I had first heard about MOCITI (Men of Color in the Industry) roughly two years ago while on set of a feature film a buddy of mine was shooting. The man that mentioned it to me, which turned out to be current MOCITI President Jon Covington, spoke of it but did not try to sell it. He just mentioned it as being something he was involved in.
Fast forward years later my friend's film was released at a theater in Los Angeles and I observed first hand how MOCITI came out and supported and kept supporting my buddy. It made me curious as to what this group was really about. The idea to do a micro doc was present but way back in my mind. I was initially very skeptical of the group. Being out here in Los Angeles you come to expect things to be great on the surface but once you check things out you see that it is bogus. So I attended a meeting with my “BS” detectors turned up high.
The meeting was not what I expected. The first thing I noticed was all of the men that I already knew were members. Solid guys, some I had known for years. When I asked them what was up, they all shared the same sentiment, "just check out the meeting, you'll see."
Seeing a large group, like 85-90 men of color congregated to uplift, and enlighten each other blew me away. Listening to actors Lawrence Hilton Jacobs and Wren T. Brown speak about the group affected me personally. The entertainment industry is a unique industry because it consumes so much of your life. The highs and lows of the industry can definitely take a toll on your physical, mental, and spiritual foundation. This meeting was definitely not a pity party.
it was as educational as it was inspiring. My plan was to go to the meeting and stay for an hour then leave. I stayed there for four hours.
As I attended more meetings and began interviewing members, my interest in the group grew more and more. It was truly an honor learning about and actually seeing the affects they have on young boys in the school through mentoring. Their presence for these boys was such an impactful thing to witness.
Making this micro doc was a great pleasure, editing not so much. Each segment could have its own 30-minute segment. I had over two hours of footage so a lot of things had to be left out because I wanted to give short but solid overview of the program.
I was so moved by what MOCITI is doing and what they stand for, that I decided to become a member as well. Remember, you're either part of the problem or part of the solution. MOCITI is definitely a part of the solution.
--- Carl Seaton