Interview With A King - An animated short film
"Interview With A King"
"Interview With A King" is an extraordinary 3D animated short film that masterfully captures the spirit and wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through a captivating interview experience. Set in 2023, this groundbreaking production blends AI Character Creator technology, innovative animation techniques, and a professional voice performer to bring to life a fashionable Dr. King character from 1968.
The screenplay for "Interview With A King" was penned in 2018 by Major General Barrye L. Price, Ph.D., U.S. Army Retired, a distinguished King historian with over 30 years of expertise. With a deep understanding of Dr. King's legacy and having delivered over 300 speeches on his life and legacy, General Price brings historical accuracy and authenticity to the film. Directed by General Price and Florita Bell Griffin, Ph.D., the film combines their expertise and creative vision to deliver a powerful and meaningful cinematic experience.
To ensure a respectful and legal approach, the filmmakers made a conscious decision not to create an exact likeness of Dr. King for the animated short film. Instead, their goal was to authentically capture the essence of his character and personality through animation, paying homage to his iconic achievements and legacy. This decision ensures that the film stays within legal boundaries while creating a powerful and effective tribute to Dr. King.
While "Interview With A King" touches upon significant moments such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington, it also delves into lesser-known aspects, revealing personal anecdotes and hidden struggles that shaped Dr. King's remarkable journey. The film offers a profound understanding of his ideals, challenges, and the lasting impact of his tireless activism.
As a timely reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality and justice, "Interview With A King" showcases Dr. King's unwavering belief in nonviolence and his commitment to peaceful protest. Through its powerful storytelling, expert voice performances, soul-stirring music, and the dedication of ARC Communications’ skilled artistic team, the film encourages viewers to reflect on the progress made and the continued work required to combat systemic racism and discrimination.
At the heart of "Interview With A King" is the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., portrayed by the talented Dr. Stephon Ferguson, a professional Dr. King voice performer. Dr. Ferguson's remarkable ability to embody Dr. King's tone, speech patterns, forceful remarks, and impassioned delivery ensures that viewers hear the essence of Dr. King's powerful message as if spoken by the man himself. This adds an extra layer of authenticity and resonance to the film, enhancing the overall viewer experience.
Lauren Coleman, a veteran newscaster, lends her voice to the animated interviewer of Dr. King. The interviewer engages Dr. King in a fictional but historically true conversation. Coleman's background as a newscaster lends authenticity and believability to her performance, as she captures the tone, rhythm, and nuances of a professional journalist interviewing Dr. King. This gives the animated film more depth and authenticity, improving the entire spectator experience.
The film's music, composed by Rodney Stith and performed by him and his band Prolific Soul Music, serves as a powerful companion to the visuals, evoking the passion and struggles of the civil rights movement. Stith's soulful voice conveys the liberation and empowerment anthems "Free At Last" and "Let It Go" with authenticity, bridging the past and present while highlighting the challenges that African Americans faced then and now. The music promotes equality, freedom, and the ongoing fight for justice.
ARC Communications, LLC, based in Texas, is the edutainment production company behind "Interview With A King." Dr. Richard W. Griffin, a geoscientist and university professor, founded the firm in 2010 as a creative outlet for the exploration of educational and entertainment technologies that incorporate storytelling and animation with the arts and sciences.
Get ready for a transformative journey with "Interview With A King," where history, animation, and remarkable performances merge to create a profound and immersive experience. Witness Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s essence come to life and let his messages resonate deeply within you.
Barrye L. PriceWriter
Barrye L. PriceDirector
Florita Bell GriffinDirector
Barrye L. PriceExcecutive Producer
Florita Bell GriffinProducer
Stephon FergusonKey Cast"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."
Lauren ColemanKey Cast"Interviewer"
Rodney StithMusic Composer
Project Type:Animation, Short
Runtime:37 minutes 51 seconds
Completion Date:June 21, 2023
Production Budget:3,000,000 USD
Country of Origin:United States
Country of Filming:United States
Florita Bell Griffin, Ph.D., is an accomplished film director, author, and creative visionary in the world of entertainment and education. As the Chief Operating Officer and Creative Director at ARC Communications, LLC of Texas, Dr. Griffin brings her expertise and passion to create transformative and culturally significant content.
Dr. Griffin's journey in storytelling began with her love for literature and education. She is the creator of The Little Flower Literacy Project and the acclaimed Little Flower Dolls® brand, which promotes literacy and cultural diversity through captivating storytelling. Her contributions to African American literature were recognized when she received the prestigious 2016 Zora Neale Hurston Award presented by the American Library Association.
In addition to her literary accomplishments, Dr. Griffin has made her mark in the world of film. She directed the animated short film titled "Little Flower Artist," which achieved recognition and acclaim at multiple film festivals. Notably, it received accolades at the KID'S FIRST! Film Festival in 2017 and 2018, which is the largest film festival for kids worldwide. Through her skillful direction, Dr. Griffin brought to life the enchanting characters and compelling narratives that captivated audiences.
As a director and the producer of "Interview With A King," Dr. Griffin continues to showcase her exceptional talent and artistic vision. Working alongside Major General Barrye L. Price, Ph.D., she brings Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s story to life through the innovative use of AI technology and historical recreation. Dr. Griffin's creative vision and attention to detail ensure that the film delivers a powerful and authentic experience that resonates with audiences.
Dr. Griffin's academic background is diverse and enriches her artistic perspective. Dr. Griffin, a graduate of Bowman Sr. High School in Wadesboro, North Carolina, went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications Broadcast/Cinema from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She further honed her expertise at Texas A&M University, where she earned both a Master of Urban Planning and a Doctor of Philosophy in Urban and Regional Sciences. This unique combination of academic knowledge and creative talent allows her to approach filmmaking with a multifaceted perspective, infusing her work with depth and relevance.
Beyond her professional achievements, Dr. Griffin is deeply committed to her family. She is married to Dr. Richard W. Griffin, the founder and Chief Executive Officer at ARC Communications, LLC. ARC is the edutainment production company behind Interview With A King. Together, they have cultivated ARC as an edutainment production company dedicated to creating meaningful and inspiring content. "Interview With A King" stands as a testament to their shared vision of using storytelling to educate, empower, and inspire audiences.
Florita Bell Griffin, Ph.D., is a creative force, blending her literary and cinematic talents to bring stories to life on the screen. Her contributions to the world of film and education are unparalleled, and she continues to push the boundaries of storytelling with her innovative approach. With each project, she leaves a lasting impact on audiences, fostering a love for learning, diversity, and social progress.
As the producer and a director of “Interview With A King,” I am deeply honored to be part of a project that pays tribute to the extraordinary life and enduring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This film holds personal significance for me, as my connection to Dr. King’s legacy goes back to my childhood.
I vividly remember the day of Dr. King’s funeral, standing in a crowd of thousands outside Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. I was six, almost seven years old, when my father, recognizing the profound impact of Dr. King’s life and work, chartered three buses to carry members from our church and our North Carolina community to attend the funeral. We embarked on a long journey, filled with profound grief, anticipation, and a deep sense of reverence for Dr. King’s immense contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in America.
Upon arriving at the church, we joined the multitude of mourners, patiently waiting in line for hours to view Dr. King’s remains and pay our respects. However, as fate would have it, just as we reached the doors of the church, they closed, marking the start of the service. Despite being unable to actively participate in the funeral and having to listen to it through loudspeakers outside the church, the impact it had on my young mind was profound.
As an adult, looking back on my adolescence during the Civil Rights Movement, it's apparent to me that the adults in my life faced challenges in finding both the time and the appropriate words to convey the profound impact of those moments in a way that I, as a child, could fully grasp. Due to my initial naivety, I lacked the necessary tools to effectively process and make sense of my inner emotions regarding those experiences. It took several decades and many missteps for me to develop a better understanding and find a way to reconcile with those feelings.
Those memories served as a catalyst for my husband and me to embark on a journey of crafting and nurturing educational and entertaining projects for young people. This endeavor led us to create "The Little Flower Literacy Project" and establish Little Flower®, a children's brand that draws inspiration from my own cherished childhood remembrances and the profound influence of the Civil Rights Movement on my young psyche.
Growing up in a North Carolina town during the 1960s, Little Flower, derived from the Spanish interpretation of my name, Florita, comes to life as a talented 10-year-old artist. Her vibrant illustrations and unwavering dedication to advocating for others embody the essence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the transformative era of the Civil Rights Movement.
Little Flower explores a range of themes, including anti-bullying, positive self-esteem, diversity, hope, courage, happiness, and more, through a variety of creative outlets. The Little Flower Different Deserves Special Club Book and Educational Series, Little Flower Dolls, The Little Flower Artist Movie, and other artistic expressions serve as platforms for her to delve into these important subjects. In her personal journey, Little Flower learns the importance of advocating for causes in the right way, finding inspiration from the historical context and significant events of her time.
I was honored in 2016 to receive the Zora Neale Hurston Award from the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association for what they deemed exceptional contributions of The Little Flower Literacy Project to African American Literature.
Now, as the producer and a director of “Interview With A King,” I have had the privilege of immersing myself in the life and teachings of Dr. King once again. This film is a culmination of my personal journey and my unwavering belief in the power of animated storytelling to inspire change.
Once more, the committed crew at ARC Communications, LLC, displayed unwavering dedication as they collaborated with me, investing their utmost efforts and passion into a project that surpassed geographical boundaries and conquered time zones. Their meticulous work resulted in the creation of an exceptional endeavor, this time honoring the enduring legacy of Dr. King.
I am profoundly grateful for the extraordinary team of voice performers, musicians, 2D and 3D animators, artists, and other creative collaborators who have contributed their talents and unwavering passion to this project. Through the flawless amalgamation of AI-powered technology and various software, encompassing character customization, photographic facial modeling, animation, real-time facial motion tracking, motion capture integration, and a comprehensive suite of 3D tools, we have achieved the remarkable feat of bridging the gap between history and the present. This innovative approach, seamlessly blending the realms of art and technology, infused vibrant life into the captivating presence of Dr. King on the screen, ultimately allowing us to forge a profound and enduring connection between audiences and the timeless wisdom and guiding principles that Dr. King bestowed upon the world.
Our ultimate goal is to create an intimate and authentic portrayal that not only educates but also deeply resonates with viewers on an emotional level. Additionally, we hope that this work will ignite a spark within our audience, encouraging them to reflect upon the profound influence that an individual's unwavering dedication and courageous spirit can wield in shaping the world we inhabit.