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'The Other Side of Hollywood: Do or Die' Promises Candid Exploration Of Hollywood Realities

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 30, 2013 1:20 PM
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As someone who's done the LA grind, you could call it, I'm always curious to hear the stories of others who've done it, and continue to do it. Not necessarily those who've "made it," but everyone else. Those just getting started, motivated by a dream, and those who've been at it for years, and are maybe right on the cusp of breaking through, and everyone between.

Essentially, the proverbial "struggling artist."

After my mother died from breast cancer in the early 2000s, I moved to Los Angeles, with the age-old story you've heard before: pennies in my bank account, no work, no place to stay, motivated by a dream. I loaded up my Mercury sable sedan with all my belongings, and made the drive from San Francisco to LA, where I thought my dreams of making movies as a writer/director would be realized.

But not-so fast my friends...

In short, I hated my brief time in Hollywood. I think we all know that feeling that comes over us when we're in a place where we just don't seem to belong, and isn't for us, for one reason or another. You just feel it. You may not have felt it before you got there, but once you do get there, and you live in it for a period of time, enough to get a sense of it, you come to realize soon enough that you don't belong there.

So I left, and moved to New York, and have been here for over 10 years. Clearly, it's more my speed, otherwise I would've left a long time ago. I'm just one of those people... packing up and leaving a place when I don't feel how I believe I should feel, is something I've never hesitated to do. 

All this to say, a hat-tip to all of you grinders who are out West (although, really, wherever you are), working your asses off to reach whatever goal you've set. Some of you might recognize yourselves in the stories told by the artists in Robert X. Golphin's indie documentary The Other Side of Hollywood: Do or Die, which the filmmaker describes as a no holds barred exploration of the realities of surviving and succeeding in Hollywood.


Directed & Produced by multiple award-winning filmmaker Golphin and Singer-Songwriter Victor Brooks, II, the production features screen veteran Steven Williams (Linc's, The Blues Brothers, The X-Files), Hip-Hop pioneer Mopreme Shakur (brother of Tupac Shakur), entertainer and social activist May May Ali, recording artists Brian McKnight, Jr. & Niko McKnightDavid Arnold (Comedian, Head Writer for multiple Tyler Perry sitcoms), actor/model Shalon Davis, Bo Brown ("Love Ranch"), singer-songwriter Donovan Fordham, actor/artivist Damone Williams and many more.  Among the project's executive producers are International House/Dance Recording Artist Julie McKnight, and Christopher L. Brooks of Brooks Entertainment, LLC.

A trailer for the film follows at the bottom of this post. 

There's also an official fan page on Facebook which you can access here:

No ETA on when the film can be expected to debut:

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More: Coming Soon

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  • Concerned Lady | August 31, 2013 1:37 PMReply

    I'm of the opinion that Shadow and Act is really diminishing its pedigree by showcasing pieces like these. I understand that the site wants to uplift creators of various backgrounds, but really? My child could have put together a better promo.

  • cariocaman | September 2, 2013 5:04 PM

    Right on GRITOD... "CONCERNED LADY" has issues! I thought that this promo was raw, real and stayed true to the title.. it was for sure "THE OTHER SIDE OF HOLLYWOOD". Obviously not shot in 7 D or otherwise... but as "OUR ELDERS" in this business have always told us... "IT"S NOT THE CAMERA..IT'S THE CONTENT" .... And the content in this piece seems to be on point.. hope the entire doc holds up to this sneak peak!

  • griotD | September 1, 2013 12:53 AM

    And comments like these are part of the reason Black creatives don't have the inspiration to tell stories, or produce projects. If you don't dig the honest effort of this team, then just move on. This comment is pointless. And if your child "could have put together a better promo," then perhaps he/she should. Perhaps you should be helping him or her do that, instead of taking the time to be disparaging (and unhelpful) for no damn reason. :-)

  • NO BRAINER | August 30, 2013 7:37 PMReply

    God. That trailer was tedious to watch.

  • itiswhatitis | September 2, 2013 5:07 PM

    Hey "NO BRAINER"... when you are blessed with a brain... watch it again.. and learn something!

    Never heard of this producer... but have lived this life! Thanks for giving us a voice!

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