I am an independent documentary filmmaker looking for an MBA
student from Harvard who’s interested in getting involved in the
Entertainment Industry through my film company Film Fatale. The
reason that I decided to write to you all is because the true story of
my current film Player Hating: A Love Story, is so important and
compelling that I thought you all might be interested in writing about
it. Player Hating is about a young hip hop artist, named Half a Mill,
who is trying to get out of the projects through music. Unfortunately,
he and four other guys I worked with die in the process. The film is a
powerful story about the ravages of poverty, racism and trauma.
My last feature documentary, War Zone, was very successfully
received. War Zone, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in the
Forum of New Cinema where it was nominated for the grand prize,
played to sold out crowds, and went on to open theatrically at Film
Formun, the Laemmle Theaters in LA, and others, as well as running
on the Sundance Channel to fabulous ratings. My work has been
the subject of world wide media coverage, and War Zone continues
to challenge audiences all over the country. It is currently being
used by the Department of Defense to train all branches of the
military around issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
I am currently in post production with Player Hating, and am
interested in finding a business partner for my company, and would
love to tell this story. If you all are interested in writing about the
process of making this movie, I’d be happy to send you the
background story in the Film Notes. The Film Notes begins with the
story of the first day of shooting, when I was robbed at gunpoint. I
hope that you will consider writing about this project.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
(A Hip Hop name given to me by an Original Gangster in the
Filmmaker / Public Speaker
Film Fatale, Inc.
Speaker Representation by Campuspeak
Player Hating: A Love Story
A Feature Length Documentary
Written and Directed by Maggie Hadleigh-West
Copyright 2005 Mad-G Productions, Inc.
Definition: Player Hating- Someone else is about to shine, and you’ll
do anything to keep that motherfucker 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
Hope and money poured into Manhattan as a result of the World
Trade Center attacks, yet 30 minutes away lies a forgotten
community where death and destruction are as constant as
breathing. Half-a-Mill is a 26 year old hip hop artist from the Albany
Projects in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Building 193. Raised by his
grandparents, Half grew up, Jason Wardlaw, in a two-bedroom
apartment with eight to ten other relatives, depending on what year it
was. By the time he was seven, Half was sharing a gun with his
brother, ’cause he was sick of people putting their guns in his face in
the elevator of his building, and not being able to do anything about
Half’s been running with the same ten guys, since he was real little,
and they’re his crew. But he’s the one with real musical talent. He’s
the one that will take all of them out of the projects-if they can stand
to leave. Dooliani’s his Hype Man. He talks so much you aren’t sure
what he said. Blood Sport is an Original Gangster in the Brooklyn
Chapter of the Bloods. That keeps other Bloods out of Half’s
business. Trent and Ryp are fighting over who’s the manager. Big
Spank is his security, when he’s not sleeping, or hunting Greezies.
Love and Mel are his cousins, and Megga is his brother. Unique and
Troop are just his boys. Loyal to the death. And that is the heart of
this story. How do these guys, who have grown up surrounded by
violence, watching their friends and family members die, not become
participants? Or is it even fair to ask them to survive by a white
middle class standard of living?
Half’s been signed by the independent label, Warlock Records, and
he and his crew are doing most of the work, but that’s ok because it’s
still a chance to blow up. And Half wants that so bad he can taste it,
but until it happens, he’ll deal drugs, sell guns, bootleg his own
tapes—do what he has to do, in order to support himself, his family
and his music. Half says he can’t worry about player hating. It’s just
about competition. Everyone wants to be a playa. But when you live
in the projects, hatin’ is the way it goes—’cause your ribs are touchin’
and everyone wants their cheese.
Player Hating follows the lives of Half and his crew as they write,
perform and launch Half’s first album, Milion in a desperate bid to
escape hopelessness, poverty and death. Through the eyes of an
urban poet and philosopher, Player Hating reveals the tragedy of
living in a community, abandoned by government and maintained
through humor, dignity, and the sheer will to survive.
In the course of the movie, Half performs at a teen club in Brooklyn,
filled with Crips, so his crew can’t show their Blood affiliation. That
same club makes Half wait for hours before he can go in. Unique
shows me his in memoriam tattoo’s for four of his murdered family
member’s. And Blood Sport gets shot in the leg, in a gang related
incident. “T” gets car jacked in Manhattan, and my camera crew
breaks into St. Vincent’s Hospital to interview him, with five bullet
wounds in his body. Dooliani fights with family, friends and
strangers. Half tells me that pimps were his first heroes. They had
the cars, the chicks, their own style and the money. And he wants
Then Half’s record drops, and everyone’s hope becomes palpable.
Half’s CD sells 80,000 units. Really respectable, for the first time out.
But he doesn’t get himself a real deal. So it’s back to hustle—
working on his second album. There’s always room for more hope,
when music’s involved.
And then Half’s beloved Grandmother dies, and two weeks later,
while Half is working on his second CD, Dooliani gets drunk, and
stabs Half’s good friend Real in the heart. In the blink of an eye, Half
loses two of his closest friends. The next day, I learn most of Half’s
crew has life insurance policies so that they won’t be a burden to
their momz, when they’re killed. In reaction, Half moves his family to
Atlanta, where he hopes he can start over again. But then the Twin
Towers fall, and Half feels like it’s the end of the world. He is deeply
depressed. He stops bathing and starts to sell drugs, something he
hasn’t done in a very long time. I pray he’ll pull through,
unfortunately, my prayers aren’t answered…
For further information contact:
Film Fatale, Inc. * Mad-G Productions