American software engineer Larry Constantine once said, “A dynamic duo who work well together can be worth any three people working in isolation.” One powerful pair that easily embodies this quote are Justin D. Jenkins and Garrick Wade, founders of Cre8tiveTribe Media. A native New Yorker, Jenkins is a content creator, writer, producer, and journalist while Wade, born in Los Angeles, CA but raised in Houston, TX, is a director, producer, writer, and creative director. The duo’s first project under Cre8tiveTribe Media is Remembering Wednesday, a web series that quickly gained a following with almost 40k channel views on YouTube. The project is now streaming on AfroLandTV. Their next project was Ghosted, a short film that won the 2019 AT&T Create-A-Thon Short Film competition. Jenkins & Wade are currently readying their newest short film, The Reading.
Check out our interview with Justin D. Jenkins & Garrick Wade as they discussed their upcoming projects, whether or not there will be a season two of Remembering Wednesday, and much more.
1-When did you both first realize that you wanted to pursue careers in the entertainment field?
Jenkins: I used to want to be an actor. I was a shy kid growing up, so I took acting lessons and my first major was in theater arts. I soon realized maybe it wasn’t for me, I hated when people would watch me. That same year, I was taking a bunch of writing courses, and I enjoyed creating. Every movie or show I would watch, I would have all these ideas to add to the story. As time went on, it just naturally developed for me.
Wade: As a kid, I always had an active imagination. I didn’t have an easy upbringing so my only way to escape reality was to dream. So, unlike most kids, I actually enjoyed going to sleep because it was a way for me to dream and escape reality. I started writing stories, drawing, and coloring at a very early age. My grandmother and aunt would encourage me to draw and write because it was how I was most expressive. It wasn’t long after before I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker. I was most influenced by a man named Mark E. Swinton who’s musical I was cast in when I was in the ninth grade. I dropped out of the musical like a day before we did our premiere and he was so upset with me. But little does he know that it was that experience that made realize I never want the spotlight but I definitely want my stories and art to be heard.
2-Your web series, Remembering Wednesday, has gained so much critical acclaim since its release. What do you believe it is about the project that makes viewers keep coming back?
Jenkins: I think we were able to capture an amazing drama within 5- 7-minute episodes. Each episode is like the last 5 minutes of Scandal or How to Get Away with Murder. Mix that in with an audience who want to see themselves in stories while having a brief moment of escapism. The story of strained friendships is also relatable. I also think us being able to release all 9 episodes all at once helped. The audience is able to really get into it.
3-Which episode of Remembering Wednesday was your favorite to film?
Jenkins: The whole damn thing! It only took us 3 days to film, so filming felt like we were on set of a feature film. But my favorite episodes are 7-9, just because of the actors’ performances. Each of them brought something amazing to set.
Wade: I agree with Justin. We had an amazing time filming this and all the episodes are so special because they offer something different. Something new is revealed in each episode. I think the most impactful episode to me was episode 5 and 6. Mainly episode 6 because it deals with the moral conflict of sexuality and infidelity. I believe it’s the episode that makes you pick sides and leaves you at the edge of your seat(LOL).
4-Will there be a season two of Remembering Wednesday?
Jenkins: The demand is certainly there. We have to make sure our cast isn’t too busy for us(haha). They’ve all gone on to do some amazing things.
Wade: Justin is being modest. Yes, there will be a season 2 and I can’t wait for it. Does anyone want to give us some money to produce it though?!!
5-Your recent project, Ghosted, just won the 2019 AT&T Create-a-thon short film competition. Congratulations again. What were your first thoughts when you both found out you won?
Jenkins: We were announced as the winners in real-time, so it was pretty amazing to hear. It was a busy weekend. The premise of the competition was to form a team, film, and edit within 2 days, so it was awesome that we pulled it off. There were some cool films created, so it was a great message from God that we should keep manifesting our dreams.
Wade: Great experience and happy to have won my first film award with Justin. It’s so funny now because the film is about this new age tragedy (as Justin calls it) of being Ghosted and now we see MTV and Snapchat doing a series about the same topic, so it definitely let us know we are on the right page.
6-What are three words that best describe Ghosted?
Relatable Millennial Comedy
7-You both finished another short film, The Reading. What can potential viewers expect from The Reading?
Jenkins: Something different and thought-provoking. Heightened drama and great performances from our actors.
Wade: Very different and almost risky for us as writers. I think with this project, we will have given our audience a taste of our range in storytelling. The Reading is a bit on the supernatural side and definitely cross a few boundaries of belief. Our actors did give us an amazing performance. The tone of the film is low so we had to work extra hard to keep the culture on set happy and upbeat because everyone was in character all the time.
8-What are your dream projects?
Jenkins: I have so many! A few are a neo-noir female-led thriller about a serial killer starring Halle Berry. I would love to reboot the show Heroes. I also would love to write a live-action film about one of my favorite childhood cartoons. Wishful thinking! Overall, I would love to have the resources to create all of the time with Garrick. Hey Netflix! I also want to start my non -profit that will help kids from marginalized communities have new experiences.
Wade: I would love to work with Regina King and have her as a leading lady in a film. I would love Angela Basset to direct a film of ours I just think that woman is the essence of grace, power, and royalty. I would love to do a spy film starring black leading cast and I’ve heard they are doing that with the remake Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Eve’s Bayou is one of my favorite films, I would love a follow up to it and I need to write it. It’s so much stuff that I would love to do and hopefully Justin and I will still be able to work on many projects together. We both are different and we bring that to the writing room for every project.
9-What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in the entertainment realm, whether it be a director, producer, or even writer?
Jenkins: I think some big takeaways that I am learning day by day, is the understanding of the power of collaboration, as well as starting where you are! It’s tough creating your own lane, especially for those who look like us. We have to build a sense of community and help everyone win, the best we can.
Wade: If you’re an indie creator or indie anything, it’s not easy! Believe me, it’s not easy but it’s worth it. I’m just thankful that I have always known what feeds my soul and that’s being creative. If I’m not creating, I feel like I’m dying and that’s just the truth. Justin can tell you that I have my highs and lows, but mainly because I’m an entrepreneur all the way around. So, anyone in my position will understand it’s hard pursuing something that’s not making you a return on investment financially, but you have to think about the long-term return that you don’t see yet but you know it’s coming. So, believe in yourself and bet on yourself.
10-What is NEXT for Justin D Jenkins & Garrick Wade?
Jenkins: Create, create, create!! As you mentioned before, we have our next short film The Reading, which is wrapping up post-production. 2020 seems like it will be another busy year for us as well with some upcoming projects. Stay tuned, we are really excited about what’s to come.
Wade: Everything Justin mentioned and also, I’m just excited about collaborating with other creatives. We do have a need for other content creators, videographers, sound mixers, editors, producers, publicist, etc.! We have some amazing ideas and plans but we definitely can use some help to speed things along. We won’t go into detail but anyone interested in joining our tribe please hit us up and check us out www.cre8tivetribemedia.com.
Photo Credit: Cre8tiveTribe Media