Elliot, who also wrote Carmen: A Hip Hopera, and later went on to write such urban classics as Like Mike 1 &2, and this summers smash hit, Just Wright with Queen Latifah and Common, understood going into the game that the road to success wasn’t going to just offer him a front door welcome. Armed with a pen and a pad, Elliot opted to follow an old theory set forth by a Beatles song; he “came in through the bathroom window,” by taking an unconventional route to meet his destiny in an ascending stairwell.
Twelve years later and with several successes painted into a cinema marquee, he’s now gone on to pay his fortune forward by sharing his blue print for garnering the entertainment dream in a new monthly webinar he created called “A Conversation with Michael Elliot.”
The event brings the viewer into Elliot’s home via a computer screen, for a face-to-face meeting during which priceless wisdom such as how to make it as a screenwriter in this competitive industry is imparted onto viewers. The webinars are an affordable and very hands on option for people who seek knowledge from someone who has already walked the road they’re hoping to travel.
Elliot, who was once homeless, but never hopeless through all his strife, knew that giving up wasn’t an option, even as doubt attempted to etch a line into his confidence.
“At one point I was thinking to myself, ‘Michael, you’re a grown man, and you’re trying to start over at your age, at great sacrifice, and nothing has come of it. What are you doing?’ I was sitting on my couch thinking about what a failure I was, and how much of a mistake this might have been, when a friend of mine stopped by,” he told Insight News. “She basically said, ‘You know what, I’ve known you for a long time everything you’ve ever tried to do, you’ve done to make money and not because you love it. This is the first thing you’ve tried to do that you actually love. So my advice to you is: try one more time, don’t be so quick to move on and try something else.’ I honestly felt like God sent her to my house that day to tell me that because I took what she said to heart and decided that I was going to write one more script,” said Elliot.
And thus was born Brown Sugar.
Coming from a background as a magazine editor and doing a short stint working for P Diddy’s company Badboy Films, Elliot’s ability to reinvent his fortunes through a myriad of angles is not only an admirable fete, but proves that no matter the age, and no matter your background, life starts when you start, as long as you’re willing to take the first steps and continue moving forward.
“My bigger goal is to put myself in a position where I have the financial resources to really make a difference,” he said. “For me to really make a difference, I need to be able to make movies. I need to be able to have the money to say, ‘You know what, I don’t care what anyone else thinks, that’s a great idea, I think we need that movie. I can make that movie.’ I could employ all these people who need a shot because I’m the one holding the purse strings and in a position to give directors a chance to fulfill their dreams, and to be able to give actors, who I think are deserving, the opportunities that they haven’t gotten yet. For example, I can’t look at Regina King, who I think is phenomenal and beautiful, and not wonder why she’s never starred in a movie? How is it that the last time I saw Nia Long star in a movie was in Love Jones? Love Jones was a long time ago. Whatever happened to Larenz Tate? There’s all this talent that we’ve seen in glimpses, that we hardly ever see or they don’t get the shot that they deserve because the people who have the money to make movies don’t sort of see them the way I see them. My dream is to be on the other side of the table where I’m not even a writer, but rather a financier or an executive producer with the ability to make dreams happen.”
With several concepts and films coming to theaters in the near future, and a continual promise of setting his own destiny through each endeavor, he truly is unlike any other individual in the entertainment industry. He made it his way by his own accord and through marching to his own destiny rather than copying the standard of other artists. Through his work and his string of successes, he proves over and over again that he will always be the first Michael Elliot, every time he re-conquers himself and rises above the merit of his own cleverness.
With a humble spirit and an infectious work ethic, two hours with Michael Elliot will afford you a lifetime of spark in claiming a writer’s victory with every footstep.
For more information on Michael Elliot, or how you can attend the next “Conversation with Michael Elliot,” please visit his website: www.writerslittleblackbook.com or join his Facebook Group “The Ladder: Produced Screenwriters Helping Aspiring Screenwriters.”