How did you get started in the Entertainment Industry?
I started in the entertainment industry with modeling. Modeling gave me the confidence to be able to transition into my acting career, also modeling allowed me to network with the right people and put me in a position where I could even consider an acting career.
What gave you the inspiration to produce your first film This House?
I never intended on “This House” being as big as it was. I was trying to get good stuff for my acting Film Reel. Everyone, all my acting coaches, agents and friends in the industry told me, sometimes you have to do your own stuff and for a while I didn’t know what they meant by that. I would ask myself – How could I possibly put on a production? I don’t know anything about that stuff; I’m just an actor. But then again, for a while I was feeling like I wasn’t booking any roles that I felt showcased my talent or showcased what Reggie Lochard can do; so that’s how “This House” started. I wanted to be able to show my agent and people that I do have range and that I can do this – so I decided if no one was going to cast me, I’d cast myself. I drew on and pulled inspiration from people who inspire me in this industry, people like Tyler Perry, Lee Daniels, Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay and F. Gary Grey – People of color in this business who put out their own work.
What are your thoughts on diversity in the film industry?
Honestly, I feel like the industry is doing a little better when it comes to diversity, but in my opinion it’s still not where it needs to be. But if I may be so candid, I also think that the black community doesn’t support one another enough in this business. We don’t get the top billings on major studio films because, in my opinion, the studios don’t feel like there is a market for us, when in reality there is. People complain that they don’t see enough Black movies out, Blacks TV shows or Black actors working – but when a predominately African American film does get a wide release, as a community, I don’t feel like we support it the way we should; at least not initially, maybe later on down the line. The movie may become a “Classic” like a “Friday” or “Love and Basketball” or even a “Set it off” – but initially I don’t feel like those movies do the numbers that they could and should at the box office. I feel like once we start supporting our culture, our products, and our own talent then maybe things will really change for us. Again this is just my opinion.
What actor and actress would you love to be casted with and why?
God, this is a hard one, I love everyone; ha ha ha …. But if I had to pick an actress I’d like to work with I’d have to say Kimberly Elise. I love all her work. I think she’s an immensely talented actress who doesn’t get the type of appreciation and recognition I feel she deserves from the industry. I loved her in “Set it off”, “For Colored Girls” and “John Q”. Her resume just goes on and on and personally I’d hire her in a minute. As for an actor, well being that I’m an actor myself that’s always an interesting dynamic, but if I had to pick one it would have to be Tom Cruise. I absolutely love Tom. He is amazing to me. He commits to every role he takes on. I love the energy he brings to his characters and personally I’m a huge fan of the “Mission Impossible” franchise. I have seen every installment and I’d love to one day star in one of them with him.
What challenges did you face producing your first film?
Budget. I funded “This House” myself from money I’ve saved away from my years modeling and other various jobs. But I don’t regret it and if I had to do it over again, I would in a heartbeat. It’s tough to try and do a lot when the budget doesn’t allow for it, so I had to be conscious about every little detail, every little scene. I even had to be conscious of the actors I hired (Obviously I couldn’t afford the likes of a Michael B. Jordan). But we made due with what we had and it turned out great.
Your film got into the Chicago international Film Festival and the Miami International Film Festival. How important was this for you?
The Success of “This House” to me is still unbelievable, honestly. I started with the project thinking I needed extra material for my acting Film Reel and then I ended up submitting a short film into film festivals. That definitely was not the plan. At that time, I didn’t know what could become of it. I was happy with the finished product. I felt accomplished that I did this on my own. It was nice that these film festivals recognized my work, even though the movie didn’t win anything. Just to be invited, to me was a huge accomplishment and when I did a private screening for the film after it was all said and done, the movie was well received by people in the industry. So I am very pleased with that. Me, a kid from Brooklyn who never thought he could do something like this, doing it and it being appreciated; to me this is still very much a dream.
Tell us about your new film When The Well Runs Dry?
It’s a story about two brothers whose mother dies tragically in a car accident. The film itself picks up a week after the burial of their mother (Valerie Winston); the Winston boys must pick up the pieces and get their lives back on track. Maurice (the older brother) finds himself the sole guardian of his 17-year-old brother, Marcus, who is set on ruining his life with poor decisions. Maurice struggles to deal with the loss of his mother while staying strong for his younger brother. He finds his new circumstances to be increasingly insurmountable. Knowing it was always his mothers dream to get Marcus to college and make something of himself, Maurice makes it his mission to see his brother through these trying times; after all they’re all they have left in this world. In the darkest times for the Winston boys they find out that there’s nothing stronger than the brotherhood they share, the values their mother raised them with and the love they have for one another.
What tips would you give to future film producers?
Make sure this is your passion. Make sure this is something that you really want to do. I think a lot of people chase “fame” and not necessarily focus on the art and in my opinion that’s where people and this industry loses itself. You have to do it for the right reasons or why do it at all? When telling a story, know your brand, know who you are, also know why you’re interested in telling this particular story. Personally before I make the decision to work on a project, these are all questions that I ask myself, just to make sure that this isn’t something that I do and then I look back at it a few years from now and then I regret it.
What can we look forward from you in the future?
In the immediate future it will be my next film “When The Well Runs Dry”. But beyond that I hope to continue to create work that speaks to me as an artist and filmmaker. I want to be able to make movies that I would personally want to see myself. That’s my whole thing, I want to do things that excites me. I want to put things out there that I would want to see and hopefully people will appreciate it. Hopefully my work will resonate with people and they will come to appreciate me for my work. Also I want to be able to inspire people with my work, my story and my journey.
Check out the trailer for This House below and make sure you follow Reggie Lochard on Instagram.