Film Courage: Where did you grow up?
Lawrence Adisa: I grew up in Mount Vernon, NY, which is next door to the Bronx, NY.
Film Courage: What was life like at home?
Lawrence: Life was great, full of real life experiences! There’s nothing like growing up in NY, wouldn’t change it for anything. My mother, Jean Kirkland, raised 3 kids on her own. I have an older brother, Chris, and a younger sister, Nicole.
Film Courage: Did you go to film school?
Lawrence: Actually no, I didn’t. I started out acting first and took a few acting classes in Manhattan to learn the craft. Performed a lot of theatre in Manhattan as well. Then, after years of being on the set as an actor, I picked up the basics when it comes to the production side, as well as picking the brains of established DP’s and Directors that I became friends with.
[Every horror film should have] Blood, suspense, pretty women, a killer score and killer sound!!!
Film Courage: Can you share about your time studying with the Black Filmmaker Foundation?
Lawrence: Black Filmmaker Foundation (BFF) was very important to my early growth as an actor. I studied with BFF for the first 2-3 years of my journey!
Film Courage: What is the foundation about? How did it shape you?
Lawrence: BFF was a group of experienced entertainment professionals that guided “young green inexperienced aspiring” actors like myself in the right direction. Teaching us to take our craft seriously, to be prepared at all times and how to study your craft!
Film Courage: If you had only one day to live, how would you live it?
Lawrence: Wow! Just one day huh? Probably in two places! I’ll spend the morning at Heinz Field watching my Pittsburgh Steelers play with my wife, Camille Adisa, Mom, Brother and all my Buddies from NY, GA to LA! Then take a jet to Egypt and visit the Pyramids with my wife! That would be a long day, but it could happen!
Film Courage: What is your biggest daily motivator?
Lawrence: I’m motivated daily by just being able to check off whatever task that is needed to be accomplished for that day!
Film Courage: What is your biggest time waster that you work to overcome?
Lawrence: Dealing with PEOPLE who don’t understand that “time waits for no one.” So handle your business.
Film Courage: When did you arrive in Los Angeles?
Lawrence: Around 1995-96
Film Courage: Do you miss the East Coast?
Lawrence: I miss my Family and my close friends in NY, from 8th Ave and my boys BF C8! I don’t miss the cold weather and dirty subways..lol.
Film Courage: What has been the most memorable part of your film and television career thus far that you could not have imagined would have happened for you?
Lawrence: Working with Spike Lee! I was the biggest fan of his and getting casted in his film, Clockers, was AWESOME! Being able to have my Mom attend the premier for Clockers in NYC was priceless!
Film Courage: You have many acting credits. What role or character do you dream of playing?
Lawrence: I’d love to play a serial killer, like John Kramer (JIGSAW) in SAW!
Film Courage: You played Stan in the 1995 film CLOCKERS directed by Spike Lee. What was the set like?
Lawrence: Stan was a fun role! The set was big time, it was my 1st studio film so getting my own trailer, wardrobe, I even had car service take me to the set a few times! I still remember to this day, when the limo picked me up from my home in MT. Vernon and my buddy, DJ, was outside watching me as the car drove off, he was cheering me on; I received full support from my neighborhood!
Film Courage: Anything you learned from being on the CLOCKERS’ set that has influenced you as a filmmaker?
Lawrence: Yes, the loyalty that Spike Lee showed his team and vice versa! Keep your inner circle tight!
Film Courage: What has changed for the better in cinema since the 90’s?
Lawrence: For the worst?
Well,you don’t have to shoot on film now, which cost a ton! You can shoot a film with an iPhone!
Anybody can shoot a film now..lol…and it dilutes the market with poor product.
Film Courage: How did you get involved in producing BnB Hell?
Lawrence: I knew I wanted to make my next film a horror movie, with me being such a fan of horror films. So, I contacted my DP, Solomon, and we sat down to put the vision in motion. I put together the team including Coretta Thames (Exec Producer) our talented Director, Andrew Jordan, our lead actress, Kimberly Woods, and producer, Andrea Harrison. We put our creative juices to work and Andrew and Andrea went and wrote the screenplay!
“Surround yourself with likeminded, driven people who you can actually learn from is the key to being successful!”
Film Courage: What is BnB Hell about?
Lawrence: It’s about a young lady’s search for her missing twin sister that leads her to her sister’s last known resting spot, a creepy Bed and Breakfast. The BnB isn’t your normal BnB though, it’s ran by an evil lady named Mommy. Guest of the BnB check in but some don’t check out!
Film Courage: Do you have an acting role in this film?
Lawrence: No. I chose not to act in this film, I had so much going on with the producing side so I passed on the opportunity.
Film Courage: What were your duties as producer?
Lawrence: Wow…assemble the crew, secure the financing, secure distribution, facilitate the execution of the deliverables for post-production, marketing plan it’s goes on and on….lol.
Film Courage: How did you meet actress Kimberly Woods, the protagonist Willa in BnB Hell?
Lawrence: I’ve known Kimberly for a number of years. She’s performed table reads for me on my past projects. I felt like this would be a great look for her!
Lawrence: We had about 5-10 actors audition but Carol nailed it and we knew we had our Mommy! Rudy is a close friend of our producer Andrea, so we offered him the role knowing that he would nail it!
Film Courage: How did you calculate what the budget was going to be?
Lawrence: Just based on how many locations we needed, the crew size, shooting schedule and the cast.
Film Courage: How many days of production?
Lawrence: Seven and a few pick up days.
Film Courage: Where did you shoot the film/secure the locations?
Lawrence: 90% was shot on location at a house in the Hollywood Hills that we used for the BnB. The rest was shot near the house at Griffin Park and Runyon Canyon.
Well there was a monsoon basically for a few days, nonstop rain flooding the set and EVERYTHING! The Jacuzzi scene was shot right when we got a brief break from the rain. It was freezing! We shot it as fast as we could!
Film Courage: What was the most challenging part of producing this movie?
Lawrence: Just keeping the team focused on the end goal and making sure everybody carries their weight and handles their responsibilities.
Film Courage: Where is BnB Hell available to watch?
Lawrence: It’ll be available on iTunes, Amazon, Youtube, VuDu worldwide!
Film Courage: What are the 5 key components that are ‘must haves’ in any horror film?
Lawrence: Blood, Suspense, Pretty Women, Killer Score and Killer Sound!!!
Film Courage: Since moving to Los Angeles and being around the industry, what do you see as the contributing factor to most people’s success and to their failure?
Lawrence: Well…being able to surround yourself with likeminded, driven people who you can actually learn from is a key to being successful!
Failure: If you’re looking to piggyback off of other people’s success with nothing to offer, it will get old quick.
Film Courage: One book or film about Hollywood that every actor, producer, filmmaker, writer should read/watch?
Lawrence: Hollywood Shuffle by Robert Townsend!
Film Courage: What’s next for you creatively?
Lawrence: Looking at a couple of projects, another horror! Also, a TV series I’m writing!
Lawrence was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York. Studying with the Black Filmmakers Foundation and HB Studios, is where he built his skills and confidence. His acting career began in 1992, taking roles in off-Broadway productions. After landing a supporting role on the feature film Clockers directed by Spike Lee, he went on to enjoy a steady career making back to back TV appearances coast to coast.
Adisa has worked with a who’s who in Hollywood including Alan Alda (ER), Dick Van Dyke (Diagnosis Murder), Bill Cosby (Cosby Mysteries), Simon Baker (The Mentalist), and Regina King (American Crime) just to name a few.
Adisa has taken his career behind the camera as well; writing, producing and starring in the 2007 Warner Brothers released comedy “Grindin”, the 2013 BET released romantic comedy “The Love Section”.
Adisa’s latest film will be released under his Lawrence Adisa Films, LLC production company. BnB Hell is a horror/suspense thriller which will be released on June 15th 2017 worldwide on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and more!
CONNECT WITH BNB HELL MOVIE:
Lazar works as a ‘decoy’ or ‘bait’ who distracts the police and oversees the transfer of illegal immigrants across the border with the EU. Intelligent and discreet, he lives under the patronage of a local mobster and is able to support his family with the money he makes from trafficking. He falls in love with a young student, a stranger to his world, and contemplates changing his life. One night, his brother Toni is responsible for the drowning of one of the immigrants. Lazar is called to help and is faced with an impossible decision.
The Cyclotron is a thriller that takes place at the end of the Second World War. Simone, a spy working for the Allies, is entrusted with the mission to find and execute Emil, a scrupulous Berlin scientist who discovered before the Americans the way to build an atomic bomb, and is fleeing with his secret. Simone finds him on a night train speeding towards Switzerland. German soldiers, led by König, a German scientist, who want to arrest Emil and make him talk before he leaves the country, are also chasing him. Things get complicated when memories of love and quantum mechanics get intertwined in the pursuit.
BNB Hell tells the story of a young woman’s hunt for her missing sister ends at a rundown bed and breakfast in the Hollywood Hills run by an ill-tempered woman called Mommy. Disturbing messages left by former guests suggest unsettling secrets lay buried there.
Show Business is an American comedy that follows screenwriter Guy Franklin as he moves from NYC to LA with his fiancé. It should be a great gig but Guy soon realizes that being in Show Business and balancing his life love is easier said than done – a movie by Composer/Filmmaker Alexander Tovar