Chase Finn – Filmmaker
Sherry Spearman – Producer, WJCT
Andrew Wiechman – Host, “Blues Horizon” WJCT
Rita Reagan – Historian, The Norman Studios Museum
Devan Stuart – Board Member, The Norman Studios Museum
Art Smith Jr. – WIFT-FL
Jill Donnellan – WIFT-FL
Richard McMahan – Artist
Mark Creegan – Artist, Educator
Richard Levine – Screenwriter, Educator
Kate McManus – Actress, Writer, Educator
John Citrone – Sound Design, Teaching Artist, Musician
Reception with Special Guests on May 5th, 2017
Brian “Skinny B” Lewis
Producer of tonight’s invited feature film, Written and Directed by Charles Murray, Things Never Said
Brian “Skinny B.” Lewis
Producer, Director, Camera Operator
Known to most people as “Skinny B.”, was born on the south side of Chicago. As a result of the divorce of his parents, he moved to southern California during his high school years. Playing sports and indulging in the arts, acting and photography were some of his passions. Seeing the world through a lens gave him a whole different perspective on life.
At age 19, he enrolled himself in Pasadena City College’s renowned telecommunications program studying television and radio, in pursuit of becoming a frontline news camera operator.
Finding it hard to support himself by working part-time and going to school, Skinny dropped out of school and sought full-time work doing various jobs not related to television, but the dream of being in the industry stayed in his head.
In 1987, he enrolled at the famed “The Loft Studio” acting school, studying for almost 2 years under Bill Traylor. During that time, landing small bit parts in indie films and commercials, but on those jobs he found more interest looking over the director’s shoulder.
In 1990, he was cast as lead male in a music video with John Lee Hooker and Bonnie Raitt. Again, spending all of his downtime looking over the director’s shoulder, he then knew for sure that the production side of the camera was where he was meant to be. He asked the producer if he could volunteer on their next shoot as a production assistant, and that next week he was called in.
Throughout the next 6 or 7 years, he worked on about 350 music videos and commercials, working in every department and working his way up the ranks to producer status, all the time knowing that this accumulative knowledge would make him a better producer and director. In 1995, he started his own video production company call Skinny-Flix.
In 1996, He was taken under wing by Director, Actor Mario Van Peebles. From the Van Peebles’ camp he learned more about the feature film side of the industry. Working on several projects along side Mario and sometimes father Melvin, their influences gave merit to his drive to be a better Producer and Director.
In 2002, he ventured out on his own to co-produce his first feature film, urban cult western “Gang Of Roses,” there he learned a lot of the do’s and don’ts of filmmaking. There were lessons to be learned. Since then he has concentrated a lot more on his camera skills, working on numerous reality shows like “Bringing Home Baby”(TLC network), “Mario’s Green House”(TV ONE), and various news, concerts, documentaries, short films and sport shows. For the past 7 years he has been a camera operator for Steve Harvey’s “Hoodie/ Neighborhood Awards” show at the Mandalay Bay Arena & “Steve Harvey’s Final Comedy Concert” at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and now in Atlanta Ga.
In 2011, “Skinny B.” has strapped his “Producers Hat” on once more to Produce his most passionate project to date, The feature film by Charles Murray “Things Never Said”, released in 2013. Currently, he has been kept busy working as D.P./Camera Operator with Actor/Director Larry B. Scott “ THE GRIND” and just shot a DVD to be released Play, “ANOTHER MAN WILL” with acclaimed Director /Writer/Playwright David E. Talbert.
Skinny’s music video production credits run from Dr. Dre to Van Halen and Anita Baker, with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Warren G, and NWA.
Mal Jones is a Recording artist, Arts educator, Visual artist, Master Folk Artist, and documentarian who curates and hosts The Lyricist Live at the Jacksonville Artwalk. The Lyricist Live is an all-inclusive community youth cipher that has been taking place in downtown Jax every month consecutively since 2011. The number 1 rule is NO CURSING and this cipher has seen NO VIOLENCE in it’s 6-year history keeping the youth of our community inspired and safe. Mal also runs a state-funded apprenticeship through the Florida Folklife Program and Division of Historical resources and has placed his educational programs in several Title 1 schools. in November 2016 Mal traveled to England to represent Jacksonville Arts and culture, becoming the 1st Cultural ambassador of the Arts in Jacksonville History.
Whether it be the subject of Writing, History, the visual arts, exercise, physical health, etc. I see all things through the lens of Hip-Hop culture. This gives me a voice that the youth of this generation want to listen to. As someone who wants to reach the youth of this generation in their very own schools and communities, it gives me quite the advantage when it comes to educating them on subjects that they might generally not be interested in, and even educates them on subjects they didn’t even know they could have interest in. Speaking to this generation in the language I grew up speaking, has been the most fulfilling and affective way I’ve found to reach the youth of today. Hip Hop arts and education is a blend of disciplines that create an art form all its own, and I love giving our youth the lens to discover that with.