Tammy Williams is the first black woman to own her own post-production studio in the state of Georgia. Williams has recently started Open River Studios in Fayetteville. Open Rivers Studios is a 16,000 sq. ft. complex with production and post-production operations. Williams hopes to attract Independent filmmakers and provide original programming that will lead to future licensing contracts.
The 25-year-industry veteran started as a news editor in Nashville for CBS. Her children’s show “My Destiny Place,” was nominated for Children’s Project of the Year at the 2012 Stellar Awards. The initial production started in Williams’ garage and led to a major nomination. In addition to being nominated for an award, Williams has served as post-production supervisor of both the Stellar Awards and the Trumpet Awards.
Williams is a former writer/producer for television networks including, WRCB-TV (NBC-Chattanooga, TN) and WDSU-TV (NBC-New Orleans). Her latest project involves a series with award-winning gospel artist Marvin Sapp. Since his wife’s passing, Sapp has been raising his three children alone. Open Rivers is capturing the Sapp family’s transition in a new show entitled, “Marvin Sapp: Single Dad.”
When asked about the road to opening her own studio in Atlanta, Williams stated that one of the most difficult tasks was stepping out of her comfort zone in a position in which she was earning a guaranteed check every two weeks. The transition wasn’t an easy one, but she and her husband worked to build partnerships with others that led to side projects, including documentaries, which assisted in funding Open Rivers. They avoided making huge loans which could result in “sleepless nights” noted the CEO.
“You can wait for someone to fund your dream or you can go after it yourself,” says Williams.
Her Open River Studios also features a film academy with a summer internship program. Students walk away with a wider perspective of filmmaking and production and with the supplies needed to make their dreams come true.
In addition to the Marvin Sapp production, Open Rivers will present a series called “Natural Black Women,” which will focus on the beauty needs of women with brown skin – whether they are African American, Latina, or any other brown-skin complexion.
Williams told BlackAmericaWeb that through Open Rivers Studios, “We hope to build programs that impact social change….[we’re] all about education and creating a better way of life.”