Updates. Hello 2023! Happy Carnival season from New Orleans, Louisiana!

Raeshelle in February, 2023 after a Mardi Gras parade.

Excuse me but the sun was in my eyes in the photo lol.

This is the first blog post I’ve posted on this site since 2016. I did continue posting blogs on Linkedin, but people still visit this site so I want to post here too.

People on my Linkedin already know this, but you may not: I moved to the New Orleans metro area back in June 2022 and couldn’t be any happier about the decision. I feel at home here.

A lot has happened since 2016. I’ll write a longer post later, but I have grown so much since then, discovered a lot of truths about myself and people around me, and unlike back then, I know exactly who I am and what I want from life now, which, considering I was 24 and 26 when I was writing these blogs before, significant growth and change usually does happen for a person during their mid and late 20s and finishes after the age of 30 lol, so no surprise there. I’m 33 now and I am all grow’d up.

Y’all call it growing up but I call it the Saturn return! We will get to astrology another time lol.

Before I end this post, let me share a condensed version of what has gone on with me since the year 2016, and then check out a few pics I took while in New Orleans.

Changes, changes, changes! 2016 must have been my last “normal year”.

From 2016 ish to 2022, my Saturn Return came and effed ish up, and so much happened.

2016 to 2022 was close to the hardest stretch of life I ever had to go through.

Family stuff reached its height from 2016, and resolved in 2021 and things have been good there since then, way better than it ever was in fact, since now the family is operating off of truths and transparency now…sort of. If you followed my filmmaking and screenwriting, I’ve been writing about my family since 2013. It’s been the heart of a lot of creativity, pain and discovery. I’m happy the family is together again. Even from a distance.

2017 I experienced the greatest heart break I had ever felt, second to the heartbreak in 2012 into 2013, and it was all by the same man. I had never and have never felt that kind of heart ache and pain in my life, and probably never will. Thankfully. Part of that reason is cause I am a different person now and won’t allow it again. Will I love again? Absolutely. To a healthy, GOOD man with no personality disorder this time. It will be a wonderful, beautiful thing next time. It’s coming soon now. I’m ready for it. I wasn’t ready most of the 2010s for a real relationship cause of that bs not being over him, and I wasn’t ready 2020-2021 cause of another’s, and so I wasn’t interested in dating after him either. But now? I’M READY FOR LOVE, Y’ALL.

Remember the films I posted about back in 2014 and 2015? Monae’s Room [2014] and Sometime Around January [2015]? That and What’s the Problem with Bill Winer? [2013] were all about a man I liked in 2011 and then fell in love with from 2012 to 2018, and this btw was back when I didn’t know what Narcissistic Personality Disorder was and when I believed the mask he was wearing was real. Yes, he has a personality disorder. That was awful. Narcs are nightmares to deal with.

All those films I wrote and produced back then did a lot to heal me but it never took the flame away from me. The flame I had for him died in 2018 when I finally saw the man for who he actually was and I said to myself, wow, you know what? I don’t love this man. I don’t even like him. I’m not in love anymore. It was literally like I was wearing blinders for most of the 2010s decade for me to have been so in love with him. Cause baaaby, let me tell you, he is not likable at all, never mind lovable, and I finally SAW it in August of 2018 when I took him back for a 3rd and final time. In fact, in my opinion he is crazy and touched in the head, he isn’t normal. It was literally like a bulb went off and I saw who he actually was in 2018 after all those years off and on, and I was disgusted. I dumped him, told him the truth about himself in text, and never looked back.

The changes could be attributed to getting older and wiser, but I also want to thank this change (and others) on the fact that it was around this time my Rahu Mahadasha ended and my Jupiter Mahadasha began. Rahu lasted from 2001 to 2019ish. I didn’t know about Mahadashas ’til a month ago. I just discovered it. I learned that usually people change and realize things and finally end things when their Mahadasha ends and a new one begins. They’re never the same person at the end of a Mahadasha. And some Mahadashas are 20 years, 19 years, 16 years. My Rahu was 20 ish years? I am NOT the same person I was at 2001, 2013, and now after it ended, at 2023. I’m well into Jupiter now though, and have been for a few years. I went back and looked and it said Rahu is delusions and lies. It also explains why I as disillusioned with another man and his bs in 2020-2021. The disillusionment! Oh my lordt. That explains those damn non-relationships. Oh my damn!

More changes.

My political views changed at the end of 2020 and I was a different person by 2021 as far as that goes. For the better. I realized what I believed and felt politically and socially was wrong. Things are never what they seem, and after you really pay attention to people and things, you start to see the truth about things, what’s really happening, and you stop drinking the Kool Aid. I am much happier and at peace since I changed politically and socially. These were one of the bigger, most positive changes I saw in myself at the turn of the 2020s. This change literally has set me up for a future happy, peaceful, full life.

What else?

I left Facebook in 2021. I have one but only to talk to family on messenger. It isn’t anything, surely not like the accounts I had before, and the way I was using them before!

It’s just another huge change and ending that can be attributed to the Mahadashas ending and another beginning. Again, I just discovered this astrological technique, but it fits my life’s course so perfectly when I look back on my life. I lost my FB account that I had since 2008, well actually I lost that one in 2019 when I deleted it to get space from family stuff…but I lost the other and last real one in 2021 and never looked back. I knew it was time to do something different, and being on FB all the time and sharing my life and thoughts was not going to be something I wanted to be continuing from there on. You know people have thousands of FB friends that they never talk to or spend time with? They’re not real friendships. It’s also pretty toxic and some people are crazy. When you write about your personal life and thoughts a lot, some people fall in love with you through the screen, stalk you, act crazy and stuff, write stuff on your wall if they feel rejected by you. There was one crazy girl from the film scene who went crazy too, and she was all up on my FB and instagram writing crazy stuff. Crazy and scary. Social media is no joke, I got off of there and I cut all of them off, I’m not playing with these weird people. I don’t do that. The older folks are right, stay off social media lol, cause people are crazy. I only talk to my real friends now through text and email, and that is about 5 people. Getting rid of FB and getting off of it was one of the best things I could have done. I’m happier now. That and cause I moved from that cold, icy, no sun-having New England place. Moving to the south: another thing I did in 2022 to end one chapter and begin another. Did y’all know the sun is bright in the deep south during the winter?? It’s dark as hell during this time of year in New England! Why didn’t y’all tell me it’s still bright and warm down here during the winter time?? We get tornados and everything in the winter, shoot!

In 2021, I started my Master’s degree program in Library Science and will be graduating in a few months. It was a long 2 years and I haven’t been focusing on much else but this degree. I’m happy that it is finally coming to a completion and I can move on to the next chapter. From here I plan to work professionally in library science, either in academia or public libraries, with filmmaking continuing as a fun hobby. That is exactly what I want. No confusions or back and forths about it this time. I know what I want now.

So keep visiting this site – I will be making more films in the near future!

I haven’t made a film since 2021, and I haven’t made a “big” film with other actors and a film crew since 2019. And I haven’t felt lacking or like I was missing out on anything either. I had to take a pause and figure out what I wanted for myself and my life. I even took a pause on dating. I had to re-evaluate what I want as far as a man and a relationship/marriage. Everything got a pause and a re-evaluation and then a swift rehaul and change. 2 years pause and now I know. Also, it just so happens I was under Saturn Sati, and I’ve also been in a Saturn Antardasha period, which means a 2 year period of seriousness and hard work, as well as contemplation and learning lessons. I didn’t know this ’til a month ago y’all that I was under these astrological periods. Astrology is real, guys.

My antardasha ends in July. My peak Saturn Sati ended a couple of weeks ago. My creativity hasn’t been present the past 2 years, but I honestly feel it coming back. I feel MYSELF coming back. I worked very hard the past 2-3 years and made necessary changes for my life, as well as learned great lessons. I got rid of toxic people, I got off FB, I got a Master’s, I learned about my self-love and what I want, and what I will and will not put up with from men and even friendships. I learned what I want for a career. I moved out of the place I was stuck in for so long, and now I’m living in a place that is very creative, very festive, celebratory, and romantic. This place has everything I want and need. All the filmmaking, music-making, romance-finding, fun-having that I will need for this next chapter of my life is in this place I’ve been moved to. God has had his hands on this and I am very elated and grateful.

I need a few more months to get things together as I finish my degree and secure my long-term career position, as well as buy a house. By the end of the summer, I should be done with hard work and have all my stuff together. Once that happens later this year, my plan for 2023,2024, to 2034 is to LIVE AGAIN. And only live. 2034 onward, my Saturn Mahadasha begins and lasts for 19 years, so not sure what the hell that means lol. Not worrying about it right now. Anyway! This time last year was 2013. I was very young, just coming into the film scene and was very creative, full of love and life. The difference between then and the coming end of summer 2023 is I’m older now, more secure in myself, love myself, and will never down myself or do the things I did for a man like I did then. Then I was creative, passionate and full of life, but also naïve and, young and dumb, and insecure. Now I will be creative, passionate, full of life, but OLD, STRONG AND CONFIDENT AF. Haha!

I am grateful for this Saturn Sati and Saturn Antardasha! Let’s finish this UP and continue on to a new chapter!

Enjoy my pics of New Orleans and Louisiana below. Catch you soon!

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Mt. Washington accepted into its first film festival!

I’m happy because my short film Mt. Washington [2016] will be screened at the Boston Film Gala 2016, this August 19-20. Exact time and day to be determined.

Mt. Washington is about a woman who is pressured to leave her room to join her friends at a party that’s happening outside her door. The up-hill battle: her ex is also going to be there.

I wrote the film to showcase how funny it is when we stress ourselves out over fears and thoughts in our heads, because at the end of day it is so unnecessary and plain ridiculous. The film is inspired by the song Mt. Washington by Local Natives. After we shot this film, I went on a mission to get permission to use the song in my film. I sent the band’s publicist the film asking to use the song, showing how perfect the film is for the song; she forwarded my email to the band’s manager. The band’s manager emailed me back and told me he really liked the film, and would forward my email to the band. Days later lead singer Taylor Rice emailed me and expressed how much he liked the film and how happy he was to let me use his song. I WAS ECSTATIC!!!

This is one of my best films as far as story and production values go; that and even editing. I really enjoy this film and many who have seen it have too. I cannot wait to finally screen this film in front of a crowd personally.

If you’re interested in seeing what happens in the film…come to the screening at the Boston Film Gala! I will be there.

Check out the teaser for Mt. Washington:


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NEW projects coming soon!

After posting my newest film Mt. Washington [2016] online, people have reached out for help on their creative projects. New work is coming soon: 3 music videos and 1 short visual project (don’t know what to call it yet lol) & it’s all because I put myself out there; Instagram is key y’all. FB is alright, but I prefer Instagram. I’ll get into that later.

We have a music video coming out as soon as this week. That one is written & performed by french R&B artist Chaud Galyano & the song is called “Fatoumata”. We finished post-production on it last week and that video will be released this week.

Right now I’m working on a music video for actor Dominique LaFleur. The music video is for a conscious rap track titled “Sedentary Lifestyle”, and when she asked me to work on it I was excited. I love the song. The song is featured in Dominique’s first feature-length film, Concrete, which will be going into production in the next few months. The music video is not only for the song, but it serves a deeper purpose. Dominique needs to raise funds for her film and will be launching a fundraiser campaign in the next week. This music video will be featured in the campaign and later in the feature film. We only have 2 more shoot days but I cannot wait to get editing on this and release the video. I can’t wait for you guys to see it. & when Dominique’s campaign launches, I hope you will donate so she can make this movie happen! I will definitely donate. PS: I will be making a cameo in this video. I NEVER DO THIS Y’ALL.

Later in the month of July we are also producing Benito Henri’s music video to his new song,”Around you”, featuring Maya Carter. Shoot date is July 30th on the beach. Perfect location for a summertime track. The video will be fun. It’ll feel like a cook out but without the bbq. Stay tuned for that.

And we also get to work with actor Sharley Paul again. She starred in Mt. Washington [2016] and did a FANTASTIC job in the leading role. She is working on a poetic visual piece and I was excited when she asked me to help with it. Can’t wait to get started on that!

Last, I am still looking for a musician to create a song that sounds similar to Drake’s song “My Side” for my next short film, His Interlude. I cannot make the film without a song that sounds similar to Drake’s song. I have been searching for a year y’all. I NEED THIS SONG. The film is inspired by the song. If you know of a musician who can make a track like that song, and as emotional, vivid and dynamic, please let me know! I REALLY wanna make this film, but can’t without a similar song.

People, if you are a creative artist, POST YOUR WORK ONLINE. Not what you are doing, but what you have DONE. It’s cause I never stop posting what I do that people are reaching out. Dominique told me, if you don’t put yourself out there no one will know you exist. Don’t stop posting your work. If people don’t make their presence known initially, just know they are still watching you. Keep posting your finished works online, and keep working, don’t stop. & make the work GOOD. Make that stuff SOLID. It will pay off. Eventually, the right people will connect with you.

I do NOT believe anymore that you cannot get paid to direct in this area. You CAN. You just have to show them what you can do. Work hard, put out good content, & treat people well & things will eventually come to you.

OK gotta run. Hope you check back soon.

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Local Natives band manager likes our film!

Omg omg omg omg.

Our newest short film Mt. Washington [2016] was inspired by a Local Natives song of the same name. There’d be no film without the song. The song is how I was able to write the film. I love the song so much. It’s passionate, beautiful, dynamic, emotional, relatable…it’s perfect for the film. The visuals were written FOR THE MUSIC.

I’ve been trying to use this Local Natives song that inspired Mt. Washington because the song is just too perfect for the film and I really don’t want to have to use a different song. I emailed ALL the band’s PEOPLE. First I emailed their Manager. I got no response. Then I emailed their U.S. Publicist with the link to my film with their song playing over it, along with a lengthy passionate email of how I feel about their song and my film. She forwarded my email to the manager Phil Costello, and then is when he emailed ME! He said that he is no filmmaker, but he has consumed many films over his years and that he knows talent when he sees it. He said it was very nice work.


This is the best thing that has ever happened.

He said I may not be able to afford the licensing fees and that the publishing company handles these things, but that he would forward my email directly to the band. So I’m still waiting… but just the fact that he emailed me and said that to me is AMAZING.

I’ve never been so happy of not being able to afford something in my entire life. Oh my freaking God the Lord is good.

I may not be able to get the original song that inspired the film, but just knowing the band’s manager liked the film a lot makes me very happy. Even if the band responded and told me they really liked how I interpreted their song would be a dream come true. It’s like….art is never made in vain. It’s always great to have that kind of appreciation and encouragement especially when it’s coming directly from the source that inspired you in the first place. This was too, too awesome of an experience. I really hope I hear from the band soon. I know I can’t use their song and I have a composer working on a song at this very moment, but GOSH. Just hearing that one piece of the source that inspired the film liked it a lot, has made my entire week at this point.

I feel God’s hands on this one, friends. Even if not for this film, something wonderful is going to happen, someday. Something, SOMEDAY. This path is the right one. This is just proof that by following my heart and doing films the way that I feel passionate about, naturally…it will lead to great things. The universe is telling me, keep doing what you are passionate about. You’re going in the right direction. Beautiful things will happen. Just keep being YOU. You’re going in the right direction!




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2015 in review: films, travel & some disappointments

Just very briefly…2015 was a year of ups and downs. I’m just gonna get right into it. No introductions.

January: My short film Monae’s Room won two awards, Best Genre Blend and Best Newcomer at two film festivals.

February: Myself and a crew and actors came together and shot the short film Sometime Around January [2015], my most favorite short film we’ve done so far.

March: The last scenes of Sometime Around January [2015] was shot and I started editing the film.  I also ended a very toxic chapter in my life and never looked back.

April: Speaking of that toxic chapter, I wrote a film about it called Last Words [2015]. That film was chosen as a finalist in Campus Movie Festival that same month. It was in the top 16 films, out of 44. The film also went on to screen at local Horror film festivals in Boston, and most notably at the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival.

May: I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree from university. This was huge accomplishment for me, considering I started out as a home-schooled kid from North Carolina, and hadn’t stepped foot in the public school system ’til the age of 14-years-old. People thought I was going to be stupid. Well look at me now.

June: I told myself I was going to start traveling and I did. During this month I went with friends to New Hampshire. We climbed Canon Mountain. Well, we took a ride up and saw it from above, cause as soon as we started walking up I realized how steep it was and took my ass back to the parking lot.

July: It might’ve been this month or the next month that I drove with my friend to Maine. It was another beautiful ride and trip. I’m not going to wait to do the things I want to do. I say I wanna travel, I’m gonna travel. No if ands or buts about it.

August through November: It was this month that Sometime Around January [2015] started its run at the film festivals. The film, since summertime, has screened at Home Grown Shorts, Shoe City Screens, Art City Cambridge film fest, Shawna Shea Film Fest etc. It was also this time (November) that the film was nominated for Best Short Film at the Shawna Shea Film Fest. This was a good time for film.

So here we are in December.

The year of course couldn’t have ended without some disappointments.  The down for me recently was being rejected at a film festival that I thought would appreciate and like my January film. They didn’t accept it though. I feel like they took other films but didn’t take mine, and it didn’t make sense to me because I know my January film is up there with some of the films they took. 100% up there. I get rejected to film festivals all the time. I don’t feel the need to be upset with every rejection cause it happens. But I looked at the other films this festival accepted and so I knew, okay then my film definitely measures up. It didn’t make sense.

But then I had to just tell myself so what? They’re not a niche for me or my style. Not a problem. Cool with that. I need to remember that but I never do. I feel every time someone rejected me, I was always re-directed to something bigger, better. I feel God has something better waiting for me. I feel it truly in my heart. I know great things are coming.

And that’s how I’m closing out the year of 2015.

Ok signing off. Check out the Sometime Around January teaser trailer: 

And….thanks for reading and following this blog and I will see ya next year.



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A Love You’re Not Prepared For

My new short film Sometime Around January [2015] is my most favorite short film we’ve done so far. I wrote it 2 years ago, and it focuses on that moment when you unexpectedly meet an old flame for the first time after a nasty break-up. The film goes through all the thoughts and emotions you might go through in that very moment that you spot your old lover (played by Moises Bournigal). I don’t know if anyone has actually met an old flame after a fall out, unexpectedly, or even paid attention to their thoughts and emotions when they do see him or her, but it is fascinating if you stop and think what you actually think and feel in that moment. People would expect you to be mad after seeing an old flame after a bad fall out, but what’s fascinating is if you actually experience it you might have found you weren’t mad cause you weren’t prepared. See if you know you’ll meet them, inside your head you’re like “Okay what will I say and how should I act?” and you’ll be angry cause you’re thinking about everything that he or she did to you, up to the point you meet them. But when you’re just going out to listen to music, as the lead woman in Sometime Around January does (played by Dominique LaFleur), you’re your natural self: calm, content, and just enjoying music. So to me it’s interesting to think about how we act as humans when put in a situation we don’t see coming or didn’t prepare for.

(DP Paul Bulgin. Photo by Eileen Slavin)

You see him and first you’re shocked, and all the memories come rushing through your mind of all the great times. Then you’re like, kinda amused cause the guy is sitting up front and you remember how he loved attention, and you remember all these little aspects of his personality and you kinda laugh about it to yourself. You obviously see he is sitting with a woman (played by JD Achille), and mind you, they’re up front enjoying the musician so they can’t see you, but somehow it doesn’t upset you that he’s with someone. Why would it? It’s been a while since the relationship ended, and you have hope that maybe he will see you and maybe he too will remember all the great times and fall back in love with you. So you’re not even mad at first! You’re shocked, then pleasantly shocked, and you’ve accepted that he’s with someone. I love the complexity of emotions….the whole idea of it. We don’t sit and think about how complex we are as humans, but I do cause I’m weird. And I love it. I know that I’m an emotional person and I’ve been in love a couple times, and been hurt too, so I’m very familiar with this sort of thing, and I love sharing these experiences and feelings and emotions in my writing and in turn, making beautiful films out of them; maybe touching people along the way.

People have come up to me after watching the full short and told me the film was beautifully directed and edited, and that the acting was powerful. They shared how great the cinematography was done (by Paul Bulgin), and how beautiful the music was (composed by Steven Lanning-Cafaro). One film Director told me she loved the element of mystery throughout. She said she thought it was also compelling. YESSSSS. That is exactly what I wanted! Beauty, and mystery. Those words directly describe what I wanted out of this film. Because love is beautiful, and love is mysterious and compelling; powerful, but also painful. Testosterone is a blinding and powerful thing, people.

I loved getting this feedback. Was exactly what I was going for. Once I post the film I’ll write another blog about why I chose the certain angles and movement and what it all means to me.

What’s next for the film? It got really good feedback so that was pretty awesome as I already said. I feel it was a good year as far as the film goes and am looking forward to 2016. I submitted the film to a bunch more film festivals. In 2015, Sometime Around January played at local film festivals in the Boston area (Art City Cambridge Film Fest, Shoe City Shorts, Home Grown Shorts, Shawna Shea Film Festival etc), so I was driving up there a lot between August and November to screen the film. The film was also nominated for Best Short at the Shawna Shea Film Festival last month, and I’ve never accomplished THAT so it was amazing. I really am excited to see what happens in 2016. Where it goes you know…

For the next film, I have a few scripts I wrote that I wanna do next, but one film I wrote recently that I really wanna do (too lol) deals with the psyche and our emotions in a situation, and how we blow things up in our heads, and how our thoughts differs from reality. Sound familiar? Fascinating stuff.

Before I conclude I wanna say though….when I go to festivals, I do hear filmmakers get up and speak, and a couple have said while speaking generally, that if a film doesn’t make the big festivals and just ends up online, then it isn’t “a success” and that means what you’re doing doesn’t or isn’t working. I disagree with this. Success is a personal and subjective term, and what may work for you or be “successful” to you may not be to another. If you’ve made a film, that’s success. There’s a lot of people out here that talk about making films but don’t actually make them, so who are you to judge if a filmmaker’s film is a success or not or judge if what they’re doing works or not based off of where it ends up? I see some films I don’t like in theaters and in festivals, and some of these even win awards. “Success” is subjective and we shouldn’t judge. As long as the film comes out to the vision you wanted it to be, it was a success. Where it ends up has not a thing to do with success or if what you’re doing works or not. And this is all coming from an accomplished filmmaker. Who loves using vimeo to post work on. So.

I can’t go too far into how Sometime Around January plays out as there are twists in just 5 minutes worth of film, but I hope you will watch the teaser below.

I’m uploading the full short film on my vimeo sometime around January (don’t mind the date in the video). So take a look at the 1 minute teaser of this film below and feel free to Like or leave a comment….or share. That would be awesome.

And come back to my vimeo in January to check out the FULL version of the film:

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/145916799″>Sometime Around January | Teaser</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/raeshelle”>Raeshelle Cooke</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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Why I enjoy short films over features

Here’s another long one! The films I love writing and shooting are short stories. I haven’t gotten into features yet. Features are great because that’s how you get paid as a Director, but I really love writing and shooting shorts. Before I get into why I love doing shorts I wanna make it clear I would love to make a feature one day, when I have mastered my craft of directing and even having the resources and budget to take on such a project. I used to be one of those people that thought shorts were meaningless, and at the time I wanted to write features over shorts for that reason. But I just didn’t discover what I have now, at that time. Oh I also very much admire other Filmmakers who have done features and are doing them and getting paid. I’ve written a few feature-length scripts and I wanna shoot two of them especially. One is the feature-length version of “What’s the Problem With Bill Winer?” The other is a story inspired by Fleetwood Mac and their “Rumors” album, but only it’s a personal take on a young black woman growing up in the 1970s who aspires to be a rock star. I can’t wait to one day film these features. But I’m not at that point yet because of a lack of resources, and I wanna make sure my directing skills are the best. I’m not a fan of wasting my time or others’. But it’s also a lack of urgency and interest, if I’m honest, and here’s why.

One of my friends who’s also a filmmaker asked me something like “What is your goal as far as when you’ll make your feature? 5 years from now?” Idk, something like that. He asked me in a way that implied I even wanna make a feature right now. To be honest I don’t wanna make a feature-length film right now. Other than the possibility of earning money, I don’t know…I’m having too much fun writing the short stories. There’s something fascinating, intriguing and interesting about the art of short film, the art of short stories. It’s different from features. When I think about features I think about typical Hollywood-type movies. You know, they’re structured and the scripts go by all these industry rules, and you need to know how to “pitch” to someone so they can care about your story, a concept I don’t understand cause I don’t function that way….they all look, feel and sound the same. I feel I’d be limited in my desires and creativity because I’m trying to make it a “feature” to sell.


Shorts are different to me. Story fuels this form of filmmaking, not money in my opinion. Since you have so little time to tell a story, you use this opportunity to tell a clever joke, or a riddle that you leave the audience to solve, or you let your emotions out. With shorts it’s more about how clever and creative you can be within a limited amount of time. It’s a fun challenge for me and for the audience. I’ve always LOVED my English Literature classes because I loved reading short stories. I hated reading novels. I had no patience for it. But short stories were WONDERFUL. There was always a point to the story; there was always a challenge for me to solve. There was a twist, or a riddle, or a joke or punchline, or just a short profile on a person who was interesting, and it didn’t go on and on with baseless dialog and scenes or whatever. It was always quick, to the point and interesting….shocking…interactive…it was different. That’s how I feel about shorts.

I don’t find fun in forcing myself to create something just for the sake of getting paid or just to satisfy an agreement or contract or whatever, and make it how everyone else wants me to make it (industry acceptable or whatever). I like writing how I wanna write, not following rules that I think are ridiculous and irrelevant…annoying. I do however find great fun in creating a story that’s clever and that challenges me personally to write it in a  way that tricks the audiences, or makes them feel or think, and in a limited time. And I’m not committed to trying to make it this long or that long, with these rules and this budget and so on and so forth. And you only do it when you’ve been inspired, when you have something to say. It’s strictly about the creative process. It’s authentic. It’s about playing games with your audience. It’s about letting your emotions out if you’re pissed off or happy. It’s about things that matter.

I love short stories and enjoy making them and watching what others have made. It’s fun. The new short I (finally) wrote is called His Interlude, and it’s about a woman who tells her side of why a seemingly perfect relationship didn’t work out. It’s narrated by music and voice-overs. Can’t wait to get started. It’s inspired by personal experience, but most importantly by Drake’s song “My Side” off his mixtape “If you’re reading this it’s too late”. There would be NO His Interlude without My Side. Well, my experience was there long before I ever heard the song, but I wouldn’t have been inspired to create what you are about to see, if it wasn’t for My Side. Thank you again Drake.

If you’re not familiar with my shorts, go to http://www.vimeo.com/raeshelle and take a look at them. I totally wanna do features when I finally have the resources, and would love to make money writing and directing, but I’m having fun making shorts merely because with shorts it’s less forced and there’s more freedom to be clever, witty and emotional…to be yourself. There’s a limited time to do that too, like to challenge yourself and the viewers…it’s like that’s the main purpose of a short. It’s like reading a short story in a literature book, or watching a short episode of The Twilight Zone, or reading a poem, or listening to a song. There’s a purpose to shorts, whether by film or Literature, there’s a purpose I find, and it’s really cool. It’s really fun. That’s why I really like it.

PS: I’ve seen some high industry people who have said you’re not a real Filmmaker unless you’re getting paid and that there’s no point to shorts unless you’re getting distributed, etc. Send them this blog or just stop talking to them immediately. If you’re doing what you love and it helps you and fulfills you, it matters, it’s legit and you ought to keep on doing it.

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“Monae’s Room” an official selection of the Stories by the River Film Festival

I was opening my email this morning and saw the great news. Usually I get emails saying “not accepted”, but to read this out of nowhere was amazing. I really wanted my short film to be selected for this festival in particular because it seems like the people are really nice, open and collaborative; these traits are rare in the industry these days. In this festival, filmmakers get the chance to win prizes and awards too, and be chosen as person to work with for future projects down the road; all these features made this festival all the more desirable than most. I had felt that maybe this just wasn’t my calling since people didn’t seem to understand the films, but people tell me to go on. You will get 1,000 No’s, but all it takes is 1 or 2 Yes’s. So I will keep on filming and doing it my way.

If you want to see “Monae’s Room”, check it out January 30th at the Stories by the River film festival, 7pm-10pm at the River Auditorium in Quincy. I haven’t made the film available online, so now’s your chance to watch!

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“Monae’s Room”: after the 1st debut

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Last night my new short film “Monae’s Room” made its debut at the Brooklyn Coffee Teahouse in Providence, Rhode Island along with other really cool films. The show sold out!

I was happy to see some familiar faces and meet new friends. I was happy that there were laughs. People understood the humor in the film. I have a twisted sense of humor. The film (if you missed it) is about a single room that tortures an obsessed young woman; she can’t let go of an old love and she drives herself mad thinking about him, what went wrong and what could’ve been. But strangely, even though it’s a serious drama, I find it hilarious, and I’m glad people “got” the humor of the film. It’s also relatable and empowering. Many people came up to me after the film and said they related so much to it and that it was fun to watch. Some people even poured their hearts out to me about their broken relationships!

I’m confident that the film is in fact an entertaining film though. I can’t see how anyone could be bored watching it. I think actors Delea Mowatt and JD Achille do a good job engaging the audience, and the writing is intelligent and the story is deep and empowering, but told in a unique and creative way using that Kendrick Lamar/Drake, trance, hip hop-inspired music that I love so much. Call it weird, call it strange…hell, you can even say the colors are too much for you (got that too), but I guarantee that you won’t say you were bored with it.

Never that.

I just said a lot. Okay, you’ll have to come to the next screening to see what I mean. November 21st at the Somerville Theater, 2pm to 4pm apart of the Shawna Shea Film Festival.

Don’t miss it!

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“Monae’s Room” accepted into its first Film Festival!

I’m happy to announce that my fourth short film “Monae’s Room” (3rd I directed though) will be screened at the Shawna Shea Film Festival, November 21st at the Somerville theater in Somerville, Ma.

Honestly I think the “I’m happy to announce” film thing is so cliche and tired out, but it’s after 6pm and I’m tired and I didn’t know how to start the blog, woo! But I’m just so excited!

Again, Monae’s Room is about a single room that tortures an obsessed young woman; a woman that’s still clinging onto her past and an ex lover. I wrote the film to showcase how so many people are so emotionally unavailable for love, and how frustrating it is for people like me that seek true love. I’m gonna be a hypocrite though and say, I was Monae still. Writing Monae’s Room was a great outlet for me during an emotionally horrific time for me. Close friends of mine that know me will look and listen to this film and swear I didn’t write it. They may not even believe I did.

If you’re interested in seeing what’s inside Monae’s Room…come to the screening at the Shawna Shea Film Festival in Somerville!

You can also check out some of my work on my vimeo: http://www.vimeo.com/raeshelle. Also on my vimeo page is the Monae’s Room teaser.

Check out my work on my Youtube as well: Raeshelle Cooke.

Thanks for reading!

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