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Meet Eric Anthony Rhea of The Drafting Board in Sherman Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Anthony Rhea.

Eric, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. My two siblings and I never had the newest pair of sneakers or designer clothes, but our mom always made sure we were enriched in other ways. She worked at the steel mill and on the weekends volunteered at the John Will Anderson Boys & Girls Club down the street from our apartment. As a way to keep us from getting into trouble in the streets with gangs, she took us to the movies, baseball games, museums and weekly trips to the library. But what really got me interested in art and storytelling was when she financed an HP desktop from QVC. It was just a boring, clunky computer, but it had Microsoft Word, which provided me with a blank canvas for writing short stories and doing graphic design when I wasn’t busy gangbanging or playing baseball.

At that time, I was oblivious that a career in film or TV could ever be a possibility so I never took it seriously until I moved down to Indianapolis. Living in a crappy studio apartment, I struggled my way through college while battling depression, which inadvertently helped me refocus on writing. Not before long I found myself briefly enrolled in film school and writing for hours on end until my eyes and fingers were sore. Inspired by the hustle and ambitions of Spike and Scorsese, I just started shooting stuff guerrilla-style with some borrowed equipment from the public access station.After doing projects in Minneapolis and Chicago, I found my way to LA where I continue to write and produce stories hoping one day it’ll inspire somebody else to tell their own story.

Has it been a smooth road?
As a filmmaker, my biggest difficulties stem from being faithful to my ideas and ambitions when access to proper equipment and adequate funding is at a scarcity. What I’ve probably learned most from my experiences is that it’s always better to take your time and get it right than to rush to the finish line and get it wrong. Everything has a shelf life, but true, undeniable talent does not. I’ve experienced a lot and I realize I still have more to learn, but I’m optimistic that my work ethic, determination, and visual storytelling capability will open doors for more new and exciting challenges.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a screenwriter and film director. The Drafting Board is the creative banner under which I originate and produce visual content. My business partners and I are currently developing a new American, LA-based crime series called “The Heights” and are also in pre-production on a short film called “Dark-Skinned Jermaine.” As a company, our primary objective is to provide viewers with quality, non-stereotypical visual experiences that deliver character-driven stories to a worldwide audience in the most authentic way possible. At this point in my career, I’m uninterested in letting other people dictate my future. So as my company continues to grow in size and influence, I want to be able to provide other brilliant, deserving artists with a platform to showcase their truths to the world as well.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I’ve been in Sherman Oaks for about seven years and I’ve been fortunate to have met some extremely talented and genuine people from surrounding areas. It can feel very isolating at times but come with a solid plan, a substantial amount of savings, and a ton of patience. Because unless you’re already plugged in or have a rich uncle you can hit up for favors, things out here move just as slow as the 405. In a city where everyone is a writer, producers aren’t exactly falling over themselves to give you funding to help get your passion project off the ground. Don’t be discouraged by the success of others. Believe in yourself, fight for your ideas, and eventually, you’ll find yourself in a winning situation and hopefully a great neighborhood as well.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Joshua Fletcher, Jaznee Wilson

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