USTYLE: FIRST OF ALL TELL OUR READERS ALL ABOUT MITCH CREDLE AND YOUR JOURNEY INTO THE FILM INDUSTRY.
MC: I’m from Washington, DC, well I wasn’t born here but I have been here since I was five years old. I have always been a community based person. That’s always just been me community based. I think I got that at an early age because even at the age of eighteen I was forced into doing community service for some trouble I had gotten in to and was arrested, when I was seventeen. By the time I turned eighteen I was an adult but I still had this juvenile charge hanging over my head. The only way to get the juvenile charge from under me was by doing community service. I started coaching basketball at a local recreation center. I took a bunch of kids from the neighborhood and we started competing and winning against some of the powerhouse coaches in the city. I had no idea what I was doing at eighteen with a bunch of twelve year olds and all the influence I had on them. We began to dominate youth basketball in the city. We were beating guys like Fluffy Parker and Doc Robinson, who at that time were considered legendary coaches. That allowed me to build a reputation at a young age just because we were going to recreation centers around the city and winning games. At that time basketball was major in the city and with me at only eighteen beating all the adults, we were beating everyone. We were never the tallest team but we were always playing teams who were bigger only because the other coaches would go and recruit the taller kids. I just said give me all the bad kids from the neighborhood because they had a lot of heart and a lot of passion. I made them believe and think that they could beat anybody. For two straight years we won the city Championship. We never lost a game, so after that parents starting sending me their kids and say do something with him. I used basketball and football as a tool to show kids how to win and not necessarily on the basketball court but just winning in life. I always used basketball as a part of life for them and it basically gave them confidence. Some of these kids were not that smart but I made them understand that if you could beat giants in basketball, you can beat other kids in the classroom. That’s how I got started. I then went to another center and just used the same concept. With some of these kids basketball and football was their outlet, that is all they had so that basketball team was now their family.
USTYLE: IS THAT HOW YOU BEGAN MENTORING THE YOUTH?
MC: Yes that is how I got involved. When I started filming at the Rita Bright Center those kids had never done any acting before but I got them to do the same thing, believe in themselves and their abilities and just go for it. They now want to continue making movies. One kid, Hassan Hill was picked up by some major commercials that you see on television now. He was the only kid chosen by Stephon Curry to do a photo shoot, out of all the kids in the United States he was handpicked to do the photo shoot. He was able to travel to the Black Film Festival because he starred in a movie called, “Secrets”. It all started with me telling him come on we are going to film. Once we started filming he told his dad that he no longer wanted to play basketball, that he wanted to be an actor.
USTYLE: SO YOU WENT FROM BEING A DETECTIVE FOR TWENTY-NINE YEARS TO FILM MAKING. WAS THAT SOMETHING YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO?
MC: I was in law enforcement for twenty-nine years, a detective for twenty-seven, and no it just fell into place because back in 2003 I wrote a book called, “Homicide and Me, Living Black and Blue”. It was basically a book about my career as a young black man in DC dealing with the trials and tribulations of every day life, as well as enforcing the law and doing community work. I sort of combined everything. Once I was ready to publish the book the General Counsel’s office told me I could not publish the book because I was still on the job and it was a true story.
USTYLE: EVEN THOUGH IT WAS YOUR STORY?
MC: Yes because it was about the Police Department and you can not make money on the job about the job, and I was going to make money off of it. Then they said I could write friction, so that is when I wrote, “Stranger in the Streets” in 2010 and “Damaged Roots”. Just by doing those books allowed me to not tell true stories but allowed me to take true events and make them fictional to one story.
USTYLE: SO THAT’S WHAT THOSE BOOKS ARE ABOUT?
MC: Yes. they are fictional but the events are true
USTYLE: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE FILM INDUSTRY?
MC: Well I started doing interviews. I use to film a girl named, Jarvalin Cooper (aka. Juicy J) in 2011. It was just me holding the camera and her doing inteviews, that’s it. Then she did a talk show and I was still holding the camera. One day I’m while holding the camera I was like I like telling stories, so I tried to do a web series years ago called, The Real Hoodwives of DC. I started doing that because on facebook I was writing a comedy thing “Hood Soaps.” At that time I had no experience in film. I had one camera, so I got with a guy named Danny who knew how to operate the camera. We did a web series which was trash, but everyone loved the idea of what I was trying to do, that’s what inspired me. To me the project was trash, not the people in it but the filming. I looked at other people’s stuff and I was like mine doesn’t look like that. That made me learn how to film. I started doing research and going on You tube.
USTYLE: SO IT’S SAFE TO SAY YOU HAD NO FORMAL TRAINING IN FILM
MC: No training, I just started watching people. People would always say, “man you can learn anything from You tube, so that was where I would go to learn to do this or that. Then I hooked up with Commodore and we both learned together. That’s how we got to this point. The bumps, bruises and mistakes everything. We got better as we went along and I am glad that I made those mistakes because I won’t make them today.
USTYLE: SO TECHNICALLY BOSS WAS YOUR FIRST FILM?
MC: My first full movie, yes. All I was doing at first was a lot of short films, like 15 to 20 minute films. Actually BOSS was originally suppose to be a 20 minute film. I had a thing where I was going to do a little short film and I was going to do a short film contest. I was going to pick two winners and I was going to film BOSS, so I was going to show three 15 minute films at an event. I continued writing BOSS in the meantime and continued writing until I looked up and it was a movie now. So I told Beverly and everybody my movie was no longer 15 minutes long so I am going to show you guys movie and I’m not going to show mine. Therefore I kept writing it until it was a complete movie.
USTYLE: CAN YOU JUST GO OVER THE STORY LINE FOR BOSS FOR OUR READERS?
MC: BOSS is all about a friend of mine who died in 2005 I believe, her name was Mattie Johnson. Mattie was a street girl and she was so important to me. When I met her in 1991 that was my first year as a homicide detective and another detective turned me on to her. I was like who is this cute little street girl? We began to develop a real good friendship even though I was a police officer and detective and she was a street girl. I would always try to solicit information from her and she would be like dude please. So by me doing that and not really knowing who she was. No other detective would confront her with it, they knew she wasn’t going to tell. From there we just developed a friendship and a friendship where we became like brother and sister. We became very close and I never asked her about anything again. Then I started looking at her and her characteristics and realized she was a good storyteller, but to her they were not stories they were lies. She lied about everything, that’s why she could never give me information on a murder because it was going to be a lie. I don’t think she ever told the truth. She probably had between 15 to 20 different personalities and everybody that knew her personally, when they see BOSS they will see how I took all of the different personalities of her and created my characters, she was most definitely “Sweets”, she was Mattie, she was “Boogie”. She is everybody, she’s all the characters. I took all the pieces of her and put them in to different characters and in the light that I always knew her for. That’s why it was so easy for me to tell the story. Every main character in BOSS was her. Then I got with Trina, who was her best friend back then and told her what I was doing, she just started crying. I said Trina every character is Mattie and even Trina characters was Mattie. Trina felt it automatically and then when her family saw the movie they felt it. Mattie is all in the movie and that’s why I dedicated the movie to her because I said when I create and write my first movie I’m dedicating it to her. She was the one who made me a sharp homicide detective because even though I hung on the streets I was an athlete. I played sports. I was not the type of dude that sold drugs. I didn’t hang out on the corner with the drug dealers. The older dudes would always make me go play sports. When I became a homicide detective a lot of the cool street stuff I didn’t know and Mattie would always teach me. I learned a lot of street slang from her. If I was interviewing someone and I didn’t know something I would call Mattie. That girl knew the streets. She was so in tuned to the street element, that’s why I said that I had to do BOSS. There are other stories I want to tell like love stories and youth stories but I knew I had to this for her. Then we jumped right into BOSS 2 just so we could finish the story because BOSS wasn’t completed. I wanted to finish the story and then once I finish doing this I’m going to show the versatility in the different types of stories I can tell.
USTYLE: WHAT IS YOUR SELECTION PROCESS WHEN CHOOSING ACTORS AND ACTRESSES FOR EACH CHARACTER YOU CREATE?
MC: Well I wanted to use people from the streets because years ago I teamed up with someone to film a television pilot in Baltimore and we needed some people to play some street roles, so we hired professional actors. We were doing a scene with crackheads and I became very frustrated. I was like crackheads don’t act like that, so what I did was I went down the street and found several actually crackheads and said, “Ya’ll want to make some money” and they said yeah. They came down to the set and we put them in the movie. We signed them up, gave them the paperwork and they got paid. I said I want them, we can let those actors go, because they couldn’t give us that street element that we wanted. With BOSS instead of using professional actors to play street roles, I said let me use people from the streets of DC. I told them be yourself based on the script and story and let the rest take care of itself, that’s it. I wanted to keep it simple. I didn’t want people to have to play roles that they were not familiar with because it will take them out of their element and especially since they didn’t have that experience. Everybody in BOSS were inexperienced, so I wanted them to play roles that were very easy. If I would have gotten with Anwan Glover (aka. Big G) who is a little bit more versatile then I could probably do some different things, but I plan on doing that for my next movie. This first one though I wanted to use inexperienced people . Now what I did for BOSS 2 was picked up some people who have experience and put them with my inexperienced people and that’s why BOSS 2 is going to be way better than the first one.
USTYLE: SO BOSS 2 IS A SEQUEL?
MC: Yes it is a part two and this is where it ends. It has to end because I have to move on to a love story that I want to tell.
USTYLE: CAN YOU TELL OUR READERS A LITTLE ABOUT THE LOVE STORY YOU WILL BE WORKING ON?
MC: Well right now it’s title Love & Boxing, but I am going to change the title. Although I love the name but everybody keeps telling me because of Love & Basketball I should change it. I have a few titles in mind, but Big G had approached me and was like, “Mitch give me a role I’ve never played before”. Basically it’s a love story about a boxing trainer who falls in love with a young girl who he took off the street because she was homeless and brought her into his boxing gym to live, but he ends up falling in love with her because he was lonely. He didn’t realize how beautiful she was since she was always dirty and grimy. One day her saw her taking a shower by accident and with not really looking at her naked body but instead he saw all the beauty and he ended up falling in love with her.
USTYLE: OK, LET ME NOT GET TO CAUGHT UP IN THIS STORY
MC: It’s a really good story, and what happens is he ends of marrying her and now she is no longer living in his gym but with him. He is taking care of her because she doesn’t have much, no family or anything. Then what happens is one day he is getting robbed and the young guy that robbed him ended up getting caught by the police but instead of him going to jail the trainer tells the police no make him work in my gym. The young guy doesn’t show up for 3 to 4 days later and was like, yeah I’m going to work. The trainer realizes the young boy has talent and now he is training him. The young boy moves into his home. Then the trainer finds out he has cancer and is dying. He begins to realize he can’t love this young girl like he wants and sexual he can’t perform. He has all kinds of things going on and he’s dying. He begins to notice the young boy and girl are beginning to like each other and he does not know what to do because he loves the young boy too now. He is like a son to him but he’s dying, so he has a choice whether to end this before it gets serious or teach this young boy how to be a man because when he dies someone is going to be with his wife and he wanted this young boy to be.
USTYLE: YOUR LEVEL OF CREATIVITY IS VERY IMPRESSIVE. WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
MC: I don’t think of stories in advance. I think of it as I go. I write and I think as I’m writing. I never do outlines, because I have no think process. I can film a movie without even having a script if I wanted to because in my mind I know what I want to do and I don’t really know the story until I either start writing it or filming it. It’s almost like freestyle rapping.
STAY TUNED FOR BOSS 2… COMING TO A SCREEN NEAR YOU.