During the second annual ESSENCE Hollywood House virtual experience, we caught up with Judas and the Black Messiah costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones and Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street director/producer Salima Koroma—two talented ladies who are playing significant roles in shifting the narrative around Black women who are making magic happen from behind the camera in the film and television industry.
“My day sometimes starts at like 4:42 in the morning,” Jones said, when asked to describe a typical busy day for her. “If we’re doing an early-morning daylight-dependent shot, I have to be there to get the actors ready and be onset for first light. I spend the morning talking to my actors. If their change has never been seen on camera before, I’m talking them through the look and making sure that continuity is correct with my team, if the look has already been established.”
For Salima Koroma, her typical day starts with preparation the night before.
“Normally my day starts the night before,” she says. “I’m thinking about what I have to do the next day. If I’m producing I’m thinking who are we interviewing? What are the questions that we got? What parts of the story does this person need to be telling? And like, who are they? Who is their mother and their dog and their grandmother? And then the next day, I like to wake up at 4/4:30.”
The ladies went on to discuss several topics, including the work Salima is doing to shed a different light on well-known Black history through her upcoming documentary and how Charlese is paying it forward by being intentional about creating opportunities for her fellow Black creatives in design. Plus, Snowfall star Reign Edwards also weighs in about why having Black creatives working behind the scenes makes all the difference in the world for her as an actress.
Watch the video above to hear the conversation in full. For more of everything you missed at ESSENCE Hollywood House, head over to www.essencestudios.com
ESSENCE Hollywood House is sponsored by American Airlines, Coca-Cola and L’Oréal Paris.