When I was looking to do a new project I knew about veterans who had different ways to cope with PTSD.
At first, I was going to use mixed martial (MMA) arts in the movie because I train in MMA. However, I had a lot of veterans that went to my school and some of them had PTSD. They said MMA helped them cope with PTSD.
As I started doing research for the script, I realized that thousands of veterans have PTSD as a result of being sexually assaulted or raped while they served in the military. This seemed like a more interesting story to me.
Therefore, I changed directions of the script and focused not only the main female character having PTSD because she was raped by her commanding officer. I also focused on the commanding officer’s story as well. Not many filmmakers show the perpetrator’s side. Why does he rape? What happened to him, in his life?
It’s a complex story, but one that needed to be told in order to enlighten audiences about what goes on in the Armed Forces and how to help veterans who are dealing with PTSD and military sexual trauma.
You are the writer, director and producer of A Sense Of Purpose. Can you tell us how it is was to wear that many hats in the filmmaking process?
Usually independent filmmakers must wear multiple hats due to money restraints. But what I have found is when you have multiple titles it becomes an asset. You have more control over your film.
What was the most challenging aspect of making A Sense Of Purpose?
To tell a story about PTSD and sexual assault and making sure it’s entertaining as well as educational.
A specific scene that was challenging was when I had to be the body double for Tamara Woods, she’s the lead female actor in the movie, Sgt. Torres. She was eight months pregnant when we did the rape scene, so I had to stand in for her. It was difficult. However, we did have a closed set and the actors and crew involved were very professional. John Quinlan, who plays Captain Nixon, the rapist, was extremely professional. It’s hard to allow oneself to get inside the mind of a rapist and do such a horrific act and be convincing and he did a great job.
John and I had to be comfortable doing the scene because he was naked and I was partially naked and I’m the director, too. It could have been awkward, but we worked it out.
What’s ahead in terms of filmmaking for you?
Right now I’m on the film festival circuit with A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives. I am also seeking a distribution deal for it.
My next project is A Cup Full of Crazy, a thriller that I wrote, and also will direct. Production is scheduled to begin in summer 2019 in Philadelphia. I also have other films in development. By 2021, I’m looking forward to opening my film production studio, Bull By The Horns. I will be the first female, and the first African-American, to have an in-house studio in Philadelphia. It will be small at first, but eventually, in about 10 years, I plan to have 330 acres of studio like Tyler Perry. You have to aim big!
VIEW FILMS ON MARILYNFILMS.COM
Below is a button link to view films available here on MarilynFilms.com. We encourage you to support independent filmmaking by viewing the films and we’d love to hear your take on them. You can simply comment below or send us your comments via our CONTACT page.
You can also find out more about A Sense Of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives by visiting www.asenseofpurposemovie.com. There you can also see some music videos related to the movie.
Hey, why not subscribe to our newsletter? We’ll keep you updated with everything MarilynFilms.com and you’ll receive promo codes directly to your inbox (one email a month).
Also, would you share this article? It’s extremely helpful in our mission to promote independent filmmakers and their films. You can do so simply by clicking on your favorite of the social media icons listed below (scroll down). Cheers 🙌🏾.