Tim Greene, a popular hip hop filmmaker known for a variety of films and finding new acts, including Rapping Granny and the movie "Lil Homeez," has provided free actor/filmmaker workshops in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York and Washington, D.C.
At a recent event at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in Washington, Greene described for his audience, young and old alike, about the good, the bad and the ugly of the movie industry and dispensed advice to aspiring actors to keep handy proper head shots, business cards containing their photos, at least 10 resumes and reels with samples of their work.
“I will hook you up, if your background is straight,” Greene told Omar Ndiaye, a 2012 telecommunications graduate and aspiring actor and producer from Morgan State University in Baltimore who took copious notes and peppered Greene with questions.
The main attraction, however, was an interview Green conducted with Elizabeth Harrington, a 4-foot-8, cute, incredibly witty and humble 15-year-old film director, who already has a children’s film, “Super Kids, Super Heroes,” and an assistant director credit under her belt.
Unlike most directors who rely on visuals when making movies, the ninth-grader from Middletown, Delaware relies on hearing and her other senses.
Elizabeth is blind and believed to be among the youngest blind filmmaker worldwide.
Elizabeth’s brother, Jeffrey Bazemore, who starred in a production of “Bye- Bye Birdie,” inspired her to act. At 11, she met Tim Greene at an acting convention. Greene promised he would work with Elizabeth.
“Here we are,” Elizabeth told BlackAmericaWeb.com in an interview during intermission at the workshop.
At age 7, Elizabeth – who studied under Carla Spady, founder and president of Purpose Child Unlimited – performed in her first play, “Charley Brown.” She went on to act in productions of “Hairspray” “Kids Cabaret,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “What Momma Doesn’t Know,” in which she received a standing ovation.
In the studio, Greene directs and Elizabeth gives the actors and actresses feedback. So far, she has worked with lesser known actors, but she said she would love to work with professional actors, including Jada Pinkett Smith, Shay Harper, child star China Anne McClain, and Tyler Perry.
Elizabeth said she also would like to meet President Barack Obama and said she believes “Obama will be re-elected because he has a good spirit.”
She also said she is inspired by Ray Charles and Stevie, because of their music and because they are blind.
Success, Elizabeth said, “takes heart, practice and faith.”
She understands persistence. She has ongoing therapy with a strength trainer at Children’s Hospital for Cerebral Palsy. After years of homeschooling, Elizabeth will attend public school in the fall and is looking forward to taking chemistry. Science, she said, is her favorite subject. She is also a Christian storyteller at The Resurrection Center, in Wilmington, Delaware.
And, of course, there’s filmmaking.
“Mr. Tim has helped me learn the trade of acting and directing, and I wouldn’t trade him for a million dollars, he’s loyal,” Elizabeth said.
“She’s teachable and unique,” Greene said of Elizabeth.
“We are a faith believing Christian family and God will put the people right in her path,” said Elizabeth’s mother, Debbie Harrington. “Elizabeth is very social and she encourages people, unknowingly. She sees acting and producing; we see a motivational speaker.”
As testimony to her influence, Meleik Delaney, who was certified as the world’s youngest author at age 3, traveled from Baltimore to meet her at the workshop.
“That’s awesome!” Elizabeth shouted as she met with the now 6-year-old writer.
"She fits right in with the ‘Discover Your Greatness Tours’ that I do around the country,” Greene said. “I will now look for corporate sponsors to sponsor a national tour for Elizabeth and I to speak to kids and adults nationwide. I will also pitch her to different organizations for her to be a spokesperson for kids with disabilities starting in 2013."