Rolling out spoke with Detroit’s Paige B. Alston, an award-nominated writer and director, about her recent feature film, “Meeting Boone.” The film follows an ex-convict befriending a woman, while looking for answers about his brother’s mysterious death.
Where did the idea for “Meeting Boone” come from?
So pretty much the idea for the film came from wanting to kind of pivot and do something a little different from the first film, but really just for trusting God to give me something. When I came up with the idea, I knew that I wanted one of the locations to be a funeral home. I didn’t know exactly what the story was even going to be. I just knew, “OK, I know somebody who has a funeral home.” Then, obviously, I knew I wanted to include the faith-based aspect. … I had developed the story initially about a guy who worked at a funeral home.
How long did it take you to finish the script?
It took a couple of months for me to get it done. The thing that pushed me to actually finish it was … the fact that I had casted and I wasn’t finished with the script. We had a potential schedule. I got so many people involved but it was really major that I had to finish it. A lot of times I do that because I know that can push me to finish. So that’s pretty much my process. I did a lot of fasting and praying, to finish the script and to actually finish the film.
What is your directing style?
I’m the type of director who likes to get to know a person. I want to build a relationship with my team before I just meet them for the first day and shoot with them. Granted, sometimes you just have to do that. But if I could get to know you, then I feel like I can understand how to write you better.
Even on Boone, there are some times where I had to pivot and learn the importance of each individual and who I was dealing with on set, and just kinda figure out a way to cater to everybody and make sure everybody was comfortable, actors and crew.
What are you working on next?
What’s next is “Meeting Boone: Son of Man,” which is the continuation of “Meeting Boone.”
I’m about halfway through the script right now, and plan to be fully through the script by the end of the summer. So the idea is that we’ll shoot that sometime next year. Also, I’m working on “Concrete Garden,” which is a series about a young guy who is having life issues with himself, and having a situation where he’s trying to figure out things. He lives with his mom and his sisters, and obviously they need money and they need hope, and there are environmental issues going on. So it dives into urban agriculture here in the city of Detroit.