SKSM: May you introduce yourself to our readers?
Kerry-Ann Ellington: Yes, I’m originally from the beautiful island of Jamaica but currently residing in Southern California. I’m the second born of seven children. I’m affectionately referred to as a mediator/zen master. I’m also quirky, I don’t take myself too seriously, I’m VERY greedy and have a sinful obsession with board games and coffee.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a producer?
Kerry-Ann Ellington: After dropping out of Med school, lol Kidding… sort of. I took an Improv class as an elective in college while on the path to becoming a Pediatrician and fell in love with all things visual arts so I switched my major to Communications. I actually started out as a writer but I wanted to be a decision maker in order to keep & produce my intellectual properties so I simultaneously started reading up on Producing films while learning the craft of screenwriting. However, I abandoned the role of Producer/Writer after I got pulled into acting. It wasn’t until I met Tyna when I shifted back to what I believe is a natural gift of mine, Producing. Tyna hired me as an actress in one of her short films and after offering some help while on set, she asked if I’d be interested in being her Assistant Director for her next film. We went on a filming spree for about 3 years straight where my role shifted back and forth from Assistant Director and/or Producer.
SKSM: How did you become involved in ‘Dedication‘ Dollar Baby film?
Kerry-Ann Ellington: During our filming spree, Tyna found this Stephen King project, edited it down to a short film version and asked if I would Produce it with her and I said yes.
SKSM: Can you tell us about your work in the film?
Kerry-Ann Ellington: As Producer, I was responsible for making sure the film got done in a timely manner and that everything and everyone remained on the same page. Tyna and I broke the script down together then selected the location and hired the cast and crew. It’s not uncommon for me to wear many hats (as most independent filmmakers do) while filming so I was crafty, set designer, medic and any other role that needed to be done in order to have a successful shoot. I believe it took us about 3 weeks tops from pre-production to post with Dedication. Very high pressure filming but we never wavered on making sure we produced a fantastic film. I’m picky with the projects I lend my name to. I’d rather skip out on a project that’ll just add to my resume vs making sure the story is strong and the project is filmed exceptionally well.
SKSM: What was it like to work with Tyna Ezenma on this film?
Kerry-Ann Ellington: Tyna and I work very well together. Working on Dedication with her was fun and exciting. Our sets are always filled with laughter and great energy. We have similar filming styles and can pretty much read each other’s minds when it comes to prepping, shooting and editing a film. It’s truly a blessing getting to work with her.
SKSM: Was there any funny things that happened while filming (Bloopers, etc)?
Kerry-Ann Ellington: Yes, we always have bloopers. 🙂 The bedroom clean up scene where Young Martha had to ingest Peter’s secretions was quite interesting and funny. Our actress Cameo was a real trooper with how she handled it though. Having to do more than one take and take it seriously was quite a challenge but she was up for it. I think we also had some funny moments and mixed words during the fighting scene which helped cut the tension from such an intense moment in filming.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Kerry-Ann Ellington: Who isn’t? He’s an extraordinary writer with a warped mind. I mean that in a good way though. 🙂
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Kerry-Ann Ellington: I’m continuing to build Ellington Productions. I’m reading lots of scripts and writing some as well. I’m also pitching multiple TV series and Feature Films to various distributors and investors and praying that some of them will make it to TV & movie screens (after COVID) sooner rather than later.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Something you’d like to tell our readers?
Kerry-Ann Ellington: Thanks so much for asking them, this was fun! To your readers, thanks for reading, stay blessed and positive. Don’t lose your childlike view on life, if you have, it’s never too late to turn it around. Also, be yourself, never conform!