Charlotte, NC - Jocelyn Ellis sweetly croons, “She was on the pocket of a rich man.”
The budding Charlotte songwriter and vocalist Jocelyn Ellis puts every ounce of herself into her songs.
Her passion and talent is now part of the Charlotte Video Project. It's a collection of short documentaries Rebooting Charlotte by telling its unique stories of success & achievement.
Filmmakers Scott Lazes & Kevin Beaty use an unusual production style, letting the subjects be the narrators.
Lazes says, “It's this direct cinema fly-on-the-wall style of filmmaking that has become more popular in some feature films."
Twenty-four year old Ellis is writing for R&B Artist Mya.
Ellis says, “Of course, you have to prove yourself. But once they like it the doors open, so."
Her story is just one of the Queen City stories Lazes & Beaty hope to tell.
The filmmakers say it's about creating a library of this city's experiences. By the time the DNC arrives they hope to have a record 100 pieces strong.
Already the Charlotte Video Project boasts 10 pieces in production and as many more in the works. Subjects range from the Charlotte Rollergirls to Fire Station 15 and it's gaining attention.
Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx is on board, even endorsing the project on its website.
The Charlotte Film Community says it's a perfect way to show off some of the Queen City's finest assets.
CFC Co-Founder Heaven Wilson says, “It's kind of a grassroots type thing. I think everyone loves seeing that, just sort of a 'Hey we love our city. This is what's cool about it. Let us show you.'"
Lazes & Beaty dreamed up the documentary series their last semester of college. They earned their tassels in May and got to work.
Their initial graduation money investment in high quality consumer grade cameras and equipment paired with their time investment of roughly 72 hours per documentary keeps overhead low.
But they say they'll need a little help to hit the 100 mark by September's DNC date.
Lazes says, “Calling all filmmakers. You want to make a movie? What's up? Get at us."
The Charlotte Video Project will only be available on-line.
Beaty says, “Hopefully we'll be able to use the tools that we know from using the Internet every day to make this as successful as possible."
Jocelyn Ellis says it's an incredible opportunity to document her beginnings, “To be able to look back and have evidence you know, this was the journey."
But for Lazes & Beaty it's a chance to capitalize on the attention the DNC will bring and show off all the Queen City has to offer.
Lazes says, “We want to impress people with Charlotte. That's the main point to this. We want people to be impressed by what they see."
They say Charlotte is a city of hidden gems and once film starts the momentum, there's no stopping where it goes.
Beaty says, “There's a ton of great stuff here. There is a truly deep culture."
The first installations of the Charlotte Video Project are already available on line, posted through a partnership with Charlotte Magazine.