On a warm and quiet September evening, African American content creator R. Moment sits in his living room editing recently captured content. R., 33, is a self-taught filmmaker from Washington, DC. He’s been working in the industry for 8 years with nearly 350 clients of various backgrounds.
In addition to learning filmmaking without any formal training, R. saved $10,000 to purchase equipment to begin his multimedia content company. He also took a one-year hiatus from a well-paying, blue-collar job to sharpen his craft. During that time, he shadowed other Black filmmakers and photographers that he met through networking. He faced a financial setback when nearly all of his equipment was stolen but has since replaced about $3,000 of the lifted gear.
In an industry where African Americans were not always welcomed nor respected, the tides are turning and African American filmmakers are now more sought after than ever. Where it was once believed that Black films would not be palatable to an international audience, films told from a Black perspective with African American leads have become some of the highest-grossing.
“Black filmmakers are important because of representation,” shared longtime friend of R. Moment, Amiyah Deziire. “There’s no better way than somebody who’s been through the same thing possibly where they can understand it, that can represent you and direct it in an actual film.”
Moment’s dedication to his craft is a direct representation of the perseverance of Black filmmakers who are now receiving their credit by the mainstream. His determination is reflective of Blacks in media who do not let barriers to access halt their progression.