The irony of interviewing a young black director after the passing of the well known director John Singleton was eerie but proved to be reviving. Michael Foster brought his knowledge, enthusiasm, and down-to-Earth personality to our interview.
“We are losing all of our legends,” Foster said.
These losses make it necessary to study Foster’s journey. He shared his story with Level 21, and we are putting it on a platter for up-and-coming directors to dive in.
Although not having been able to meet the late, great filmmaker, there is no doubt that Foster will follow in Singleton’s footsteps of motivating directors that follow him. Foster was excited to mention that he has followed Singleton’s career from “Boyz in the Hood” up until now, being pleased with his co-created work “Snowfall,” an FX series.
“He’s helped shape the film industry and culture,” Foster said.
Foster is doing the same in the industry with The Michael Foster Experience. As the name suggests, The Michael Foster Experience actually creates an EXPERIENCE. Foster’s travels and work give him the unique ability to create this experience. From France to Martha’s Vineyard, he is intentionally growing his network around the globe.
Foster credits his creative writing to the earlier stages of his life and his evolution from a rapper to an entertainment businessman, building platforms for like-minded individuals, which ultimately brought him to his feature film “#aSocialLoveAffair.”
“#aSocialLoveAffair” is what he calls a modern day “Love Jones” (a 1997 romantic drama starring Larenz Tate and Nia Long). It wasn’t until a partner suggested he make a Love Story that “#aSocialLoveAffair” was born. Foster stated that he wasn’t interested in creating anything “cheesy.”
The modern aspect of “#aSocialLoveAffair,” in part, is Michael’s capturing of today’s social media use and its effects on love. Along with this theme, Michael revealed how much social media has an impact on today’s culture. The webs social media weaves can be quite difficult to navigate, especially as it pertains to current relationships and situation-ships.
Foster explained the unraveling events in the film as being “triple-entendre-like.” Again, using his vernacular, for anyone who hadn’t seen his film. It was vivid how his earlier years of lyrical writing presented itself in describing the feature.
Had this film been based on Foster’s life? We all wanted the juice. Although Foster says there are similarities in the storyline, do know that this is not based on a true story detail for detail, though the film parallels his life in some ways.
Roughly four years in the making, his feature film was surely a process. From concept creation in January 2015 to the premier in February 2019, “#aSocialLoveAffair” was no small feat. During the interview, Foster was candid about the events that lead up to its achievement. He expressed how working with minimal funds and scheduling actors were amongst the biggest hurdles.
“You’re at the mercy of people and their schedules,” Foster said.
Looking back he wished he’d had more hands on board halfway through the process.
“It ain’t easy,” he said. “Fourteen hour days. It’s a grind.”
Production began July of 2015. This dad, husband and entrepreneur witnessed the birth of his third daughter shortly after in October 2015, just shy of his France visit in September of that same year. The importance of the stated months? Well, that visit to France would ultimately birth something else great.
During the shooting of a commercial in France, The Inner Elite was born, beginning as a fashion brand. Today, The Inner Elite is a collective of creatives and an alliance of like-minded people on an international level. Ultimately, it is a platform for creatives to showcase their creations. TheInnerElite.com is a growing process and will soon host Foster’s movie along with other content from creators who will go to any lengths to see their projects through to fruition.
Foster showed his knack for brand and name creating when he came up with the exclusive name The Inner Elite. He got his start with naming and creating “Swagger TV” in his beginning stages of production establishment. Above all, he marveled at having named his two eldest daughters, Arianna and Symone, which he felt were his most prized creations.
How to juggle entertainment life and family living is what we all want to know. Giving you the jewels Foster shared isn’t enough. Picture and film are worth more than a thousand words and soon you will get a front row seat at what it takes to create films like “#aSocialLoveAffair.”
In “Behind the Experience,” another one of Foster’s creations, viewers are able to follow his journey in creating his first feature film. It captures scenes in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Charlotte, NC. This socu-series will also be presented on the well-anticipated platform, The Inner Elite. Alongside “Behind the Experience,” Foster is working on a series called “Reel Lyfe Cinema.” This series focuses on actors and directors and their projects. It is their version of “Inside The Actor’s Studio.”
If you aren’t already motivated by this gentleman, peep this as an “insider.” A few years ago before all of this began, Foster found himself a 30-year-old with no college degree. He had no corporate job and made the decision to go to film school. Upon doing that, he realized that was exactly what he should be doing professionally.
Foster received his education at The Art Institute of Charlotte, where he created a short film and was afforded the opportunity to travel to many film festivals internationally. After a two year run of winning awards and traveling, he made the decision to create his feature film. Which brought us to “#aSocialLoveAffair.”
If watching his moves via his docu-series “Behind the Experience” isn’t enough to grasp and take heed to his hard work, stay tuned for an online academy by this multi-talented director. Aiming to help educate those who wish to learn about the film industry, the online platform will entail film and various other subjects. This collaboration, he feels, is just what the industry needs, so be on the lookout.
“SEE the vision” says Michael, a request sure to take us on an up-close-and-personal, entertaining roller coaster ride.