We had the good fortune of connecting with Thomas H. Stewart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Thomas H., we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe risks play a part in every decision we make. The consequence of each decision is the cost that we pay. In business, you are invested in the mission of that business. All investments are at risk for a loss. However, in the event that you believe in that investment, It’s worth the risk. If it’s worth the risk. That’s a good investment. After Penn State, I decided to move my family to Los Angeles. That decision was very risky. The immediate result leads to a tiny apartment, a tiny salary, and 4 years of struggle. That was some of the downsides. However, I put myself in a position to learn from some extremely talented people. In that 4 years, I was able to display my talents as a filmmaker and create a film production company. We are sought out now to develop and produce content from all over the world. That is the consequence of risk-taking. So be daring, follow your dreams, and learn from your losses.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an artist. My main medium of artistry is film production. I also paint and write but my love is behind the camera. There is nothing more satisfying for me than capturing life and saving it for audiences of the future. Putting on display the world as I see it, truly from my perspective, and sharing it with audiences that are foreign to my perspective is miraculous. The film medium is special because of the ability to carry a story through generations. Stories that contain lessons in history, culture, and circumstance.
My company The WAZI Group, has me very excited about the future. We believe that everyone has a voice and all stories deserve to be heard. When our clients come to us with an Idea, we emphasize the integrity of their voice during the development of their story. Much like those angels that help to nurture our ideas as we developed our careers by coming up through the years. My first position as an intern at Tyler Perry Studios back in 2006 would not have happened had I not been given an opportunity by the great Angi Bones. She hired me as a production assistant all those years ago. If that did not happen I may not be talking to you today. Because of her decision, I always reach back to guide young filmmakers, especially if I can offer a position that could spark a new career. This industry is very competitive and the road for me was long and difficult. Faith, Patience, and a thirst for learning are key to any profession. My growth is no different.
The WAZI Group is here to stay. We intend to provide content for all ages, be it educational children’s shows to major motion picture features. Be on the lookout for all new content from WAZI for years to come.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Whenever fun-loving friends visit LA I tend to take them to some of my favorite places. Here is my list of must see places to go in Los Angeles.
1. Griffith Observatory
2. Runyon Canyon
3. Venice Beach
4. Crypto.com Arena and LA Live
5. Santa Monica night Life
7. Castaway Restaurant
8. Catch LA
9. Atwater Village
10. Big Bear
11. The Getty Museum
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am heavily influenced by a number of amazing people. But first and foremost I credit my GOD for guiding my steps as I walk on faith. Then I thank my incredible and consistent mother (Dr. Tommie “Tonea” Stewart) and father (Dr. Allen Stewart) who have never given up on me. For their sacrifice, I work my ass off. My wife has sacrificed so much for my dreams of becoming a filmmaker that even she has become an amazing filmmaker herself. Then there is a man named Rory Pullens. He was the Director at LAUSD’s arts education branch when he discovered me offering a job as a producer, giving me a new launching point for my career. Since then he has continued to be a beacon in the darkness for me to follow. He didn’t pass me a torch, he lit my torch and is still teaching me today. Another person that I’d like to shoutout is Mr. Vanda Lee. A film producer based here in Los Angeles that I consider to be family. He has offered me so many opportunities. Not because we know each other, but because he believes in my work. Vanda has done the work of rising to the top as a producer. He has positioned himself through that hard work to be able to help others. I am fortunate he believed in me enough to offer me many opportunities. Last but not least Denton Adams Smith, is also a good friend of mine. He started a movement when he came up with a film concept that is “08:46”. His invitation to direct one of the 10 segments was a testament to his belief in my ability as a writer and director. All of these men and women believe in my ability as a filmmaker. That’s where opportunity comes from. The people in your life that believe in your possibilities.
Instagram: @renazanz | @thewazigroupla
Linkedin: ThomasHStewart |
Facebook: Thomas H Stewart / tomstew2