Forced Redevelopment of Comedy Club Plans

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UPDATE! #9

This is, Amaru from Team #BTB. It is Saturday 27, 2020 3:10 AM

Greenwood District Studios - Why the name change?

When you see the name, “Greenwood District,” what does it evoke within you?

Nothing?

Not one thing at all?

I guess I can say that for Amaruflix too, huh?

Okay, stop laughing!

Anyway, that is why we changed the name from Amaruflix Studios to Greenwood District Studios. The "Greenwood District" didn’t evoke a memory because it was a moment in time certain people wanted us to forget. WE MUST NEVER FORGET! Although it was a tragic event, we will remember its once thriving legacy through this new and wonderful project.

BUT FIRST, A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON:

“The 1921 Attack on Greenwood was one of the most significant events in Tulsa’s history.

Following World War I, Tulsa was recognized nationally for its affluent African American community known as the Greenwood District. This thriving business district and surrounding residential area was referred to as “Black Wall Street.” In June 1921, a series of events nearly destroyed the entire Greenwood area.

On the morning of May 30, 1921, a young black man named Dick Rowland was riding in the elevator in the Drexel Building at Third and Main with a white woman named Sarah Page. The details of what followed vary from person to person. Accounts of an incident circulated among the city’s white community during the day and became more exaggerated with each telling.

Tulsa police arrested Rowland the following day and began an investigation. An inflammatory report in the May 31 edition of the Tulsa Tribune spurred a confrontation between black and white armed mobs around the courthouse where the sheriff and his men had barricaded the top floor to protect Rowland. Shots were fired and the outnumbered African Americans began retreating to the Greenwood District.

In the early morning hours of June 1, 1921, Greenwood was looted and burned by white rioters. Governor Robertson declared martial law, and National Guard troops arrived in Tulsa. Guardsmen assisted firemen in putting out fires, took African Americans out of the hands of vigilantes and imprisoned all black Tulsans not already interned. Over 6,000 people were held at the Convention Hall and the Fairgrounds, some for as long as eight days.

Twenty-four hours after the violence erupted, it ceased. In the wake of the violence, 35 city blocks lay in charred ruins, over 800 people were treated for injuries and contemporary reports of deaths began at 36. Historians now believe as many as 300 people may have died.” - Continue reading: https://www.tulsahistory.org/exhibit/1921-tulsa-race-massacre/#flexible-content

From that short excerpt, you can see why we must not forget what was once erased from the history books. The purpose of the reimagining, is reimagining what could have been, had the town been left alone in its glory to thrive. We want to recreate the possibilities of what a minority run tinsel town would look and feel like in the midwest. Could we handle it in this age of inequality and societal unrest? I think we can. I feel we must. We feel that we must show the world by example what real representation, opportunity and inclusion looks like.

Some great things have happened in the last 5 days. It is too new and a lot to absorb and relay to you right now. We need to wait a week or so for what is currently happening to fully manifest into its intended purpose, before we share what we have developed with everyone. There’s nothing like bragging about something that doesn’t happen. Know this, when we can share this news with you, we will!

Below is a screenshot of the Greenwood District Project Fund deposit receipt (You will only see this on the Greenwood facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/GreenwoodDistrictStudios ) As you will see, it is slightly different from the actual GoFundMe total because we added an additional 3k plus to it from our own pockets. We believe in this project more than anyone, as we should. We just wanted to show you that we put our money where our mouth is with full transparency! No one will ever be able to say this money didn’t go towards this project. In fact, as of, 6-27-2020, we have not used any of the funds yet. We have paid for everything thus far with our own monies or sweat equity.

I hope this read give you some hope. “It’s only impossible until WE do it!” - Unknown

Amaru - TEAM B.T.B.

#BTB #Buytheblock #buybacktheblock #blackownedbusiness #putuporshutup #therealamaru #amaruflix #tRACPllc #BBTB #transparency
T: @therealamaru IG:@therealamarudotcom

 

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UPDATE! #8

This is, Amaru from Team #BTB. It is Wednesday 17, 11:52 PM

I am sitting here wondering what to reveal to keep you guys excited about this project. Before I do that… here is my brain in real time…

(there are no punctuations on purpose)

“When are we moving into the new studio so we can get started all man the community is going to love us How are we going to make it happen is NOT a question what is the first hurdle found it COVID! On it this is real-estate and a brick and mortar business and only white people get those Who is going to drop the ball first Who do you know got a company like this that is black Tyler Perry got lucky that’ll never happen for you ARE MY SONS OKAY you always been negative people really don’t believe in you they’re waiting for you to fail you’re going to fail again your community don’t give a shit about you give up now even your business partner got questions and you have other responsibilities COVID! look out that white guy hates you in isle 4 you’re not going to get approved even though you have the vision the execution and experience COVID! in the field “they” not going to let you run it… you’re black. “I HATE YOU! BLM!” COVID!”

And exhale!

I learned today somewhat the timeline of the development of this project... and the initial cost as well. READY?

I spoke with the architect today and he gave me a verbal timeline. The paper timeline with the specifics will be received on Monday or Tuesday of next week. I can be more specific then and we can kinda gauge when the real completion date of the project will be. Over the phone we projected the Greenwood District Studio project completion to be in early Spring 2022. That conversation settled me a little bit. It gave me what I have wanted from the beginning. A realistic timeline from a professional. Now I have it, we can really dig in and focus on completing one task at a time until we reach early Spring 2022. I was thinking 2021 but when he explained it and broke it down, it made total sense why it would take longer. Especially if we want to construct this correctly. There is no fixing this in post! (Film people will understand that.)

The first step is completing what we are doing right at this moment. What we are doing is research and development and NOTHING ELSE! We are currently writing the business plan, creating a presentation, applying for grants, promoting this first round of fundraising and networking. When we are all done with that, we move into the next step and that's prep for the ground breaking... the exciting part! But we don't get to the exciting part until we complete the first steps and execute them correctly. We can only do that by surrounding ourselves with the people who know how to do just that.

In my discussion with the architect today, he revealed the tentative initial cost of the presentation aka drawings, research, planning etc. We will know the exact amount with the information/invoice, we will receive from the firm next week. He said the initial investment will be around 10-15k. Okay, breathe!

Yeah, that tickled my boo-boo a little too. But that's what it takes. It takes money to make money. It’s a presentation. We can’t ask for big money with a Windows ’95 power point in 2020. I quickly shook that feeling of inadequacy. I quickly shook off those numbers and was like, we will make that happen... PERIOD! We have almost 3k in donations so far. We have a few more commitments coming in in the coming days. I have a few more financial means coming through in the near future. We have a few team members that are pitching in financially. I’m all in. We made movies for less than that! This is what it takes! This is how our counterparts build wealth. We can’t fear what the price tag is like most of us do when we hear what it cost to invest in our dreams. Sometimes, we have this thought in the back our heads, at least I do, that says, “Why put in all this work and money when you know at the end of the day, “they,” the powers that be, are going to tell you, no? YOU BLACK!”

Yeah, I’m black! I’m also from a small town. I have been on national television show and not for a crime. I am a professional entertainer and have traveled the country even though I was in 4 foster homes. After I overcame homelessness, I made several award winning films, written and published 4 books and several new screenplays. This ain’t shit!! That’s how I overcome fear and a challenge. I remember what I have accomplished while being black… with a little help from my friends. Plus my ex-wife says, she believes in this project. Yep, I know, right!?

I want to leave you with this: Most people have one good book in them. Most people don’t write that book because they think about the process and wear themselves out mentally before they even type a word. So they never write that good book. Don’t think about the process. Just write. Surround yourself with the right people during the process. When you’re done, you will have learned the process. That is part of the wonderful journey of building a dream.

I hope this read give you some hope. “It’s only impossible until WE do it!” - Unknown

Amaru - TEAM B.T.B.
#BTB #Buytheblock #buybacktheblock #blackownedbusiness #putuporshutup #therealamaru #amaruflix #tRACPllc #BBTB #transparency
T: @therealamaru IG:@therealamarudotcom

This is me, Amaru.

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UPDATE! #7

Good afternoon everyone!

We have a new fb page representing what we are doing until the website is complete. The website will not go up until the logo is finished. It will not be an operational site until completely finished but you will at least be able to click on it and see its and our development.

When this thing really kicks in, I want to take this conversation to our new website. Reason being, not only do we need to create an economic impact in our community by building a business, we have to do that with where we communicate and get info as well. We need to drive this valuable traffic to the website. There is value within that that will help the studios presence in the marketplace. AS SOON as the new logo is done, we will activate the website so that we can't start receiving news and info from there and begin building up that value from the traffic. Plus you guys can help us with the design of it by telling us if it sucks or not. ;)

As usual, SHARE and SHARE! Talk to people and if you have any questions call or tag me. Have a fantastic evening!

Amaru / Kristen / Lisa - TEAM B.T.B.
#BTB #Buytheblock #buybacktheblock #blackownedbusiness #therealamaru #amaruflix #tRACPllc #BBTB
T: @therealamaru IG:@therealamarudotcom

https://www.facebook.com/Greenwood-District-Studios-101879771576185

Future site of the studio

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UPDATE! #6

It is 12:09 PM - June 13, 2020

Wow! What an amazing day yesterday! We looked at 2 potential sites. And the possibilities are limitless!! Building our core team as we speak and the first of countless team meetings begin today. In building a sound stage and movie studio, there are more positions to fill than you would believe.

Please feel free to reach out to us or people you know who are interested in supporting black owned businesses, giving back to the community, and want to challenge themselves with this life-changing endeavor. It’s not just for those in the movie industry, but also business people, builders, contractors, IT peeps, and the list goes on! If you or someone you know is interested, give us a shout! We would be more than happy to speak with energized individuals who may want to join us.

Our plans will turn into a successful project where we are making sure minorities are seen, heard, and hired. Have a great day & enjoy the sun!

Amaru / Kristen / Lisa - TEAM B.T.B.
#BTB #Buytheblock #buybacktheblock #blackownedbusiness #therealamaru #amaruflix #tRACPllc
T: @therealamaru IG:@therealamarudotcom

Screenshot from the new website

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UPDATE! #5

Whew! WHAT A DAY!!

It is 12:45 AM - June 10, 2020

I am coming down off of a major high (not from drugs). No drug could compete with what happened today! NONE!!

Communication and networking are essential at the beginning of any successful project. We have already learned so many things in just a few short days! We have been told more than once already the work will be hard, but we are ready! New opportunities to begin our project have popped up in nearby cities, and now we have more options.

By that, we mean more options to carefully choose the first property to reach our goal We are not ready to leak the potential first location, as we work to broaden our business plan as more opportunities present themselves. We will keep you updated as quickly as we can, as the potential and excitement is overwhelming!

Have a great evening and thank you for your continued support! Please #share

Amaru / Kristen / Lisa - TEAM B.T.B.
#BTB #Buytheblock #blackownedbusiness #therealamaru #amaruflix #tRACPllc
T: @therealamaru IG:@therealamarudotcom

Green Screen / Television Production Capable

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UPDATE! #4

Good evening! It is Sunday June 7, 2020, 11:40PM

We have decided to include in the production and design of the new facilities the signatures and/or names of the "Founder Donors" on a permanent wall which will be displayed forever to anyone coming into use or visit the facilities. You will also get to tour the facility because you will be invited to the Grand Opening FREE of charge in 2021, date TBA. This will be a HUGE, but small, red carpet event with the release of our new film, "Youre the Church ." The event will have Agents, Producers , Actors, Writers, Directors and YOU seeing and experiencing the soundstage for yourself.

Today has been such an exhilarating day! The people and reception to the idea were all exciting and overwhelming at the same time! People are also interested in learning how we are doing this, and we are glad to pass that information along to them... no strings attached.

We are almost at $1400.00! We will be calling tomorrow morning to get some info on the properties and find out what we need to seal the deal. As mentioned before, we will be LIVE streaming the purchase of the properties just to show the process in action.

I am signing off for the day and leaving you with gratitude for your kind donations and belief in us that we can and will pull this off as a community! With this venture, we will show what REAL inclusion looks like!

Amaru / Kristen / Lisa - TEAM B.T.B.
#BTB #Buytheblock #blackownedbusiness #therealamaru #amaruflix #tRACPllc
T: @therealamaru IG:@therealamarudotcom

Sample Sound Stage

 

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UPDATE! #3

It is June 6, 202 1:02AM and I am winding down for the evening.

TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY! I can't thank my friends, family and allies enough!

I have literally been on the phone all day spreading this call to action to, "Buy the Block," and what do ya know, people are responding! Our goal is to reach 18K by weeks end and at this rate, we will make that goal with ease. When we gather all of the funds we will do a LIVE feed of the purchasing of the properties which will spark the beginning of our venture together; to build a movie studio right here in Lansing, MI.

Again, if you have any questions or concerns or you want to buy your own block, ask us how. We will share this info with you even if you do not contribute. We need to change our attitudes and start sharing information so that we can all prosper and help another reach our goals. Sometimes you have to lead by example.

After we raise the money we will be speaking some investors about financing the equipment, what we are putting into the facility, as well as some construction needs. If you are a skilled minority laborer from the area, please let us know. We will be employee many folks for this ongoing project. We will also be hiring towards the end of the year leading to the grand opening in 2021.

The new pics you see here are examples of what some of the interiors of a sound stage will look like. The whole idea is, when a production crew comes to town to use our facilities, just like Tyler Perry Studios, they will be able to stay on site, in  highly disinfected working and living quarters, for the whole production keeping them safe from unnecessary travel due to COVID-19 fears.

We will try and update this info until the day we reach our goal. The best thing you could do is SHARE this page and talk about it to your friends who want to promote a black owned business. You guys have a great Monday morning and we will talk soon!

#creatingJobs #filmmakers #therealamaru #equality #equity #blacklivesmatter #ideas #solutions #community #georgeFloyd

Amaru
Amaruflix (New Website Under Construction)
#blackownedbusiness
#eachoneteachone

One Stop Shop for Production

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UPDATE! #2

It is Friday June 6, 2020, 10:51PM

We have some fun developments for you. We had the privilege of speaking with a Lansing official who gave us some helpful information that allowed us to find not only a local piece of property, multiple pieces, within the same area. What this means is, we have done some research with the help of our local official, and found that we can purchase multiple properties (buying the block) so that we can get started on our new production studios and soundstage in Lansing, MI to rent them out and continue making our own content in a COVID-Safe environment.

As you can see, we lowered our goal to $18,000.00 because that is what it will potentially cost to get the properties we are eyeing with the low end being 11k. As you can also see, the word is getting around and people are giving. Some advice we were given as a community was to provide opportunity within the community, make a profit, and reinvest back into that same community. That is EXACTLY what we are going to do! When we make the purchases, we will be eventually be moving into one of them during the construction process so that we can be more hands on day and night until the project is completed. We hope to do that by the end of the year.

So our goal is to raise this money within a week! Any overage will go into the gutting and redeveloping of the properties to turn them into a fully functional state of the art movie studio lot. Our own little Tyler Perry Studios which will be a COVID-Free advertised environment. This project will create permanent jobs before and after construction. So if you can give a $1.00 or all 18k, it doesn't matter, we will get it done as we always do! Let's keep the entertainment industry alive one building at a time! Thank you and be safe out there!


Amaru
Amaruflix (New Website Under Construction)
#blackownedbusiness
#eachoneteachone

BTW - At the same time I am putting together a packet to display what our idea and layout will be. I have someone to design that as we speak. Stay tuned!

We Will Be Using DaVinci Resolve as our Main Editing System

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UPDATE! #1

So now that Covid-19 and the protests across the country has consumed our normal lives especially financially, this idea is dead in the water. The old saying, “When America has the flu, black America gets pneumonia” [paraphrasing] We have to go back to square one. I have a new idea but like any idea, it needs capital. This whole ordeal has killed all my stand up work and halted my filmmaking. Living on a wing and a prayer! That PPE and other stimulus shit isn’t available to most small black businesses. I don’t have a damn landline! It’s not needed! It’s 2020! So the application process ends there for me. Smh Too many loops and hurdles still for us to get money that is owed us.

In the interim, I, we, filmmakers are sitting back creating content so we are ready when the industry flood gates open. We anticipate that to be in 2021 and I want to be ready for that market!

I will be revamping this fundraiser to reflect this new idea. I had a NICE HUGE property and we are currently ready to do it but I found out their political interest and it doesn't align with my health and safety. Out of integrity, no matter how great the opportunity, I can't move forward with the project at this particular location. I am scrambling now to replace this location! We need property and start up money. This plan will help get some of these kids off the street and give them that hope for success that they, we, you want.

Read the plan on this link just to update you on what we WERE planning on doing. It still will be entertainment industry related but this is on the production side of filmmaking. This will help me transition full time to filmmaking because the comedy club model as we know it, I think, unfortunately, is dead... for now.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

#creatingJobs #filmmakers #therealamaru #equality #equity #blacklivesmatter #ideas #solutions #community #georgeFloyd

The Inside of one of the Future Sound Stages

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#WCCF SECTION

Who are we? We are couple of professional comedians / indie filmmakers with a combined 35 years of experience in the business who want to open up a comedy club... again. We did it once before and failed. Yep. We can admit it. Not because we didn't know what we were doing. It was the location. We shared a space with a hotel who evicted us because we made too much noise. Yes. You read that right. It was literally because our comedy was too loud. A hotel guest complained about the laughter. Seriously! We were mad at first but had to laugh at the irony. I guess they thought we were doing a prayer service every weekend. So we said to ourselves, we need our own building... period! That much we knew for sure.

POST TOUR...

This campaign is based on us finishing the documentary tour which begins March 28, 2020 and ends in June of 2020 https://youtu.be/K7-rmqbNVso

IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11565176/reference

 

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FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Why-Comedy-Clubs-Fail-114114706816755/?modal=admin_todo_tour

When you want to start a business you raise funds. When you want to shoot a movie, same thing, you must raise capital. We want to open a comedy club, so we need to raise money. And this is how we choose to raise it.

Ask yourself, what if we went across the country and interviewed a bunch of relevant people about owning and running a successful comedy, took that knowledge, and used it to open up our own club. Would it work? Here comes another social experiment!

Here’s the plan:
A fellow comedian and myself will be touring the North, East, South and the West interviewing old and current club owners.  Showing where clubs closed and hopefully a little of their backstory on why they closed. We have a 50k goal for initial investment for the building. Why 50k? Because we already have our eye on a building in Lansing that is already open and doing business. What we do know for sure is that location, location, location is super important! This is the perfect spot and a must have!

Rules of engagement: Gather the data and apply what we have learned to the opening of a club and continue updating and Vlogging the results. We will Vlog every step of the way through Patreon which you can follow here: https://www.patreon.com/wccf

We estimate that the total project should take about 2 years. 8 months to gather all of the interviews / footage etc, edit, package and distribute the film and then start the club process. The next step would be to calculate and evaluate. Determine whether we can move forward with the process of opening a club. If we are lucky and are able to move forward, this is where the next 16 months come into play.

End game: Raise the 50k to acquire and open the club we will call, "Funny is Funny Comedy Club" (We already own the domain name). We have interested investors who patronized our old club and will join us in this venture if we raise 50k. The idea is simple. In theory, if we follow the rules we learn in the movie, we should be able to open a successful comedy club. Right?

We take comedy seriously! The business and the craft. Even though we had a club and it didn't close because of financial reasons we still want to learn what we don't know from the majors. We want to do this right next time, so we are going to school! We want to open a comedy club in Lansing, MI in 2021. Not just any comedy club but a SUCCESSFUL comedy club. How do we do that? They close all the time. Well, hopefully this movie helps us figure that out.

LET US MAKE THIS CLEAR! If we do not raise at least 25k, we will refund ALL donated funds. We will just chalk it up to another great experience in comedy. If we reach 25k and not the 50k we may still be able to do something but on a smaller scale. Again, we should learn how we can make that work as well. If we do not reach at least 25k then we will return the funds less the fees they take out in transactional costs.

We would like to reach this goal by the time the film is released. (End of October 2020) In fact, I think it would be a great idea to premiere the film at the comedy club on opening night for FREE to all. Hmm I like that!

In the end, we need laughter... period! We love to make people laugh and want to provide a professional and safe space for the performers and the crowds. To cultivate new talent along with the seasoned.

Donations

  • Anonymous  
    • $3,330 (Offline)
    • 2 mos

Organizer

Amaru Lewis 
Organizer
Lansing, MI
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