We had the good fortune of connecting with Darrell Lake and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Darrell, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued an artistic career because I was inspired by creativity. I was a teenager in Sierra Leone, watching Terminator 2, and saw the possibilities of the imagination. It was an awakening. In that film, I saw the power of storytelling and its ability to transport us beyond our reality. That was the catalyst for me. It got me to put pen to paper and started writing my first movie. Since then, I’ve pursued filmmaking, as a writer, director, actor, and producer and have been fortunate enough to make a living telling stories.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I come from a multi-cultural background, growing up in; Sierra Leone, United Kingdom, Guinea, The Gambia, Ghana, Eritrea, and now the United States. Living in so many different places during my formative years, made me develop a certain curiosity, open-mindedness, and empathy, that informs my work and who I am today in every way. My focus is on telling compelling stories that show the multifaceted dimensions of humanity, one rooted in authenticity and creativity.
I am incredibly proud of my latest project, Land of Dry Bones. It is a short film inspired by my childhood growing up in Sierra Leone during the civil war. It tells the story of an unassuming father, Emmanuel, whose life is shaken up by a grocery store altercation that turns violent and must now come to terms with his deeply troubling past as a child soldier from Sierra Leone. It was an incredible and fulfilling journey bringing it to life. It’s been very touching, hearing from people who were deeply moved by the film. We had a successful film festival run last year, winning some awards, and I recently released it on my youtube channel.
The main reason why I’m where I am today is that I’m persistent and not afraid of hard work. That’s the African in me. Hahaha. The entertainment industry is incredibly difficult to break into and it’s hasn’t been an easy path. There is so much rejection. I’ve learned over the years, that if you stay for the long haul, stay consistent, every now and then you get little breaks that add up. Overall, staying persistent, driven, and adaptable have gotten me to where I am. I believe most things can be figured out. I feel that if we’ve figured out how to send people on the moon, nothing really is impossible, it might just take a bit longer than you anticipated.
What do I want the work to know about my brand and story?
I want to inspire and I hope people connect with my work in meaningful ways.
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?
I’ve taken so many friends visiting. Overall, what i feel they appreciate are the places that are very iconic to Los Angeles. I would take them to The Grove, I love the farmers market! I would definitely take them to Hollywood & Highland, to the see the walk of fame. 3rd street promenade in Santa Monica and the Santa Monica pier. Griffith Observatory. Then a couple of local bars and cafes, Mr Furley’s Bar in Sherman Oaks, they have a great happy hour and ambience, Bourgeois Pig on Franklin Ave, it’s full of character. If the timing works out, a Movie screening at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give a shoutout to my family, friends, and anyone who has championed me along my journey. It’s an incredibly challenging path to pursue a career in filmmaking and the support I’ve received along the way has uplifted me in many ways and kept me going. I am incredibly grateful for their support.
Sharon M Wright Danielle Mathias Courtesy of Darrell Lake Films