The following piece is a part of our On The Radar series including individuals that have been placed on our radar, and we encourage you to have them on yours.
By now, you probably already know the name and have seen one of the many videos that Space Cherry Films has produced. They are an award-winning production company based in Jacksonville, FL and have become a staple when it comes to Christian hip-hop videos.
Space Cherry Films videos have been featured in different outlets and have been shown nationally and internationally on major television networks like BET’s 106 & Park, JCTV, Disney Channel and others.
Will Thomas, owner and director of Space Cherry, talked with Wadeoradio.com to talk about the company, its mission, upcoming projects and more.
Aubrey: How did Space Cherry Films start?
Will Thomas: Space Cherry Films was started in 2008 here in Jacksonville, Florida. At the time, I was an upcoming Producer by the name of Juice2020 (my claim to fame was production on Sho Baraka’s “Lion & Liars” Album, I produced “Word” & “I.T.W.N.O.”). I really wasn’t satisfied with music production for the most part, I wasn’t involved in the entire creative process from song creation to mixing. So nine out of 10 times, I wasn’t happy with the final record.
You see, I always had a passion for film, but the entry cost back then for decent gear was around $9k – $20k. Thus, I felt it was too expensive to get into, but after much prayer, I decided to take a chance and buy a Canon Hv30. After purchasing the camera, I started shooting music videos. Our coming out party was in 2009, when Tjuan “Best Friends” debuted on BET “106 & Park.” At the time, I didn’t have cable so I missed the premiere.
Aubrey: Who makes up Space Cherry Films?
WT: Space Cherry Films is primarily my mother, Norma Thomas. She is the writer for Space Cherry Films. She writes our treatments. Brinson is my Location Scout and Casting Director. Joy George is my Personal Assistant, and I, Will Thomas am the Director, Producer and anything else that needs to be done.
Aubrey: What is the purpose or mission statement of Space Cherry?
WT: It’s a long one, so I’ll give you the short version:
Space Cherry Films mission is to place Jesus Christ First, be individuals of integrity and deliver compelling stories to our audience by going against the grain.
Aubrey: What are some projects that you have done?
WT: KB – “HCB Freestyle”, D-Maub – “I’m Me”, Da Truth – “Hope”, Tony Tillman – “Tailored”, Uncle Reece – “Until I Pass Out”, Thi’sl “Hate You Crack” Directed by Eshon Burgundy, FLAME – “Caught in the Lights”, “Trap Money”, “Surrender”, Earnest Pugh – “Rain & Glory Medley”, Brinson – “Hit the Floor”, and “Don’t Rap No More.”
Aubrey: What is some of the equipment you use?
WT: Canon 5D mk3, Canon 60D, Canon 50m f1.4, Sigma 30m f1.4, Tamron 17-50m, f2.8 and I rent other lenses I need. Camera rig with follow focus m monitor, matte box which I hardly ever use. Adobe Master Collection CC, Custom built PC, AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE 3.4 GHz, 32 gigs of RAM, 10TB of HDD to name of few.
Aubrey: Who are some of your favorite artists right now?
WT: Thats a tough question because my favorite artists are the ones that pay me to shoot their videos, Lol. But seriously, my favorite artists are FLAME, Uncle Reece, JoyFire and Brinson.
Aubrey: Do you have any advice for some up and coming filmmakers or video producers?
WT: Grab a camera and shoot. Don’t wait for the “perfect” camera just shoot, shoot, shoot. And pray too.
Aubrey: Do you consider your company a Christian Hip-Hop one? Or do you work with any genre, Christian or not?
WT: Space Cherry Films is not against doing commercial work, but the question I always asks is this, is this project uplifting or will it lead people astray? We have been contacted on several occasions by managers/management of very well known secular artists. I opted not to go after money but pursue what is most important. Jesus. I’m a Christian first, period, my motives and desires should line up with the Word of God. I have done some projects that I’m not proud of but I’m glad I did them, because it helped me realize that I need to stand firm on the principles of God and not compromise.
Aubrey: Do you have anything coming up that we should be looking for?
WT: Yes, we are actually working on a Full Featured Film called “We Are Citytakers.” It’s a film that follows Scott Free on the street of Atlanta as well as Tre9 (of Dasouth.com), hosting hip hop events in the slums of Houston. The trailer is coming very soon.