Ang Santos: Joining us on the WBGO Journal, we have Adam B. Smith of ABS Productions. His short film The Path is screening on Saturday September 7thduring a block at the CityPlex 12 Theater as part of the 2019 Newark International Film Festival. Thanks for being here.
Adam B. Smith: Thank you so much for having me.
AS: Is this your first time having a film accepted to a film festival?
ABS: Yes, first film that’s been accepted to a film festival and the first feature film I did. I sent it out to a lot of different festivals, but Newark was the place that accepted the film. They loved it.
AS: Where did you shoot The Path?
ABS: I shot it in various locations around Essex County, even Hudson County. Part of Newark, Jersey City, East Orange, Irvington. I wanted to capture a real urban feel with the film
AS: The Path, your title. We’re talking trains here?
ABS: No, no…well, it’s kind of in a way based off of it. I did get the idea from the PATH train. I was in the Grove Street area in Jersey City and me and the lead actor were thinking of titles for it. We had the whole concept down for the film. I looked up and was the logo for the PATH train, hopefully Port Authority doesn’t say anything, but I thought The Path. The film pretty much talks about the path that these two brothers lead. One is going down one path the other is going down another path. So I thought the title actually worked out.
AS: The Path for at least one of them is towards some meaningful employment.
ABS: Right. There’s one brother, Raphael, he’s an artist trying to get his work out there, but people are rejecting him. His brother Miguel wants to be more than what he is. He wants to have his own club. He wants to be known around the world but his path isn’t paved with the best intentions.
AS: It must make you care that much more about a particular project when you’re so rooted in it? In this case, The Path your producer, director, actor, cinematographer, there has to be a lot of you rooted in this film The Path.
ABS: A lot, I see myself as an up and coming Tyler Perry maybe? I don’t know. I invested a lot of time with this project. I stayed true to it. As I was making it I had people saying how far do you think that film is going to get you? Or why are you doing this? Different little scenarios that felt related to the film as I was typing the screenplay. I invested time, money, lots of hours knowing that I still had to be up early and get ready to do my day job. I’d work eight hours than put almost another eight hours into dialogue and ideas. Now I think back and even though we wrapped filming up nine months ago, I still feel like a lot went into it.
AS: I like how it kind of comes around to the naysayers. People were asking you why you’re doing it and why are you wasting your time on this film. But now that you’ve been accepted to the 2019 Newark International Film Festival, it has to give you a boost of confidence as a filmmaker.
ABS: Yes, to put it in the right words, I’m on the right path. Seeing that it’s been accepted makes me happy. I’m in the works on another screenplay now and it makes me think I did the right thing. The next project I work on, the sky’s the limit.
AS: I’m going to have to assume that you are going to be attending the film festival, and outside of seeing your film on the big screen, what other things are you looking forward to that are happening at the 2019 Newark International Film Festival?
ABS: Definitely networking. Meeting people that are doing the same thing as me. I remember being at the film festival a couple of years ago and I was interviewing people as a videographer as I was working. I interviewed a number of people there. And here we are two years later and instead of me being the one interviewing people, somebody is going to be interviewing me.
AS: What do you want 2019 Newark International Film Festival moviegoers to know about The Path before they see it?
ABS: I really want people to look at this film to be able to identify with the characters. It’s a Hispanic cast, but I don’t people to look at it that way. I want people to be able to identify themselves in these characters and say I was just like that when I was younger.
***The Path is screening on Saturday September 7thduring a block of shorts at the CityPlex 12 Theater between noon and 2pm as part of the upcoming 2019 Newark International Film Festival.