Articles: Marlena Martin's "Driven In 2K5! (2005)"




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Marlena Martin

Greetings everyone & welcome back to the new & improved, "Driven in 2K5! (2005)" Our purpose is still the same and so is our message. We’re committed to giving you the best information to guide you towards the path of success. February is not only "Black History Month" but also the month for Blacks to make history. Start 2005 off with not only a pow but a big bang theory! Plant a seed of creativity & watch the vision harvest and manifest fruitfully. Make 2005 your best year yet. Like an athlete running hurdles, get into your zone and focus on the finish line. If you are an independent filmmaker, director, producer, screenwriter, actor, etc. then this site is for you. From time to time, I'll feature stories from those in the industry that want to share career advice and words of wisdom. If you are in the film industry and want to be recognized or give tips, by all means, contact me at:

Planting Seeds of Creativity: Move like you got a purpose!

As people of the arts, we are driven to tell a story and also have our point reach home. With the new year comes endless possibilities. If you are looking for the best time to begin a project, I advise you, the time is now. Start 2005 by putting your best foot forward. Sit down and plot your goals and aspirations. If you have a goal to be an extra or star in a big budget film with Will Smith, put one foot in front of the other and set your plan in motion. We’ve all heard the saying; "Let’s move like we have a purpose, people!" use that as your personal motto. Don’t procrastinate or depend on someone else to make your goals come to fruition. Do you think a pumpkin and watermelon just sprouted up out the ground on their own? Nope. They all started out as seedlings. No seed can grow without being planted. Study your craft thoroughly and be willing, yes, I said, willingly, to work for free. I’m sorry, you might be upset or angry that I said that but it’s true. Nine times out of ten, if something is your passion, you’d do it for free -- regardless. I had a guy once, detail my car -- and I had an SUV. He did a superb job for free. Now, a detail shop would have charged me an arm and a leg but he did it because it was his passion and he was just starting out. He realized that if he did an excellent job and was professional, through word of mouth, his business would soar. He planted a seed and today he’s got so many cars, I’m on the waiting list.

It doesn’t matter if in 2004 you didn’t accomplish all that you set out to do. That’s why we are blessed with new years. Whatever you didn’t finish in 2004, you can more than make up for in 2005. Many filmmakers, myself included, don’t have million dollar budgets. We use what we have. Our "I know I Can" or ‘Lil Engine’ mantra keeps us hungry and our eye on the prize. I know people that have shot high quality film on a budget of two hundred dollars. Heck, my documentary, "Driven in 2004 was an official selection of the 2004 Women of Color Film Festival in New York City was done on a meager budget of maybe twenty dollars. Films by Vanessa Williams of Soul Food and Lisa Gaye Hamilton of The Practice were in the same festival. The only items I purchased were: film tape and gas to get ‘to and from’ my locations. Use what you have, that’s all you need anyway. How many tales are in the Bible about common, ordinary people doing extraordinary feats with just simple items. David used a slingshot to defeat Goliath. If a little guy like him could defeat a giant, what’s holding you back?

Last but not least, don’t ever develop a, "I’m not Good Enuff" mentality. It doesn’t matter if you came from the gutter, homeless shelter, trailer park, or your nickname growing up was, hood rat Pat. You can do whatever you set your mind to do. The Rapper/Actress/Clothing Designer, "Eve" was once a stripper. Samuel Jackson was once a crack addict. Jamie Foxx, was raised by his Grandmother (RIP), both Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder were born blind but do you think that stopped them from pursing their musical careers? I could go on and on but you get the picture. There are some, who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth but a majority of African Americans aren’t. The greatest reward in life is, working hard for your achievement. It’s that much sweeter when you achieve success on your own merits and not those given to you. I encourage everyone in 2005 to move like you got a purpose! Attack your goal like it stole something from you!

Claim your victory… make it happen; and Welcome to 2005!

When? Where? & Wow!

Film Festival deadlines for February 2005
Deadline/ 2.06.05 / 4.01.05 Contact:


"Best of the Best" of Diaspora African Cinema/Deadline 2.26.05-3.5.05

NY International Independent Film & Video Festival/Deadline 2.13.05

Animation Block Party/Deadline 2.14.05/Contact

American Film Market (AFM)/Deadline 2.27.05-3.03.05


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