We had the good fortune of connecting with Joan Montreuil and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joan, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
To be honest, there were a few decisions that needed to be made. Let’s begin with eliminating the need for the middle man! This usually creates a win-win for countless indie filmmakers from a money perspective. In addition to that, staying persistent and consistent are some of the rationales behind my success. Due to a lack of finances to support my vision, I had to self-teach, self-educate, and self-discipline myself at the beginning of my career and tap into my creative side if I was going to stay on track. I oftentimes assume that  I am an autodidact. I do not like to be restricted by the middle man, particularly when it distracts or hinders my projects. It took me a long time to comprehend that I could not depend on others to bring my vision to pass. I had to take authority over my own destiny; I had to stay focus and stick to the agenda.
Secondly, I had to study the craft of filmmaking which is another reason why I am able to manage an entire film set from pre-production to post-production. Whether I’m operating the camera to serving craft services, I like to think that God has favored me to be able to change positions in different film roles effectively. This method has eliminated a lot of excuses and saved me a lot of money.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an award-winning Author and Filmmaker. I have over two decades of experience in the Arts, Media & Entertainment Industry. Ten years in stage theater and sixteen years in film and media. I am the Founder and C.E.O of two thriving organizations, Wisdom Production International, LLC, and Brilliant Women In Film. I write, direct, produce, edit, coordinate & manage film sets, design posters, and market my products. I’ve been telling stories for a long time now, but my goal remains the same, and that is to spread a message of faith, courage, and wisdom.
One of my mottoes is to ”Pay it Forward”.
I strongly believe in helping others just as people have come into my life to help me. For this reason,  I’ve been composing workshops, events, and programs catering to the Community of the ARTS, for both the aspiring and established as long as I can remember. As of today, one of the succeeding projects is the “Writer’s Room”. It has been in existence for three years and free to the public. Thanks to our sponsors who have hosted our sessions and events for over two years! Amid the Pandemic the Writer’s Room is now held virtually for groups and private sessions. Our writer’s team has assisted countless writers to either develop their script, structure it, format it,  finish it, film it, then edit it. Our lead writers, Nikol Johnson of Real Talk Chronicles and Knycole Amerson of Merkabah Scriptwriting Services have collaborated on several film projects as a result of the Writers Room. They too operate under the same method of paying it forward. As of today, we have completed a Television Pilot and we have involved some of our intern students, who joined BWIF, as a result of the Writers Room! What a great opportunity for our interns!
Other workshops include The Writers Retreat |BWIF Annual Film Festival |BWIF Radio Talk Show & Media | BWIF Bloggers |Trading Places |My First Movie | My First Book | Actor’s Delight | Director’s Delight |Director Of Photography | Dummy Set| Annual Monologue Competition| Adobe Premiere Editing Workshop| My Diary For Young Creative Writers.
The essence of Brilliant Women In Film is to support, educate, inspire, motivate, and train women filmmakers in every aspect of filmmaking. Whether it is to write a script or a book; in front of the camera or behind; we are here to provide a platform to help aspiring filmmakers soar above the rest and become successful at doing so. Of course, everyone’s success looks different. For some, a distribution deal for an indie filmmaker is a great success, and for others, winning an award from a short-film festival is too. Nevertheless, there is room for all of us to thrive in this industry.
Serving the community has been my heart’s desire and it’s paying off. On April 6th I was recognized for my extensive community service throughout the city of Houston proclaiming my day for “ Wisdom Production International”. On March 8th, Brilliant Women In Film was also recognized as the “only” all-female production crew in the city of Houston. Yes. It’s a one-stop-shop! We write, edit, film, produce and market our own content.
So you see, hard work pays off by remaining committed to the call. Once I identified with my purpose on this planet, I dedicated my life to it by becoming knowledgeable and learning everything I could about this purpose and pursued it. Not by chasing it but allowing my purpose to unfold and teach me how to produce multiple streams of income.
I also like to add that when you are surrounded by a team that is on the same journey, who can read the vision, comprehend it, then run with it, you need to cherish them. Where I stand today, comfortable on my journey as an indie filmmaker, I must say that it’s by the grace of GOD, my supportive family, a handful of spiritual leaders, divine connections, meditation, prayer, plus the pressures of life that have given me the passion and purpose to share stories that matter and content that counts!
Nevertheless, I am a soul writer who writes from the soul and not solely for monetary gain, although it would be nice to reap where I have sown. However, the message of hope that I write about means more to me than money and when the money comes, it will continue to support the ministry that God has planted within me on a much greater platform. But it’s okay, I don’t mind waiting. I don’t mind being the last to finish the race, just as long as I’m in God’s Will.

Although discouragement has come, it has also disappeared and I’m still here. When there was little to no support to help fund the freshman projects I hung in there. When my message of faith was criticized, I hung in there. When I filmed my first project with two JVC hand-held cameras using Sony Vegas software, I hung in there. Today, I encourage you to go with the goers and the givers will come! Whoever believes in you, they will support your work, and help where they can, even if it’s just sharing a poster on their social media page. And don’t forget to pray for discernment, you need to safeguard your vision at all costs. Guard your vision like you guard your heart. A vision,  can be stolen and manipulated but don’t worry, you are the only one who has the strategy and the favor of God to bring that vision to completion. I thank GOD for my husband who has funded all of my filmmaking adventures including my sons, Sean Johnson, LaMarcus Tinker, and Devin Brown whom I started my film journey with. We’ve collaborated also on countless projects and have so many more to complete. They too are Actor’s Screenwriters, Producer’s, Director’s, Editors, and Director of Photographer’s, so we understand that the struggle is real!

Nevertheless, never lose focus, instead, work on building a team, those who are like-minded and possess the same positive energy to produce meaningful and purposeful television, film, and media projects with content that counts. Raise the bar, write a feature film, build an audience, film it, get distribution, then you can use residual checks to finance your next project. Again, don’t allow the middle man to manage your affairs, read, and study to show yourself approved, test the waters, step out in faith, get creative, and nurture your vision. Lastly, believe in yourself and find others who believe in you. Stop seeking approval from others and go with God. I believed in myself, therefore I invested my time, my attention, and my money. We must always remember that we are our #1 supporter, and only you can feel that burning passion from within to produce the product. Experiencing disappointments and obstacles along the way are a part of growing pains, but the triple “P’s” which stands for passion, prayer, and purpose will keep your vision alive!

We all have a story to tell, and someone’s life is depending on you to tell it, and if you can’t tell it now, I encourage you to help someone else tell theirs.  Be patient, for, in a matter of time, you will learn how to be content in any state that you are in, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience, experience; and experience, hope. Keep in mind that you being rich in faith and confidence; should know yourself, know your GOD, stir up your gift, maintain your prayer life, lean not to your understanding, trust GOD and He will lead and guide you. Now, go and be great and enjoy your journey! Your steps are ordered!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them too?
If I wanted to show my best friend a good time, I would take them to Blue Water Seafood! I am from New Orleans, Louisiana and I love seafood! I visit this restaurant quite regularly to order the Captains special which comes with Crawfish, Crabs, Corn, Potatoes & Shrimp! Oh, and don’t forget the spicy garlic sauce!  Next, I will also take them to see a good movie at Studio Movie Grill, [Memorial Location] where you can eat and enjoy the movie, all-in-one. The shrimp quesadilla is to die for! And of course, let’s head on over to the church house! There are so many churches preaching and teaching the word of GOD! There’s nothing like redeeming the soul on a Sunday morning, then dinning in at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen for lunch and place an order or some fried alligator and boiled shrimp during the happy hour! Don’t forget the spicy garlic sauce! Yes! Garlic is good for the heart and its finger-licking good!

A shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Whom would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shoutout to God first who is my savior, my life-partner Byron, my sons, my beloved mother, Viola Montreuil, my family, and all of my talented, BWIF sisters and close friends!

To see my work, you can visit me @ https://www.wisdomproductioninternational.org

Website: http://www.wisdomproductioninternational.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/brilliantwomen4
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Joanmontreuilfilms
Other: https://brilliantwomeninfilm.com

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