Some of you may remember our past Member Spotlight. We’re bringing it back strong this week with a spotlight on a member doing big things – Mr. Joanes Prosper.
If the name Prosper sounds familiar to you, it’s because we have been encouraging members to come check out our new office space located within the Prosper Digital Studio. Yep, this week we sat down with the man himself. Joanes shares with us a little of the journey in launching Prosper Digital Studio as well as some of the challenges he faces running a video production company.
How long have you been a member of the Black TV & Film Collective?
I’ve been a member of the Collective for two years now. It’s been a great opportunity to connect with other filmmakers and video producers passionate about storytelling.
How did you get started in production? Tell us a little of your story…
I got started in production at a young age both in front of and behind the camera. I spent my summers interning at a local theater company in Harlem called the New Heritage Theater Group. One of my first mentors was Voza Rivers, a leading music, theatre and events producer, who once managed the Apollo Theater and served as executive producer on numerous plays and productions including the Broadway hits, Sarafina and Township Fever. Voza exposed me to the business of “show business” by allowing me to tag along in meetings and productions. Also, I was a member of the drama club during the school year. These moments taught me a lot and solidified my desire to be in the entertainment business.
Early on in my journey, I realized that I wanted to run my own production company. I enjoy collaborating with people and I have a passion for storytelling. So, in essence, Prosper Digital Studio has been in the making for more than 20 years.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in opening Prosper Digital Studio? What gave you the courage/determination to keep going?
As a small business owner, there are too many challenges to mention. For instance, it took over a year to find the right office space. But, it came down to persistence. We got a lucky break when a friend saw a “for lease” sign advertisement and sent it to me. That’s the building we’re in now.
Despite the ups and the downs, what kept me going was my commitment to finding a location that would allow us to grow and also help other creatives. Similar to the Black TV & Film Collective, the Studio is focused on serving the needs of passionate creatives and freelancers looking to take their careers to the next level. We’re trying to establish a creative space where people feel inspired and supported.
That’s great. Many times, it’s easy to get stuck when a plan is not coming together, or to doubt the path you are on.
I think the key word you used is ”plan.” You have to have a plan. It’s important to develop a vision for how you’re going to turn that plan into reality. It’s going to be hard but that’s part of the journey. Just keep pushing and making progress day by day.
Well the space is obviously awesome or else we would not have moved in, but what else can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
It’s exciting to have Black TV and Film Collective here. I love the work you do and the way you’re breaking down barriers for filmmakers. In addition to our studio, we are a full service video production company working with businesses to help them tell their brand stories through video. So, if you’re looking for a creative space or need to develop a video, contact us.
That’s also why the Black TV & Film Collective is here.
Absolutely. There’s great synergy between us.
Okay a few last questions…favorite quote + favorite film + favorite Ice Cream
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Recent favorite movie is 12 Years A Slave
Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla
The Black TV & Film Collective a 501c3 organization that operates as a NYC film collective. In our work, we support all artists of color including but not limited to black filmmakers. We are a collaborative platform that represents diversity in film and supports inclusion in Hollywood and TV. Our professional network of New York City filmmakers gives knowledge to those who want to learn how to produce film, how to make a web series, how to budget film projects and more. We host NYC film workshops that welcome a variety of experience levels from first time filmmakers who are either students in film school or to notables within the television and film industry. See how you can make a difference in the world of cinema by becoming a member of our NYC film collective.