By Thomas Sellers Jr.
A Troubled Mind introduced Millington and the Memphis area to Robert Parker as a filmmaker in 2015.
Since the release of that movie, with some scenes shot in Flag City, Parker has been busy behind the camera completing a pair of feature films. Now Parker is taking on a new challenge in hopes to expand his production company RIPP Entertainment.
“Since 2015, I’m still producing movies,” he said. “We’ve got Moma’s Spirit and The Come up which were released through Maverick Entertainment. They should be in stores around February 2017.
“I’m shooting a TV series for the first time because I wanted to try something different,” Parker continued. “It’s called Bound to the Body. It’s about three or four different stories.”
Bound to the Body showcases characters in situations ranging from adultery to child neglect. This neighborhood will be rocked by scandals and some residents are driven by the all mighty dollar.
“All these stories tie in with a guy named Freddy,” Parker explained. “Freddy is an (Original Gangster) of the neighbor. He’s a loan shark loaning out money. Dez actually goes to Freddy to borrow money to help his career on things.
“Freddy sends one of his guys out to watch Dez to make sure he gets his money back,” he continued. “But all the while Dez takes the money giving to Keisha. They’re plotting to get the money from Freddy and get the life insurance money so they move and try to skip town.”
Bound to the Body will feature some familiar faces. Parker tries to work with the same actors to build creatively and display a cohesion that audiences can see translate through the film.
Those who work with RIPP Entertainment are Latresia Bobo, Ronrico Albright, Dana Terle, Chasity Nicole, Kara Minniefield, Chansie Gibson, Marcus Tolbert, Emily Williams, Emily Strickland, Darnell Jefferson, DeAndre Grafton, Fatima Louisa Gray, Nicole Tate Jackson, Robert White and Erin Cathey.
Parker, the actors and production crew are adjusting to the demands of shooting a series.
“The difference is the time,” Parker noted. “When you’re shooting a movie, a feature is like an hour and half to 2 hours long. You know I have to write about 120 pages. That will get me at wherever I need to get to and it being at a correct time.
“The thing about a TV series, you’ve got to write 22 pages,” he added. “A TV series consist of 30 minutes with 8 minutes of commercials between. It’s kind of difficult because at our table meeting we had to time it to make sure we didn’t cut it off.”
Parker is hoping his future table meetings will feature some well known actors from the 1990s and 2000s like Omar Gooding from the film Baby Boy and Family Matters’ Cherie Johnson.
Although it would be nice to add established names to his production, Parker said the key to the success of RIPP Entertainment will be hard work, exposure and the family atmosphere building with each film.
“What I hope to see from RIPP Entertainment, I want to see it grow like Tyler Perry’s,” he said. “I’m using the same actors and actresses. I’m trying to turn them into stars like Tyler Perry did with his actors. I’m hoping to grow like him and keep moving. I want to get my staff bigger.
“I want to stay in Memphis and get this done,” Parker concluded. “I want to bring something different to Memphis. I’m looking to do that. I’m hoping it works but I’m thinking I might have to move out of Memphis to gain some attention to get better progress.”
By Thomas Sellers Jr.