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Rodney McCullum ~ Musiik Jones

Rodney McCullum

Rodney McCullum

I met Rodney McCullum (many know him as Musiik Jones) in a Google+ community for independent filmmakers. I watched a few of his video blogs and I fell in love his openness and the way he shares his research and knowledge with his fellow filmmakers.

Rodney McCullum is a member of the US Army, recently promoted and prepping for Ranger school. When I asked Rodney how his filmmaking career fit in with his Army career, he smiled and told me: “It’s the other way around. Actually, I’m having the military help me out with my goal to better my career as an actor. I’m not one with a wealth of money hiding in my cellar. I’m saving money and trying to build a maturity for owning my own business. The military is the best thing for me to get that background and training.”

Rodney founded a production company called Inliight Productions. “I started Inliight Productions one night around 3 am. I had an epiphany: businesses have to have a beginning. Businesses start with an idea, and I had to act on that idea. Steve Jobs started in his garage. He had to actually make that move to start a new business. That’s my motivation for starting this company.”

While finishing his last year in the military, Rodney started working on the script for a short film. He is taking this time to rewrite and perfect the script. After the military, Rodney plans to move to Los Angeles, where he’ll have access to better equipment and actors and writers.

The film is titled Identity Stars. “In the African American community, there’s a way that we’re expected to act within our own culture, and it damages the way we see ourselves and the way other people see us. The film is about a conversation between two roommates. One has a boxed in way of thinking and the other one went his own path. They bump heads when the situation comes up about ‘acting white,’ which is an underlying problem that hasn’t been brought out yet. I want to touch on that and, hopefully, I can get some people to understand and feel that same way that I do about the topic.”

Rodney McCullum finger on glasses Rodney McCullum is also an actor. He auditions for all types of roles, although he prefers dramatic roles. “At this stage, I’m still trying to discover what I like, what I’m best at and where I still need training.”

Another one of Rodney McCullum’s goals is to build a successful YouTube channel. On his video blog, Rodney shares not only screenwriting and acting tips, but general business tips too. He started his video blog because “it’s the easiest way to get out to an audience. YouTube is widely known around the world. I researched the popular channels on YouTube, and the people who have 3-4 million subscribers are the people who (like me) woke up one day and decided, ‘hey, I’m gonna do this.’ Then, they found a group of people who empathized with them and understood the message they were trying to get across.”

Rodney also shares his personal goals on the video blog. “It gives me the opportunity to go back and feel what I was feeling at that moment and use that as my motivation to keep moving forward. There’s always this moment when you create a goal for yourself and you’re super-motivated. Then somewhere along the line, you get in a slump or forget about the goal altogether. To make a video testimony of your goals and what you want to do, it keeps you motivated to move forward. It revamps that motivation.”

Rodney uses all forms of social media to connect with people. “In the Army, you don’t find many actors or producers or writers or directors. These are my outlets to find creative people who share my common interests. It keeps me sane and motivated. It will be easy to keep up with these people too, once I’m out of the Army.”

Rodney McCullum filming When I asked Rodney what advice he’d like to pass on to other artists, he told me “Hollywood isn’t reserved just for the people who are already there. They’re making room for new people every day. For the people who don’t think their good enough or don’t think they belong there, all you have to do is literally just start! Wherever you are, no matter what position you are in life, just start!”

I asked Rodney if he still believes you need to live in Hollywood to make it in the film industry. He responded with: “No. Actually, I recently read an article that Los Angeles is not losing its glamour in show business, but that other states are coming up, in Atlanta, Texas and Chicago. They have their own communities of actors, producers, writers and directors.”

Then why move to Los Angeles after you leave the Army? It’s a long story. In 2007, when Rodney McCullum was in high school, he auditioned for the American Musical and Dramatics Academy, which is in Los Angeles. “It’s my dream school, actually. I got accepted into the school after I got back from the International Thespian Festival, but I didn’t have enough money to attend, so I decided to go into the Army. About two years later, I auditioned for the school again. I made it. I got a scholarship. I’m going to school in LA, acting school.”

How exciting. Rodney McCullum: working hard, pursuing his dream and recording precious moments on his video blog. Watch out Los Angeles!

Watch our video interview on the Amused Now YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/HPDppg_sFIE

 

Rodney McCullum thinkingAmused Now Featured Artist Series

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Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now    
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