NEW ORLEANS – On the set, nobody makes a move until one person says the magic word.
The word is “action!”
And the word comes from the director.
WGNO News with a Twist features guy Wild Bill Wood is on the New Orleans set of a feature film where the director is ready for action with his own call of “action!”
If you’re confused about just who the director happens to be on the set, the director is the kid carrying the camera.
And he’s now one of Wild Bill’s Amazing Kids brought to you by the good folks at The Keating Law Firm.
The kid is the director.
He’s Phillip Youmans.
And he is nineteen years old.
The movie he’s creating is called “Burning Cane”.
“There’s very few other mediums that have the immersive quality of a film,” that’s what Phillip Youmans says about his love for making movie magic.
Phillip Youmans has been a busy director.
And he’s been busy with his other full time assignment. That has been going to high school.
In fact, he just graduated from NOCCA, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the high school for kids who like to direct and act and dance and even cook.
That’s the kind of school NOCCA is.
A few miles from NOCCA, on a New Orleans playground, Phillip Youmans is directing his latest feature film.
When WGNO News with a Twist features guy Wild Bill Wood says, “cut” and asks Phillip why he wants to be a director, Wild Bill gets the answer.
Phillip Youmans says, “I’m a director because i am a storyteller and I just like being in creative control of my work.”
Before the creative kid graduated from NOCCA, as a senior, he studied all that other school stuff in the library. His homework was editing his first full-length feature film.
Phillip sank his life savings into “Burning Cane”. It’s a two-hour movie he shot in just 16 days.
“The Glory” is the story of a man on the run from the law. When the man goes to church, the preacher is Wendell Pierce.
You’ve heard his name. Wendell Pierce is an actor with a resume that includes films like “Selma” and “Ray” and from HBO, “The Wire” and ” Treme”.
Wild Bill wonders, “did you tell Wendell Pierce how to act?”
Phillip says, “it’s different not quite as black and white I’d say because most of the directing came in the script phase because Wendell really brought that character to life and he really made all the right choices.
It was the show business acting bug that first bit Phillip. But he eventually made the choice to be behind the camera.
Wild Bill asks, “don’t you want to be a movie star?”
Phillip Youmans says, “I don’t think that’s my route, I’d rather be writing roles for movie stars and directing them in my personal pieces.
Back on location in the park, with his friend as his sound man, Phillip knows it’s his name that seals the cinematic deal.
Wild Bill says, “let’s see, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and?”
Phillip Youmans says, “and Phillip Youmans.”
Life is like a movie.
Everybody needs somebody to be the director.
Director Phillip Youmans makes movie history by being the youngest and the first African American to win at Tribeca Film Festival.
You can see his film at theaters across the country starting Friday, October 25.
And you’ll see it on Netflix starting November 6.