The Independent Film
In 2011, Allen worked with co-producer Monique Lisa to produce the live-action independent film, SPEEDSUIT. This film is an adaptation of Book One of the Trilogy.
Several casting calls were held in the Bronx and Manhattan to find the right actors to participate in this project. After securing them, they new cast came together for a table read (which was filled with laughter, quiet moments and some tears.) The cast was committed.
Several methods were used to raise the film's budget, including a Kickstarter Campaign. The campaign did not meet its goal by the deadline, however, many who had pledged still gave. The rest of the budget had been secured from an Angel Investor, but due to the recession, the Investor had to pull out three weeks before filming was scheduled to begin. The cast was informed of the situation, (some of whom had turned down other acting roles for the summer to work on Speedsuit), but they all agreed to proceed anyway because they believed in the story's potential to impact lives.
So, the project continued as a smaller, more intimate film where cast and crew worked side-by-side, wearing many "hats." Due to the drastically decreased budget, a number of resources and locations were no longer available. But, wherever there was a loss - a "gain" was not far behind. It seemed that Providence was on our side...
Production began on July 25, 2011 - as a wonderful cast came together to bring the literary characters of Book One to life - and continued until September 2011. Post production began October 2011 and continued (at a feverish pace) until January 2012. There was a hard deadline waiting: Black History Month.
On Friday February 3, 2012, the film screened at its red carpet premiere in the South Bronx to a crowd of over 400 people. It received a standing ovation. Each weekend during February, the film also screened at various locations. From 2012 to 2013, SPEEDSUIT screened at 14 different locations including churches, schools and community centers. The film can now be watched on Vimeo.com.
*Listen below to hear Allen discuss adapting his book into the film.
*Watch SPEEDSUIT, the independent film!
*Watch the Kickstarter video below to get a sense of the pre-production process.