A recent Brooklyn transplant, filmmaker Lamont Pierré felt inspired to turn his discoveries about his new neighborhood into a web series.
Former Hollywood filmmaker Lamont Pierré first came to New York City as Lee Daniels's assistant in 2008 while working on the drama Precious. After a ten-year stint on the West Coast, he decided earlier this year to pack his bags and relocate to Brooklyn. And inspired by his new home, he recently launched his new web series Ghosts of Fort Greene, a story about friendship and loyalty, secrets and vices, which unfolds against the backdrop of Fort Greene Park.
Pierré, a native of South Carolina, is a creative writer by training, a filmmaker by self-teaching and a cinephile by nature. After having worked in Hollywood for several years, he decided that he "didn't like the formula" often found in the Hollywood-style of storytelling. He wanted his own platform and launched The Arthouse, an online streaming service, an independent version of Netflix.
"I established The Arthouse to tell the stories of those marginalized, or antiheroes, in unconventional ways," Pierré said.
In early 2018, Pierré moved his company to Brooklyn where he, coincidentally, found the inspiration for Ghosts of Fort Greene.
The web series is a story about the two antiheroes -- street hustlers -- Skip and Hop who have been friends since middle school. After witnessing a murder in their neighborhood and haunted by their own individual personal baggage, dark secrets are revealed. They each come to view the other with new eyes as they try to survive together on the streets of Fort Greene.
"I first had a story idea about friendship and loyalty, secrets and vices. But I didn't have Fort Greene specifically in mind," said Pierré. "As I did research [to develop the idea] and read about Fort Greene, I learned more about what's going on [in the neighborhood] and its evolution. So I decided to shoot the series here, around Fort Greene Park."
So far, only the pilot episode of Ghosts of Fort Greene is available, the second will be ready next week. Pierré, who currently is working on additional projects in LA, will resume shooting new episodes upon his return to NY at the beginning of May. He plans to release a total of eight episodes for season one. But it won't stop there. As an independent artist, he is determined to have his vision seen -- despite a lack of media attention and exposure.
"The media only goes after the big names," said Pierré. "But I certainly will continue to write about the underdogs and the marginalized."