It was a homecoming celebration for a Rattler who continues to inspire students through a collection of notable films.
Florida A&M alum and co-founder of Rainforest Films Will Packer visited the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication to speak with aspiring journalists and film industry hopefuls.
The event was sponsored by Walmart, as a part of its, “History Teaching History” program. For nearly two hours, students and faculty listened to Packer’s encouraging words and testimonials. Several students commented after the forum, saying it was very helpful and informative.
“It’s great to see someone who attended the same university as us, doing such good work in the film industry,” said Dominique Moody, a freshman at FAMU. “I was intrigued by his success story and how it all started on this campus.”
During the session, he told students about his experience while at FAMU and the struggles of creating a production company.
“I’ll never forget standing in the middle of Lee Hall for the world premier of Chocolate City,” said Packer. “We invited everyone in Hollywood to come out, but not one person came. The entire front row was empty.”
Packer graduated from FAMU in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. He highlighted the importance of remaining in school in order to achieve goals.
“Even though we knew that engineering wasn’t ultimately something that we wanted to do, we finished and got our degrees,” he said.
Just two years before his graduation, Packer and his business partner, Rob Hardy, produced their first film, titled “Chocolate City.” Sixteen years later, he’s debuting a new movie, “Think Like a Man,” a film adaptation of comedian/actor Steve Harvey’s book of the same title.
The film is set to release April 20. However Packer hosted an advanced screening Wednesday at Tallahassee Mall AMC theaters. After watching films such as “Obsessed” and “Takers,” many say they were excited to watch his newest work.
“I was excited to see his new movie after watching the previous films,” said Chantel McKinney, who attended the premiere. “It was a really good movie.”
He concluded the event with a few words of wisdom to help future media moguls and hungry entrepreneurs.
“Until you say your dream is over, it’s not over. Nobody can control your destiny unless you allow them to,” he said.