The Making of Player Hating A Love Story

I’m A Greezie

One day while I was shooting in the projects, a fire broke out on the 11th Floor of Half’s building. Suddenly, black and white firemen, cops, ambulances and EMS workers, infiltrated this all black neighborhood. They worked for hours, as smoke, flames and water ravaged this woman’s apartment. When the fire was extinguished, and it was determined that no one was hurt, all those middle and working class faces left, leaving the building occupants to clean up the remainder of this domestic tragedy. I remember the sound of this old woman sweeping the water down the steps from floor to floor. (more…)

The Making of Player Hating A Love Story

Gangsta Gift

I’d been shooting Half for a couple of weeks when I first met Blood Sport. We were shooting in a radio station in Crown Heights with DJ Extra Strength, when this guy walked in and my heart jump with confusion and fear. He was in his early twenties, medium brown, wearing a waist length black mink coat, tight black leather pants, with red beads swinging well below his crotch and a black scull cap which highlighted the four inch scar that ran from his eye to just above his jaw line. I asked Spank, Half’s security, who the hell that guy was, and when he responded Blood Sport. I said, Well, if his name is Blood Sport, my name is Chicken Shit. And I meant it. I thought if he had a name like Blood Sport that meant he liked to kill people. Little did I know that in the world of Ebonics and the Hip Hop vernacular, almost every expression has it’s origin in popular culture and in Sport’s case, he’d taken the name from the Claude Van Damme martial arts movie, Bloodsport. That was a huge relief to me, but none-the-less I withheld judgment regarding if he’d ever killed anyone. (more…)

The Making of Player Hating A Love Story

Buy Me An Ocean

Half is a talented rapper, and the plan was that his first album was going to be the vehicle that took him and his crew out of poverty. They didn’t necessarily all want out of the projects, because this is where they “kept it real” and if you lose the streets, you lose your credibility. But the whole crew for sure wanted to blow up and get rich. At one point in the Stairwell Interview, I asked Half what he was going to do if he got rich. He said that he would be responsible, invest his money so he’s make even more, and then he might go out and buy himself an ocean, and then he laughed. I loved that. (more…)

The Making of Player Hating A Love Story

Car Jacked!!! (DVD Extra)

For me, bringing my white chick feminist self into the projects was really an act of faith in the Universe, in Half and in racism. I assumed that by virtue of my skin color, my gender and the fact that I was a filmmaker, that I was somewhat less likely to be shot at than the guys I was working with. And that assumption had been somewhat confirmed when we were robbed in Brownsville and my white cinematographer survived the 9mm pressed to his temple. (more…)

The Making of Player Hating A Love Story

Life in the PJ’s

We set up my first interview with Half in the stairwell of his building in the Albany Projects, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. This interview became the backbone of the film. While I was interviewing Half, was smoking weed and drinking the entire five hours, his crew was in the hall, doing the same, with the exception of his security that sat above and behind him at all times. At one point, my female PA got smart ass with one of the guys in the hall and I had to remind her that we were in a circumstance where she could get her butt shot off because she had attitude. (more…)

The Making of Player Hating A Love Story

The Mother Fucking Saga Continues… (line from film)

Definition: Player Hating- Someone else is about to shine, and you’ll do anything to keep that bastard from getting his cheese — it can be as subtle as negative flow (lyrics) or as extreme as trying to clap (shoot) him. – Trent Bond, Half’s Manager and former NYPD Detective.

After we were robbed in Brownsville, I didn’t know where to turn to find a main character for my film. But eventually I heard about a kid from Albany Projects in Crown Heights Brooklyn, named Half-a-Mill, and a meeting was set up at a production company in Manhattan. To my absolute surprise, the kid not only showed up—he was smart, thoughtful, handsome and talented. I knew he was the character I’d been looking for. (more…)