‘Tis the season to advertise “For Your Consideration,” in anticipation of the Oscars. Studios have mega budgets and smaller independent features often can’t compete.

We discovered a hidden movie gem, Foster Boy, within the 2020 movie releases from a well-respected distributor, Gravitas Ventures, and executive producer, Shaquille O’Neal. It is a gut-wrenching drama that highlights the story of a young prisoner, the victim of abuse in a corrupt foster care system, and the people who try to find justice for him. Word of mouth on this film is picking up quickly and it is getting awesome reviews.

This fascinating interview with host, Cirina Catania, highlights the journey of writer, Jay Paul Deratany, and Steve Bannerman, CEO of Real by FAKE in LA, the company supervising post-production on the film. And, yes, the company uses OWC equipment.

The film stars, Matthew Modine as lawyer Michael Trainer, Shane Paul McGhie in a dramatic tour-de-force as “Foster Boy” Jamal Randolph, Lex Scott Davis as Keisha, Julie Benz in the role of Pamela and Louis Gossett, Jr., as a memorable Judge. Full cast and credits are available on IMDB.

In This Episode

  • 00:04 – Cirina introduces writer, Jay Paul Deratany, and post-production executive, Steve Bannerman, from the movie Foster Boy.
  • 08:39 – Jay talks about Youssef Delara, the director of the film Foster Boy.
  • 16:37 – Jay explains the portrayal of the positive and negative side of the foster care system in the country.
  • 23:06 – Steve points out the three main looks of the movie in terms of color grading.
  • 34:06 – Watch Foster Boy, a pulse-pounding cinematic legal drama that tackles reform and corruption in foster care on iTunes On-Demand, BET +, and other sources.

Jump to Links and Resources


Foster Boy movie poster

Welcome back to OWC Radio. Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing writer, Jay Paul Deratany, and post-production executive, Steven Bannerman, about a movie I recently screened called Foster Boy. It is exec produced by Shaquille O’Neal and stars Matthew Modine, Louis Gossett, Jr., and a talented young actor, Shane Paul McGhie

I wanted to bring this film to your attention for several reasons. One, it’s hard-hitting and wonderful. Two, OWC’s equipment was front and center during post. And three, for those of you who may not be aware, there is a battle going on in Hollywood, but it’s most likely not what crosses your mind when I mentioned it. We call it awards season. This is the time of year when all the creators large and small battle for a few spots on that coveted, “I won an Oscar stage.” Millions of dollars are at stake, and millions are spent trying to get to that prized first place. Major studios and VOD/SVOD services have the money to compete on a huge scale. But some smaller gems, like Foster Boy, are faced with depending on modest budgets and word of mouth. 

Thankfully, in this digital age, we can help spread information. I chased after the creators because I firmly believe that this film deals with issues in the foster care system that need to be brought to life. And it is also beautifully written, produced, acted, and post-produced. We will be speaking with Jay and Steve shortly for part one of our two-part interview. In the meantime, listen in, here’s the film’s trailer, standby. This is going to be interesting.

[Trailer of Foster Boy] 

Jay, I wanted to ask you, I heard that in the 2000s, you were involved in a court case that was very similar to what you were writing about in Foster Boy. Can you tell us what inspired this script and how you first became involved with it?

JPD: Yeah, I’ve been a lawyer practicing in foster care abuse and other areas, primarily foster care abuse for about 20 years, but my other passion has always been writing and acting. I was involved in improv to different things. And I had written a play called Haram! Iran!, which did pretty well and got a GLAAD nomination. Then, somebody suggested that I go back to school and I went to the University of California, Riverside. And I had a professor, John Schimmel, and I was doing my MFA program, and I handed him a script, and he said, “That’s okay. But tell me what else you have. What else you can work on? What inflames your passions? What gets you motivated?” And I talked to him about my work in foster care. And he told me to write it. And I said, “Okay,” and I wrote the first rendition of Foster Boy, and I turned it in. Of course, writing is rewriting and he had me rewrite it. And then he said, “You know, this is good. Let’s take this to a producer I know, Peter Samuelson, and let’s see if he’s interested. Maybe we can take this further.” And we did. And I had some more meetings with Peter, and eventually led to other producers, and Shaquille. That’s how we got going with it. 

What I wrote about was a few of my cases, I had about two or three cases in which a child was severely abused in the foster care system. It bothered me greatly. I mean, we, lawyers, are supposed to be able to put our emotions to the side. But you know, that’s not entirely true. And I remember a particular case of a young man who had been abused in foster care-sexually and physically. There had been warnings ahead of time that indicated to the for-profit agency that he was susceptible to abuse. They had placed a kid in the home that they knew, had abused his cousin, and a half-sister, and so forth. And they hid it from me for years. Finally, I was able to find the documentation and prove the case and win. That profoundly touched me because I just thought, this is wrong. We have half a million kids in foster care, and so many of them are subject to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. And I just think our country could do so much better. So when I wrote that it was sort of perfect serendipity of bringing my legal career together with my passion for writing. And that’s where we’re at today.

Well, you did a great job. When did you finish the script?

JPD: The question begs the question because the script is never finished. 

I shouldn’t have asked it that way.

JPD: No, it’s a great question. Because Steve will tell you, even in editing, we’re cutting things and so forth. I finished the draft of the script that I presented to John Schimmel back in, I think, 2012. Then we went to Peter Samuelson and Peter asked us to do some more redrafts, for me to do redrafts. Then, of course, we get to a director, and he doesn’t like some scenes, and even on set, and other times that Matthew Modine called me out onto the set and said, “You know this line isn’t working for me. Can we rewrite this and so forth?” So I would say I initially finished the script about 2012. The first draft anyway.

woman in a library
There are a lot of very talented people out there who are trying to get their projects made. The work that goes into a film can be quite exhausting, but it is all worth it if you are passionate about what you do.

The reason I’m asking that question is that there are a lot of very talented people out there who are trying to get their projects made. And the journey of this film is a great example of something that took a while, but because you were just persevering on it, and everybody involved with it is so committed to the project. It did take a while but you finally are able to involve Gravitas. And now, it got a lot of awards at film festivals before that. Before we get into that, though, Steve, I want to ask, when did you become involved in this production? Can you explain your process with it so that our audience can understand where both of you are coming from?

SB: Sure. We came to become involved in this movie because we had been working with the director, Youssef Delara, on several other projects. We had worked with him as early as 2012, on a movie called Filly Brown, which was a darling at Sundance that year. And then we worked with him again in 2016 on a movie called The Bounce Back. We’re a company that has a lot of experience with urban-type productions, working with African-American casts and stuff like that. We thought we would be the perfect post house to work on this project. It turned out to be great fun.

I enjoyed Youssef Delara's style because he allowed the actors to express their creative liberty. Trying something different was encouraged so we had options for when we had to choose takes when editing. Click To Tweet

And I think he was right, looking at the film. It’s just beautifully finished. Talk to me for a moment about Youssef and his vision for this film. And I guess we would start with you, Jay. Because you probably were t he first person to talk to him about what your vision was compared to his vision. And I’m sure that also involved Steven in everything you were doing. The interesting thing for me is it did feel like it was very cohesive. The production was just beautiful. It was well shot, everything about it as well-edited, well colored. But what was Youssef’s vision for the film and did that dovetail with what you had in mind when you were writing it?

JPD: Interestingly, you use the word cohesive, because certainly in pre-production, as is with a lot of films, it wasn’t cohesive, we hit sort of different views or visions. I think that at some point, we had to have a lot of conversations and our vision seemed to meld and I think something beautiful that Youssef did was he wanted to make a little bit of grittiness. At some point, he mentioned the series Night Of, and when I saw that series, and I saw the grittiness of it, I thought, “Yeah, I agree with making it gritty.” And there’s a blue hue over the whole film, but I think that the cinematographer, and then, of course, Steve and his group there, did a beautiful job in expressing. It gives it a different flavor than your typical film. It’s not this bright, shiny films, there’s a little bit of cutting, there are a few hard edges to it. Even in the scene with the fire, it’s almost a little bit stronger, because it’s emphasized and there’s a little bit of artistic liberty there. They can speak to how they did it. 

Foster Boy gives a different flavor than your typical film. It's not like the usual bright, shiny films. There are a few hard edges to it, and there's a little bit more liberty in the artistry. Click To Tweet

But as we were going through the pre-production process, there certainly was a lot of conversations, what the look of the film would be, and I think that Youssef and I eventually met together. Our brains met together, so to speak, in editing as well, because he first didn’t pass through. And then I went back with the editors, as Steve could tell you, and we did some more work on it. And then I brought it back to Youssef. And he said, “Well, how about a little bit more adjustment?” Finally, the last adjustment, he said, “Yeah, we’re on the same page.” It came together cohesively to use that word. But there’s always a lot of minds that are at work and interplay of ideas. And I think the important thing is, you finally reached that point where you’re making, and I don’t want to use the word compromise because you’re not compromising film. But you’re letting the other artists, like the use of who’s a brilliant artist, come to the table with his ideas and trying to understand it, and then you reach an agreement and you make a beautiful film.

Yeah, productions falling apart because of what they call creative differences.  I’ve been involved in some of those. I think that it’s a team effort. But while I was watching this, I was thinking that everything that you were doing really paid off for the film. Steve, can you explain to us, what your company did in the film?

SB: Absolutely. Well, we started by working on the dailies. So we processed all the dailies, and that’s where we got to know the DP, Ben Kufrin. And we got to know the editor, Andrew Drazek, pretty well. We were interfacing with Facebook pretty closely. And then after Jay sort of went back through the multiple iterations of editorial, we did all of the color correction in DI, we did the visual effects. And then we did the mastering and delivery, final delivery. 


JPD: I have to say that Steve’s work with the color, he does a beautiful job. Their group took a lot of time and effort and wanted to make sure that everything was right before they even released it. And I could tell you that there was a time where we were putting pressure on Steve and his crew. “Let’s go. We gotta get this done.” And he did not want to release anything until he and his team had it perfect. Now I’m very thankful for that.

Well, it is beautiful. Steve, you guys did an amazing job. Now, watching the actors. I’m sure that this film, as we approach the Oscars is going to get even more attention. Matthew Modine, Shane Paul McGhie, Lex Scott Davis, really stood out as well, and Louis Gossett, Jr., of course. There were so many wonderful actors in this. How did they work with Youssef? Can you describe the process? I know you’re not Youssef, but you were there and you are watching. What do you think Youssef brought to the film that the actors appreciated? And what did the actors bring to the film that created such an emotional and very real performance?

JPD: What I enjoyed about Youssef’s style is, he would just very calmly say, “Okay, that looked good. Let’s do it again.” He sort of allowed the actors. Because you’re correct, we had a lot of professionals, it wasn’t like he had to take actors and adjust them a whole lot. He sort of allowed them creative liberty to try something different. So that you had a lot of takes so that in editing, we can then choose between the takes. Of course, he picks his top editing choices. I think that he worked very well with the actors in terms of allowing them the creative opportunity to express themselves in each take a little differently. And I thought that was a nice way of doing it. He wasn’t somebody who was helicoptering over every actor, and he knew what he wanted. And he worked very well with Ben Cooper and who I also think is a brilliant cinematographer. In terms of his DP skills, he brought it home. So they’re a good team, they did a very nice job. 

In terms of the actors, they were a great group to work with. And I mean that in every sense, I’ve been on some other film sets and we all hear the reputation of some actors being snippy or difficult on set and so forth. I could say that none of them acted that way. They all believed in the cause. They didn’t do it for the money, I could tell you that. They all believed, even if they took a little bit of a haircut in their normal fee, especially people like Louis Gossett and Matthew. They wanted to do this film because they believe that we need to improve the foster care world in America. We need to improve, when you have 40% of children, who age out of the foster care system, who wound up dead, homeless, or incarcerated within three years. That’s a horrific statistic. When they heard that, they learned about foster care in America, they said they wanted to be part of it and make a difference.

In a film like this, where it’s very difficult. Well, I don’t know if I want to use the word difficult. It’s very challenging for actors who are dealing with subject matters that might affect them personally, as well. I’m sure there were moments when the other actors probably went to Shane and helped him through the emotional implications of what he was bringing to this role. Were there times like that on the set?

JPD: Yes, there was a couple of scenes where I remember being in tears. When Shane gave his performance, where he’s on the stand, and he breaks down after doing the wrap, so to speak, Matthew really put his hand on him and just took a moment quietly spoke to him, and we could all see that, same with Youssef. And then there was another point because he had to do it again the next day. And he was drained. Shane was physically drained from doing this. And he wanted me as well to talk to him about what personally goes on with some of the foster kids. And I told him one particular story of a child who was killed in foster care. And then he used that as motivation for a scene. And I think that Shane, well, all of the actors did a brilliant job. But Shane just knocked it out of the park, in terms of bringing his emotion to the scene. 

Yeah. And he’s such a young man, he brought a real mature sensitivity to that role. I was very surprised by that, pleasantly surprised. One thing that you did in the script was you showed the dark side, but you also showed the positive side of people in that world who wanted to protect and to show love and respect for these children. Do you want to talk about really what you were trying to accomplish with the script?

JPD: Yeah, what I did not want to do was portray everybody in the foster care system as evil or bad, because they’re not, there’s a lot of amazing foster care parents out there. I’m becoming one of them. And I don’t think I’m evil or my partner, but where they truly want to take a child into the home, they want to give that child a new life, and they want to show love. So that’s represented in the Randolph’s, who took Jamal into their home as an older child. As we know, older children have a very tough time getting a place. And they showed him love. And that represents probably the majority of foster parents. 

But I also wanted to juxtapose that position with how some of these companies in Florida and Kansas, for example, it’s all privatized foster care. And throughout, I think 26 of the states in the United States, allow for privatized foster care, it’s a mix of private and public or not-for-profit, some of the non-for-profits are very charitable, to use that word. And I wanted to show how some of these agencies are just not abiding by the standards. They’re not abiding by DCFS regulations. And they’re hurting children. They’re about profit. And really, they’re the ones taken advantage of the Randolph’s to the Randolph’s who didn’t want Jamal to get hurt in their home, hopefully, that’s conveyed in the film. And I think Youssef did a brilliant job in directing that part of it. The Randolphs showed their emotion and discovered that Jamal had been abused in their own home, in the scene where they burned their barn out. So I think that I wanted to show there’s a lot of good, but we need a lot of work in the system.

There’s another aspect to this. And, Steve, I want to ask you also a question about the color grading in a moment. But there’s one other thing. We don’t have to cover this if you don’t want to, but I found myself even though it was very difficult to watch, I think there’s an aspect to sexual abuse, that is male on male that isn’t spoken about enough in our society. And I don’t want to get political. But I do believe that there is an aspect to this that is important for people to also feel empathy towards young men who may have gone through something like this. Do you want to comment on that?

JPD: Thank you for asking that. Cirina. I think it’s a very good point. And it is something that we need to address more in the United States. I do think we address young women being abused, although we can even talk more about that and I think that’s important. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that we need to also put a spotlight on the abuse of young men. Oftentimes, young men and young boys don’t want to talk about what happened to them because of this machismo type of thing that we’re all taught as men, unfortunately, although hopefully, we’re getting away from that. And because of what the ideal of being a man is. Hopefully, this film explores that a little bit further, because, in my career as an attorney, I continue to see young men who are being sexually exploited and abused in the foster care system. And I’ve seen it in a church system. It’s awful, and it damages men and women in different ways. Young men oftentimes become more violent. 

Sexual abuse to a boy or girl can create changes to their brain chemistry in fundamental ways and causes them lifelong damage. And I don’t think we’re addressing it. And I applaud the Me Too movement. I wish it would even expand a little further to talk about the young men who are abused because women are just now really coming out and talking about it. And I applaud that, I think that’s fantastic. And I hope we could continue that, to allow young men a safe space to come out and talk about their abuse and not have fear of what they’re perceived as if they do talk about that abuse. I think sometimes it’s unfortunate that if a young man is sexually abused, somebody will assume or say he must be gay, which is not the case at all, although gay men tend to be abused more, simply because I think the predators see them as more vulnerable. But we need to have that conversation. We need to put that out there. I’m really glad you asked that question.

six people dancing
Everything that happens in post-production is a dance that the entire team does together.

Well, it’s a very deep subject. And I agree with you. I’m really glad that you showed it in a way. However, that was not exploitive that only created empathy for the young man and what was going on with him. Steve, I have a personal belief that everything that happens in production, post-production is a dance that we all do together. And we talked about some of the aspects of what you did in this film. When you were watching the dailies, and you were talking to the production team, can you talk to us about how you transformed the vision into reality with what you were doing in those offices? Was this in Canada or LA that it was finished?

SB: We did all the posts in LA on this media.

Okay, so I’m picturing myself in your offices in LA? And can you just explain to us how it all worked? When did you get the dailies?  What happened from that point on? How did you help the vision of the film? For example, the application of color grading. What went into the decisions about the color and how you did it? I know I’m asking a very broad question. But if you could paint a picture for us, I’m sure the audience would appreciate that.

SB: Sure, the first thing that we did in pre-production was work with Ben and Youssef to create lights for the show. We did a color pass on the dailies, we built LEDs for indoor lights, daytime indoor lights, at night time, day and night as well. We did a first color pass on all the dailies. So when the movie went into editorial, a lot of the looks that you know everybody had in mind for the movie, we’re already on the footage. There are three main looks in this movie. And you kind of pointed out some of them already. It has a real coolness and a grittiness throughout most of it, whether you’re in the jail scenes or whether in the courtroom scenes, there’s a real sort of moodiness to it, that’s quite dark and quite cool. 

But then there’s the other side of the movie where there needs to be some warmth, like when they’re in Randolph’s home and things like that. There’s a real warmth to the movie that sort of wants to give you hope. And then there are the flashback scenes. And so the flashback scenes sort of have that sort of blurriness to them, but they’re kind of in the middle, between the coolness and the warmth. If you think about how color needs to be used in a movie like this, reinforce the emotion. It’s a very emotional movie. And just like audio cues are used to sort of lead the viewers into how they should feel in certain scenes. It’s really important in this movie to use color to do the same thing. We spent an awful lot of time especially on the coolness of the indoor scenes. The courtroom appears to be quite dimly lit to give a real effect of having Louis Gossett, Jr. sitting up there on the bench, and cameras almost always sort of pointing up to him right when you’re seeing. 

So there’s a real drama in that, but at the same time, so you’ve got these African-American characters in a dimly lit room, and then you’ve got Matthew Modine and Evan Handler whose skin tones couldn’t be more opposite, right? And so you have to sort of match all those things and keep that coolness. And then the same thing holds on the warm, especially that scene outside Randolph’s home when the barn is burning. We spend a significant amount of time on that scene, both in color and in visual effects, to bring the impact because there’s a lot of conflicting elements there, right? Jamal is pretty much exercising a lot of the demons from his past while that barn is burning, you want to feel that angst to the ceiling. But you also want to feel hopeful that this is sort of turning the page for a new future for him. That’s a real challenge. So we spent a lot of time in color working on this kind of detail to make sure that we could reinforce the way that we wanted the audience to feel when they’re watching these particular scenes.

Well, I thought you did an amazing job. I was thinking about that when I was watching that particular scene about how you segued from one to the other. And there was a definite change in the approach to the color. Most people might not notice that. But I was watching, I was going, “They did a really good job.” It was wonderful. Jay, you said you and your husband are going to be adopting that is so exciting.

JPD: Yes, probably gonna get in trouble with them because it’s a little bit early. We haven’t gotten there yet. But he’s a wonderful young man, he’s 11 years old, and a very kind soul and a good kid. And we’re just very excited. I have 20 of these cases in my office now. And I see all the awful things that happen in foster care, given my work as a lawyer. So it’s nice now to be able to see the positive things that can happen when you take a child into your home. It’s not just a selfless act on your part. It’s a selfish act because you’re bringing love to yourself, you’re completing a family. In my world, I’d never thought I would have a husband and I never thought I would have a family. And it brings me such amazing emotion and happiness.

I think it’s all your hard work paying off after all these years, right?

JPD: Yeah, and the changes in the laws of our country. The overfill decision certainly gave me rights that I never had before equal to other human beings in our society. And I think it’s just a beautiful and incredible thing. And I think there’s a lot of LGBTQ folks, I know I’m a little off-topic, but who wants to adopt and who wants to bring a child into their home. And when you have half a million kids in the foster care system, we have to allow good, wonderful parents, even if it’s two moms, two dads, or a single mom, single dad. If there’s love, kindness, and stability, let’s allow those people to bring their child into their home.

Well, I think it’s something to celebrate. Love is love, and our hearts are all the same color. Years ago, I did a series of interviews with gay couples who were trying to adopt and couldn’t. I don’t know that we’re off-topic so much as we are talking about humanity in this film. And it was one of the things that I love the most about your script. The law is not about what’s fair, you know that more than anyone, it’s about who plays the game better than the other. And I think you also made the Matthew Modine character use his humanity, in the end, to change who he was as a person and to use the law for good. And I think there are a lot of lawyers out there who do that daily, and who may not be appreciated as much as they should be. I thought that was another wonderful aspect of the script. I’d like to read the script, actually. Is the Writer’s Guild gonna send me a copy when it comes time for the Oscars?

JPD: Well, I can send you a copy. So you don’t have to wait for the Writer’s Guild. Cirina, you brought out a really good point in terms of the script and humanity and all of that because lawyers do try to correct the system and correct right from wrong, but oftentimes a big company or individuals with money can try to manipulate the system. And that’s what has happened in the past in the foster care world, where some big foster care for-profit companies have managed to manipulate the laws in a way that they’ve taken advantage of it. And they’re maximizing profits, rather than watch it out for the best interest of the child.

analog film
Things don’t happen overnight in the film business. Sometimes it takes years for a film to get highly recognized. This is the harsh reality.

Steve, I want to ask you, if you would mind if we did part two of this interview, and you can either stay on now, or I can call you back. But I’d like to get more into the tech side of this. And so I’m thinking maybe, I’d like to tell our audience that if it’s okay with you, we’re going to do a part two to this. So all of our geeks in the audience can get into the details of how this film was shot in the workflow. And as much as you can talk about that, and then the post-production workflow and exactly what was happening. I want to ask you, before we go about the journey that this film went through to find a distributor so we can help others in our audience, perhaps, no, never give up that things don’t happen overnight in our business, and that if you’re doing what you should be doing and you have a great product, somehow it will find its way, which in terms of this film, my understanding as you were going through the film festival journey, and how did Gravitas first see it and how long did it take from the time Shaquille O’Neal got involved and you started pitching the film to the time that Gravitas picked it up and now it’s on a roller coaster ride. I guess that’s a question for you, Jay.

JPD: That’s putting on my producer hat, I can tell you that being a producer, I have a great deal of respect for now because it is almost harder than writing the darn thing. And the post-production and getting the distributor is hard work. There’s a lot of distributors out there. And I’ll just say that there are a few of them that are less than scrupulous. So we started the process. And again, I have to give some credit to my husband, Curt Smith, because he wound up submitting to all sorts of film festivals. At first, we submitted to two top ones, the Toronto International Film Festival, and Sundance. We got rejected. And my heart was broken. And I thought, “Oh, is this it?” And then Kurt said, “Well, look, there are 1000s of film festivals, let’s submit to several more and see what we could do.” And all of a sudden, we got into some very good film festivals, solid film festivals. 

The journey of this film is an excellent example of something that took a while. Still, because perseverance prevailed and everyone involved was so committed to the project, it eventually took off. Click To Tweet

And then we went to the film festivals, and we started winning awards. And we were especially well received by the International Black Film Festival in Tennessee, and then the Pan African Film Festival in LA. And then we wound up winning about I think we’re up to 15 awards for Best in festival and Jamal’s role, Best Actor, and so forth. We went to a lot of Film Festival awards, and it was wonderful. But we weren’t getting calls yet from distributors. And then finally, we were on the way back from a nice Film Festival in Arizona, and we just won an award, we’re feeling pretty good. And it was just a phone call I received, a cold call really from Gravitas. And they said, “We’re interested, we’re very excited.” And they talked to me about the passion for the project. And I felt their passion, and I felt their sincerity. I felt like they watched the film, which I didn’t necessarily feel when I talked to some other distributors. And they made an offer. And we went back and forth a little bit, we had a couple of other offers. But at the end of the day, I felt that Gravitas had the energy and passion for the project that we were looking for. And that’s why we went with them.

Well, I have to say they got a hold of us. And they’ve been doing a great job. A lot of people ask me about distribution for their films. And I always warn them that there are two kinds of distributors, there are those who want to find films that they believe in and can work for, and can help promote. And then others make a living just telling you, they’re going to do a great job. And all they want to do is add to their library and then sell it in bulk. And so filmmakers who might be listening in be very careful and get recommendations from other filmmakers before you sign on the dotted line with your distributor. So I do want to ask, I’ve been talking about the Oscars because obviously, I loved the film so much. Does it qualify for the Oscars?

JPD: We submitted and it qualifies. It met the theatrical release requirements, and it met all of the requirements. The tough part always with an indie film, which was fairly low budget is the bigger films have a whole campaign called for your consideration. And they could spend hundreds of 1000s of dollars with a billboard saying please consider this film and directly send messages to the voters, at least broadly advocating for their films. We can’t do that. But you know, there’s plenty of little indies that have slipped through and the folks that vote the Oscars make choices, and hopefully, they watch this film. And it would just be a wonderful, amazing thing if we could get a nomination, we’d be happy. I think that Shane Paul McGhie’s performance was riveting, and I think that he stands a great chance. But that’s not to take away from Matthew or Louis Gossett, who are both brilliant actors. Or even possibly cinematography, direction, who knows what will happen but we’re just excited to have submitted.

Well, the word of mouth on the film is starting to pick up. I think people are talking about it. They are very pleasantly surprised. They love the film, and I do wish you all the best. Well, this is Cirina Catania with OWC Radio. I’ve been speaking with Jay Paul Deratany and Steve Bannerman about their film, Foster Boy. And I encourage all of you to see it. Where can we go to buy or rent this film?

JPD: It’s available on iTunes on demand. It’s going to be in BET and BET Plus as well, starting in February permanently. But it’s also generally on your TV pay-per-view or paid. It’s a couple of bucks and it’s hopefully worth watching.

Well, I encourage all of you to watch the film and we will be featuring part two of this interview with Steve Bannerman about all the tech behind this film. And Steve, do you guys use OWC products in your post-production house?

SB: We do. We use the OWC Thunderbay Raid for the dailies.

That’s awesome. Oh, that’s good to hear. I want to thank OWC for sponsoring our show because it allows me to talk to wonderful people like you. And this is Cirina Catania. I’m signing off and remember what I tell you guys, get up off your chairs and go do something wonderful today.


  1. Harness your passion and creativity in making a masterpiece through filmmaking. Don’t hesitate to start something new when inspiration hits you. It might be the next big success.
  2. Form a multi-talented team that can help you produce your vision. Making a film is composed of various skilled individuals, each having their own specific areas of expertise. There are the directors, writers, actors, camerapeople, audio engineers- the list goes on.
  3. Write, review, revise. Work with several writers and creatives to acquire different perspectives about your script. Brainstorm ideas on how the film should be written to resonate with your audience in the best way.  
  4. Stay committed to the project. Creating a film that’s up to your standard can be exhausting. As long as you love what you do, you’ll understand that challenges and setbacks are a part of the process.
  5. Respect each other’s creative differences. There will be ideas and suggestions that don’t precisely agree with yours. Remember that everyone can express their opinions. Sometimes, other people’s feedback can help direct the project in the right direction.
  6. Cultivate creative liberty within the team. Feel free to experiment, express, and try something new. Try anything that broadens your creativity. 
  7. Bear post-production in mind during filming. The fewer changes you can make in post, the better. 
  8. Utilize filmmaking to tell a compelling story. Highlight an important topic that can spread awareness on ideologies that can improve humanity. These types of formats are best presented in the form of documentaries and independent films. 
  9. Have the courage to transform the vision into reality. Get up off your seat and do something amazing today.
  10. Check out Foster Boy’s website to watch its trailer and learn more about where you can stream the award-winning film.

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