JOLIET – Former Joliet resident Corey Grant is living in Los Angeles, California, and making movies for a living.
His recent release, “Illicit,” is about the dynamics that occur when both a husband and wife are simultaneously having affairs, a topic Grant found intriguing. Usually movies portray either the husband or the wife – most often the husband, Grant said.
“How about both at the same time and see what happens?” Grant said.
Grant studied mass communication at Norfolk State University in Virginia, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1999. He then worked for an NBC affiliate, all the while dreaming of studying film at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
It was a dream borne from watching science fiction movies during childhood.
“Being a kid, filmmaking was very magical,” Grant said. “I grew up with ‘Star Wars’ and the golden age of filmmaking. It left a lasting effect on me.”
But it was during Joliet West High School drama class that Grant fell in love with directing and scriptwriting, because a teacher insisted her students do both. Grant saw his words come alive. And he liked it.
Grant finally wound up at Howard University, where he earned his master’s in 2003 and he made his first feature film. He played it at a 2,000-seat theater at the university, charging $10 to $12 a ticket. He sold 1,500 tickets and used that money to rent theaters in various cities and play his movie.
“I didn’t know the ins and outs of Hollywood,” Grant said. “I didn’t know any better.”
He worked as a valet; he worked production and editing on a freelance basis while continuing to make more films. Grant’s IMDb page said his third film, “Dysfunctional Friends,” had a theatrical release and did well on DVD and video on demand.
Now a writer, producer and director at New Breed Entertainment, Grant said his 2012 movie, “Bigfoot: The Lost Tapes,” opened even more industry doors for him.
“That was my most popular movie to date, on the cult side of things,” Grant said.
Even though Grant will continue making movies, he’s now ready to go boldly where he has never gone before.
And where is that?
“Television,” Grant said.
Goal: “Keep making movies. It’s just taking it to the next level.”
Challenges: “Getting the proper financing for each movie.”
Words of wisdom: “If you want to be a filmmaker, go out and shoot; find ways to tell stories. If you want to direct, really concentrate on learning how to write; it’s where ideas come from. If you get a great script, different doors open up.”
“Illicit” will be available on DVD and video on demand starting May 23.