We had the good fortune of connecting with Javan Cornelius and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Javan, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
Moments before I announced a fundraising campaign in 2018 to make my first movie, my stomach folded tightly as I tried to dissolve my-former college roommates advice to begin! I spent 13 years servicing Entrepreneurs with branded video content while my movie dreams sat motionless. Risk knocked at my door very hard. Many aspiring Filmmakers have dreamed and aspired to produce-full length movies, but many have never made anything. Making movies requires capital. Filmmakers need paid professionals to help tell a story. Cinema hasn’t experienced the technological renaissance that music has experienced. It’s rare for one man to solely make something great, but it happens in Hip Hop music often! Every single painful event from making my first feature film including: getting robbed, scammed, financial limitations, wife losing hours as a therapist, we literally lost it all, but not our faith. Risk made me. If you know anything about the great filmmakers of our time, I’m talking the great ones like Lee, Perry, Cameron, Spielberg, they’re tough as nails because they followed their dreams with effort. We often look at successful people with a lite heart, but I have worked around the top C.E.O. ‘s, they’re ferocious, hard, quick witted and sharp. I’m anxious to direct my second film after learning from my risk. I had to take a risk that knocked me on my butt to enable me to continue in an industry that demands I be polished, there’s rarely no do overs with time and money being limited. Me and my son are thankful for our pains we endured while making our movie titled Northgate. We didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel after we got robbed on day one. Everything in my body told me to give up and just make videos for brands. Making branded content took me to almost every major city, including ten countries with a promise of more to come. Les Brown describes it best, when you’re laying on your deathbed you don’t want any of your unfinished dreams looking at you, we’re not taking our dreams to the graveyard. Risk is our Sunshine, it wakes us up, we have to work under its rays until we get to where we want.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
During Covid – 19 my production company discovered a new service. Conferences and Churches are not able to meet because of strict guidelines. My company pre records events, then our clients are able to launch them on a paid Private link or Youtube Premiere. I started filming thirteen years ago, when I first started I had one client, it just amazes me that if you keep going, the path to your dreams brings unexpected opportunities. Keep going no matter what happens, my virtual mentor, Actor, Philanthropist, Producer Nate Parker emphasized something to me via Instagram DM, “it’s about building a legacy.”
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
You better come to Nashville and go to Slim & Huskies Pizza! S&H is a 90’s infused Hip hop pizzeria where you can create your own pizza and experience local crafted drinks, and hear the golden era of music, which is 90’s music! If you look above the door stop, you will notice the lyrics to my favorite song, “Tennessee,” by Arrested Development. You have to then visit Cumberland Park Bridge. Lastly, stop by the Country Music Hall of Fame. I grew up on Hip Hop and Soul music, but after spending some time in the CMHOF, I have a newfound respect for Country Music.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Everyone needs someone to lend them a helping hand. I can’t thank my wife Chasati Cornelius enough. Chasati has supported us behind the camera as a Producer, she’s even shown up to do makeup and deliver props while being a mother and beautiful wife. My family and I are also thankful for two Entrepreneurs from our community who went out of their way to give graciously, without Glen Browne and Kimberly Claude Lewis who is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Project XYZ, we would not be close to the finish line. Our family and friends have all done so much, we can’t list them here at this time, but we’re also grateful to have a very close friend of the family named Robert Bankston. Robert shared Shoeshine Media Studios services with his network. Networking is key!
Photo By: Chasati Cornelius