Bounce TV has a new highly anticipated drama that has tongues wagging about its provocative storyline. New York transplant and Atlanta resident director Jerry Lamothe has been tapped to direct the drama series that centers around the pursuit of power, intertwined with deceit, greed, corruption and murder — all within the confines of a large Southern church.
Lamothe agrees that audiences are primed for discussions about the black church, solidifying the series debut at the perfect time. “I was excited because I knew they were going to spare anything. The show tackles some really deep taboo things and secrets that relate to the Black church, especially in the South. I’m anxious to see the response. I think a lot of people are going to be offended, which is a good thing. A lot of people will be blown away. They are definitely tackling relevant issues pulling from some of our own experiences growing up in the church,” Lamothe says.
Although the network is familiar to Atlanta audiences, Bounce is only four years old. “It’s a fairly new network and they have had some big success thus far with content. This tiptoe into the drama world can be risky, thankfully we have a superbly talented cast including Vanessa Bell Calloway, Richard Lawson, and really just the entire cast,” Lamothe says.
Taking the network into uncharted territory is risky, Lamothe acknowledges, with dramas requiring stronger writing and, of course, proving more expensive, but he feels the cast is going to rise to the occasion superbly. Lamothe is not concerned about the show falling prey to chasing the shock value that many urban dramas get caught up in. “Good writing offers you the ability to have a strong storyline in spite of the shock value,” he explained.
“You can have the same group of actors, plot, same script — three different directors and you’ll get three different scenes,” Lamothe jokes when speaking of the importance of having the right director for the right project. “A director is the navigator. He navigates the story, it’s like having a coach there. No matter how good of a player an athlete is, a coach is always necessary.”
Lamothe is excited about all the growth happening in the film and television industry in his new Atlanta home and looking forward to doing more. Right before “Saints & Sinners,” Lamothe did a short film titled, Taking Chance. The film premiered at Urban World and is now doing the festival circuit. Taking Chance afforded Lamothe the opportunity to work with young actors, which is one of his favorite things to do.
“A lot of the young actors from that film were immediately getting calls and started securing roles in other projects. With young actors you get the privilege of working with a fresh slate and they are usually very receptive and want to receive information,” he says.
Lamothe also got the chance to work with the legendary Melvin Van Peebles while working on his independent film, Blackout. The film, which Lamothe wrote directed and produced, boasted an ensemble cast of Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Saldana, Michael B. Jordan, Saul Rubinek, Jamie Hector and film maverick, Melvin Van Peebles. Blackout premiered and was an official selection at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.
It’s a good time to be in this industry, Lamothe believes. “TV right now is at its best. There is great solid content, some really savvy writing, with some great character development.”
“Saints & Sinners” will debut on March 6, 2016, at 9 p.m. EST.