Why Karlton Clay is the Victor?
By Patrick Hill @Pathill17
Let’s get started. Introduce yourself to the readers, your name, where you’re born, and your profession.
My name is Karlton T. Clay. I am 32 years old. Born and raised in Augusta, GA. Graduated from the illustrious John S. Davidson Fine Arts School in 2004 and from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA in 2008. I am the founder and CEO of Victory Productions Network.
There are a lot of people who are interested in filmmaking. Take us through the process of how you became a filmmaker and how long did it take for you to start your own production.
Well, I actually started out in theatre. They say that the stage is a good training ground and it truly is because you learn the real technical aspects of acting and writing for an audience. I learned editing and filming while I was at Davidson and I began utilizing it while I was at Georgia State. I started out doing short films/videos but of course, i was coming from theatre so i’m treating the actors like we’re on the stage. Even going into the first two seasons of my first web series College Daze, I had that mindset. But over the years, I learned the importance of camera shots and different angles and lighting and all that stuff. Even today, I’m on my 9th web series and I’m still learning and growing as a writer and content creator.
Basically, for our readers who want to be a filmmaker, they have to go through those procedures or is it like learning on the spot when it comes to the details of filming?
For me, it’s about learning on the spot. Would I suggest film school? Yes of course. I believe education is important. But you won’t develop and grow unless you go through the process of producing your own work. Experience IS the best teacher.
Victory Production Network is the name of your business. You run and operate the production as you should be being the CEO. Tell me about your experience running a production company. What’s life like being the CEO of an upcoming and rising production company?
It is a LOT of hard work. It is fulfilling and it can be fun at times but it’s definitely a lot of work. I’ve put 15 years into building company and the grind is real. it definitely isn’t overnight success over here. Not only am I running the business end but I’m behind all the creative business as well. I write, produce, direct, and edit all the shows. So it’s a lot of hard work but i love it. And I know it’s all going to pay off. I’m grateful for the group of people that God has blessed me to work with here at VPN.
What is the goal for you and your brand? Do you set goals for yourself or do you just go with the flow and continue to push content with no goal in mind?
My ultimate goal is to operate a national television and online network. As far as content, I am just being the creative being that I am. When I have an idea, I put it out there. I have a voice and stories to tell. And even if I’m not at the main stage YET, I won’t let that stop me from telling the stories and developing these characters. I believe it’s important to continue to push the content.
Right. I notice you have launch VPN Magazine which I will be buying this Friday to show my support. Looks like a great magazine that you publish. What’s the next step for your brand?
Thank you. Yes, I’ve been wanting to do a magazine for a long time but never knew how. Nelson J. Davis and Shamar Allen gave me the push I needed to move forward with that. I always used to complain how those who are making strides aren’t getting the platform or recognition that they deserve. So I decided that I would be the change I want to see and develop VPN Mag. Not only will you meet innovative entertainers and entrepreneurs. You’ll also get to meet people you’ve grown to know and love (or hate depending on the character) within VPN. Next step is to continue to make VPN a household name with different merchandising. I want to get into the wine game next. Been looking at different ways on how to get started with that.d as of incorporating ideas such as a publication?
Wine game is looking fierce out there. Any possibility of a VPN talk show or podcast? I notice you have used social media live stream to your advantage for brand marketing.
That’s definitely a possibility. I think we have to get more people on the team so i’m not doing everything but that’s definitely not out of the question.
This is the last question. This is something you probably talk about many times. When you look at the dynamic of entertainment as a whole and also the issues that are happening from the Harvey Weinstein as well as MeToo movement to the lack of diversity in Hollywood. You being the CEO and also an independent filmmaker. What goes through your mind about those events and what do you think about the direction of black films moving forward. Should there be more black films like Girls Night, Moonlight, and etc. happening every year?
I think that The lack of diversity is always going to be an issue but I feel it is up to us as content creators of color to continue to create our own paths and our own lanes. The NAACP Image Awards are a perfect example of Black Excellence. Those are the type of moves and strides we should be making. It goes the same with us as independent artists. We have to continue to create our own lanes and dictate our futures. Nothing is given.
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