1. Where did your inspiration for the film come from?
Honestly, the entire film came to me through an inspired vision from God. At that time, I was really disturbed by the epidemic of African American men being shot and killed by law enforcement. It was becoming too overwhelming to our nation, and division was becoming an all time high. Much of the African American community responded in rage through riots and insubordination. I understood their emotions, but I recognized it was only making things worse. As I prayed to God about my emotions, he led me to a specific scripture, Romans 2:2-4. The rest was history.
2. Why did you name the film Judgement Day?
I learned from meditating on that scripture: God is the ultimate judge of our lives. God has the power to judge the heart of man, and actually bring about a change. People assume that judgment will only come when the world ends, but there’s a constant conviction from the Holy Spirit that occurs when God is recognized as the vindicator. Our mission should be to recognize God as the all-powerful spirit that he is (trusting him to fight on our behalf). When Joseph makes a decision to respond to Connor is love, Joseph empowers God to move on his behalf, thus provoking a change in the inner man.
3. At what period was this story conceived, and how did the timing affect the story?
The story was birthed in me January 2015. As I stated before, there was an epidemic of African American men being killed by law enforcement. The timing, even still to this day, is perfect for this content. The nation is still experiencing this division, and the relevance of what we are experiencing was expressed in this film.
4. What are your plans for distributing this film?
Honestly, I haven’t been given clear direction for distribution. I would love to see this story grow. I would love to see the American people fall in love with these characters and identify with their stories. I would love to see Judgement Day, a biblical based story, become a television series and take precedence over the shows that promote every evil work.
5. What is Judgement Day?
Judgement Day is provoking, controversial, self-ruling, honest, and intense.
WRITER, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER
Judgment Day is a dramatic short film that is set in a small, traditional town. CONNOR, the main character, is taught as an adolescent that blacks are futile animals. His father, GRANT, is openly prejudice towards blacks and makes it his ambition to convince Connor of the same idea. Connor whole-heartedly trusts the judgments of his father after his mother, PAULA, is caught having an affair with a black man, SOLOMON. Solomon kills Grant out of self-defense when Grant walks in on Solomon and Paula having sex. After 30 years, Connor continues to judge blacks harshly and has kept bitterness in his heart since the tragedy of his childhood.
JOESPH, a young black graduate, is optimistic about his future and ready to venture into endless opportunities as a young adult. He is great at playing basketball, and enjoys playing with his friends in his neighborhood. Joseph is challenged to a one-on-one game with Officer Connor after Officer Connor debates with his colleague that blacks don’t possess real talent. His colleague, who often plays at the neighborhood court, plans to teach Connor a lesson. Jason undoubtedly beats Connor, and Connor becomes the laughing joke. This causes Officer Connor to become enraged; he is prideful and unwilling to accept that he has lost to a black boy. Officer Connor harasses Joseph and becomes physical when Joseph doesn’t take him seriously. Connor takes the opportunity for revenge, and brutally shoots Joseph on the court leaving him there to die.
After going to trial, Connor is found innocent and wins the case, allowing him to walk free from any punishment. Joseph manages to survive; however, he is bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Just when Connor thinks he has truly won, Joseph is led to show Connor that only loving-kindness can change a person’s heart. In turn, Connor faces the ultimate judge, God. His actions, thoughts, and beliefs are judged, and Connor’s internal conviction causes him to cry out for forgiveness and a pure heart.
Essence Wallace is a Jackson, MS native and was born February 21, 1992. She has aspired to be an actress since the age of 7, after having the opportunity to be a lead in her first play. Essence graduated from Murrah High School (APAC Performing Arts) in 2010, and went on to further her studies in Drama at Spelman College. Essence later transferred and graduated from UCLA (Acting For Film and Television) in 2013.
After completing her studies at UCLA, Essence had the revelation that her purpose in life was far greater than her own personal dreams of being an actress. She has always been motivated to inspire others through the Word of God. She accepted her calling as a writer, director, and producer and founded The Chosen Productions, LLC. The Chosen Productions was established as a full service production company specializing in film and television (that is conducive to the Word of God). Believing that God has predestined her to be a voice for his Word, she is excited to use her love for film and television to spread His message throughout the world.
Essence currently resides in Atlanta, GA where she has spent the last few years working in production for film/TV. She truly desires to impact the film industry with the Word of God, and believes wholeheartedly that a new light for the entertainment world is on the horizon. Her ultimate mission is to develop a home for the film and entertainment industry in the state of Mississippi, offering educational and creative opportunities to other artists like herself. Essence has enjoyed working with major companies, including: NBCUniversal, Tyler Perry Studios, Oxygen, OWN, Steve Harvey Inc., BET, and Nina Holiday Ent.