Meet the Filmmaker
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Louric Rankine. I also go by “Lyrical Miracle” and I am a filmmaker. Growing up in East New York, the neighborhood with the highest incarceration rate, was both my gate to damnation but my bridge to opportunity. I was aware of my skin color, I was aware of the atmosphere around me, but I was also aware of my dream.
What’s your film about?
When I created Bully Me, it was my escape from the ethnic masculinity and an ingress to black men being unapologetically emotional, sentimental, and comfortable with sharing their mental state. The autobiographical documentary, Bully Me, reflects my paradoxical relationship with bulimia and how it had both helped me and hurt me as an individual.
What was your experience creating this film?
The experience was fun. With school and domestic responsibilities, this documentary was my safe haven, which is ironic since I was diving in the worst times of my life. I spent hours with my baby sister and my cousin, the uncredited cinematographer Macqueen Seymour, trying to come up with a sequence and the best portrayal of what my mind went through. It was frustrating at times since my camera lens had a grainy quality but I was going to make sure the quality of the content exceeds the quality of the cinematography. Staying til 7 with my mentor Matt was tiresome but worth it. Im creating art and when im creating art there’s no stopping to it. Being nominated for this award levitated my confidence as not only a filmmaker but as a person. Being bulimic was the most embarrassing insecure moments of my life. For people to sympathize, laugh, cry, and even glare at my film and give a round of applause just makes me stronger and believe that as a boy from East New York, I can transcend the expectancy.
How does it feel to be nominated for the F John Outcalt Award?
I am going to treat this like the Oscars to be honest so I can walk around saying I am F John Outcalt nominee Louric Rankine! Reel Works means family. I never really thought I could push myself to this point until now.
What has Reel Works meant to you?
Reel Works showed me how to be a leader, a director, an artist. It exposed me to diverse filmmakers who appreciate art as much as I do, and that is lacking in our academics and schools. Reel Works is my comfort zone and it has became my second home. Thank you Reel Works for this opportunity and showing me something I thought I never had.
Meet the Mentor – Matthew Cohn
What do you do, when you are not a mentor at Reel Works?
When not mentoring, I work as a documentary editor.
What was it like to mentor to Louric?
Mentoring Louric was very rewarding. It was exciting to listen to his ideas and then see the footage he would come with the following week. He always seemed to have a clear idea of what he wanted his film to look like and how to achieve that goal.
What are you taking away from working with Louric?
From working with Louric I learned that there is a place for horror movies in documentary filmmaking!
What would you tell people who are considering watching this film?
Louric’s film is a very honest and raw depiction of personal struggle.
How would you describe Reel Works and the opportunities that we offer?
Reel Works is a great organization that serves as a way for young people to explore real, everyday issues that directly effect them. The goal of making a film is a complex challenge that truly tests the students’ ability to clearly and creatively express themselves.