their style and use theirs to form your own. Research your favorite professionals and see how they made it to the top. Be willing to take risks. No risk equals no reward. I also like to remember a quote from one of my college professors: "Hard work will always beat talent."
Be on the lookout for Marcus' next short film called “Premium Anxiety." It’s a story based in the hip-hop/rap world in which two best friends aspire to be the biggest names in music, but when egos collide, it becomes much more personal than business.
Follow Marcus on Instagram to keep up with his film and photography projects: @WellsProductions