2018 & 2019 Screenplay Finalist
DG: What is your name and company name and URL?
DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting? If filmmaking, which aspects?
JH: The truth is both. I’m a director, writer, and producer in that order. Directing is what I want to be remembered for when I die, Writing is what I do for the love, and producing is what I’m good at that I can do to help others.
DG: I love that! What are you currently working on?
JH: Right now we have 8 projects in development. I’m a Producer on an animated feature film called ‘Pierre The Pigeon Hawk’, I have a feature film version of my award winning short film Knockout Game in development, and a horror movie based on a Bram Stoker Award winning poem called Mourning Meal that we are submitting to the best festivals in the game like Shriekfest itself. The mourning meal script was a finalist at Shriekfest in 2018 and won the NYC Horror Film Festival 2018
DG: Wow, that’s great! You’ve been busy! Who do you consider your mentor and why?
JH: My writing mentor is Linda Addison, the most decorated black female poet & short story writer in the game. I grew up reading her in dark matter and was like one day she will teach me everything she knows!! Lol
In Television it’s Diana Sperazza she is a executive producer at Discovery Channel and is one of the female pioneers in journalism, her wisdom and bluntness is unparalleled, but also her generosity.
My only male mentor is dead. Luckily he left an epic body of work and a philosophy concerning cinematic suspense and mood that I live by. Alfred Hitchcock.
DG::Nice! Why do you think the horror/scifi genres have such a large following?
JH: Honesty. Horror is the last genre where the creator can be as completely provocative, offensive, and savage as he or she wants. It lends itself to both entertainment & truth in a way no other genre can. Audiences appreciate that. It’s a safe space to be primal, to be hurt, to be afraid, to see behind the veil.
Sci-fi I believe gives us a future. It’s is prophecy in many ways, but also shines a mirror on both the past and the present by displaying those parts of our nature that time will never change and then either celebrating it or cautioning us to weary.
DG: Well said! What do you love most about this business?
JH: The awards of course. Nah, lol, seriously? The work itself. The collaborative nature of the art form, the discovery of the moment. It is a series of revelations that take form in manifestations that can be enjoyed by millions.
DG: What do you dislike most about this business?
JH: People. 😆 Aren’t they the best and worse thing about everything?
DG: Ha ha…sometimes! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
JH: That’s a loaded question. There’s many that I hold dear. My top 3 would be going to Cannes twice in the last 3 years for my short films The Kind Ones and Knockout Game, winning twice at The NYC Horror Film Festival, and directing the entire first season of Primal Instinct on Investigation Discovery.
DG: Congrats! Any advice you’d like to give to newbies?
JH: If you’re going to do this you will have to forfeit a normal life and embrace a path of pain and uncertainty, of perpetual pregnancy. Money and success will ease this slightly, but creation is inherently painful and uncertain. That will never change.
Be courageous, constantly learn everything you can, learn to love broken people, and most of all maintain a personal standard no matter the circumstances.
You’ve chosen a hard life, but one with the ultimate reward: the projection of your inner divinity into other hearts and minds.
DG: Wow, well said! Anything else you’d like to say?
JH: I think I’ve said enough.
DG: LOL Thank you Jamal! It was great chatting and I love having you in the Shriekfest family!