We had the good fortune of connecting with C. Fitz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi C., why did you pursue a creative career?
I love being an artist in the industry and have worked in many different mediums within. I produced commercials, digital content and unscripted for a long time in order to direct and showrun. I used my producing salary to make my short films and documentaries. I’m passionate to create, use my voice and others to influence change because art can be healing in many ways. Making a difference in the world or my community with my art drives me.
To me creating art and content is a responsibility. There will never be parity in the industry unless we keep creating, storytelling and also, most importantly, pulling up those who have not been equally represented. You don’t create inclusion and a stronger industry if you are only thinking about yourself.
Right now Hollywood is like pioneer-town for equality in many ways. The industry is just starting to open doors to people that aren’t white, straight males, and we need them too, but there has to be equality and representation in front of and behind the camera. What an exciting time to finally see a little change happening at this year’s Oscars! There is more work to do though. So I feel working hard and helping others do their best work, especially those less represented, is my life’s work and responsibility.
You watch amazing industry leaders who never seem to sleep, like Ava DuVernay, Tanya Saracho, Ryan Murphy, Lena Waithe, Steven Canals, Justin Simien, to name a few of the trailblazers who are opening doors to others, grabbing their sisters and brothers and pulling them up so that our TV shows, movies, and our sets represent the real world. Their work inspires so many, including me, to do more!
I think being an artist in the industry (whether its a creator, director, writer, actor or the determined PA working their way up on your crew) is something you are born with. You can’t shake it. I know my artist soul needs to express, help others express, try to make a difference with my content and every day take a step forward to a larger creative plan. I will always be creating, shooting, designing, editing, painting something! And I really love to collaborate so the film and TV industry is a great place to be!
Creating for me is keeping my soul in the light and never giving up on that feeling of joy it brings me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I feel it’s my responsibility to create. I try to do the best work I possibly can every day so that “our up and comers of any age” see someone like them doing jobs they were born to do. Plus as an artist it’s a form of self-care since creating brings me joy.
I did my last documentary because that story needed to be told and I wanted the world to hear it! It was a feature documentary on a fierce Black Lesbian who owned a nightclub for 42 years and served her community for even longer! An icon! I filmed it even though I didn’t have a perfect plan locked on day one. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get there but what I did do was make the decision to try and I started filming with a larger hope for the story from day one.
Its something in me I was born with. My dad had it, my mom has it. Even when I was solely making money as a producer – I was always creating, writing films, making short films and feature documentaries on the side any way I could. Haha I even acted in two shorts just to bring my writing to life.
If you put me in a box I’d figure out a way to create! This past year during Covid the industry had come to a screeching halt and thanks to some really special friends I I landed in a very safe, small artistic village for several months. I wound up shooting the start to a documentary on some incredible hidden heroic artists – one who’s 101! I finished a script, worked on three pitches and just wrote and wrote – even started painting again. Although isolated it filled my heart and soul to create and I think thats the answer. Create, create, create for your own joy.
You have to believe in yourself and some days it’s not easy. My many years of experience as a producer, showrunner, and director have taught me you just need to stay calm and work on your craft and solutions in order to create your joy!
And as we saw during Covid the world relies on art in so many ways. It’s healing for everyone.
Fortunately due to my recent work and Ava DuVernay I now have support, agents, members of both the PGA & DGA, and I’m actively working in the industry in multiple disciplines. I love collaborating, creating and working in both the scripted and unscripted spaces. I’m excited about the future! And with adding careers later in life my best advice is – to never give up and it’s never too late to start on whatever brings you joy!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
ARRAY’s Amanda theater always has amazing programing, Hollywood Bowl is an experience unlike any in the world, and a simple walk on the beach would be a few things not to miss when visiting the Los Angeles area.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Shoutout goes to Ava DuVernay! She has changed my life and is changing the industry from every facet she can! Hiring amazing female & POC directors, building a distribution company to amplify people of color and female filmmakers, and creating a data-base (ARRAYCREW) so the industry has no more excuses in regards to hiring with inclusion in mind – just to name a few things she and her company have done – all while continuing to create powerful content.
Personally she has not only distributed my latest film – which has led to the world getting to see an amazing story of a true shero – but she gave me my first scripted directorial episodic job on her show Queen Sugar and most recently I directed my first national commercial featuring her and her company, ARRAY’s, 10th Anniversary for City National Bank (airing now through the summer and fall). I’m incredible grateful and inspired by her work.
She has literally found unrepresented talent in front and behind the camera and provided jobs and opportunities. Ava shines the light. #GameChanger Shoutout!
On Queen Sugar set – main photo and w cast Rhonda Marie Alston Headshots and professional shots: Natalia Knezevic White shirt w scarf (outside) : Diana Deldeo Feel free to reach out and ask for specifics if not sure.