Last week, Atlanta Film and TV interviewed Director & Executive Producer of Sound Off Documentary, Herman I. Pryor, Jr. Ed.D. If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, there will be a film screening of this documentary on Saturday, February 29th! Discounted tickets are still available until Friday, February 28th, taking $5 off regular priced tickets when you use the code HEARUS at checkout, via https://soundoffdocumentary.ticketleap.com
Could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
My name is Herman Pryor, and I’m a Self-Equity/Accountability Coach, Author, Entrepreneur, and Founder of HIP Enterprise, LLC®, a professional coaching and consulting firm based in Washington, DC. I’m also a first-time Director and the Executive Producer of Sound Off. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of the District of Columbia, and a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Administration and Educational Leadership from Morgan State University. Lastly, I’m an initiate of the Zeta Epsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
As a coach and former Therapist, I provide change support to others by helping those seeking pathways toward self-betterment and self-worth secure self-actualization that aligns accountability with goal attainment. I’m also a mental health advocate and the Creator and Co-founder of PROOF-The Live Show, a mental health and wellness awareness platform that creates and curates meaningful dialogue around shattering stigmas associated with the alignment between mental wellness and entrepreneurship for minorities. I believe that in order to truly acquire self-equity, one must eagerly commit to the process of inspiring others to action. For more info please visit
www.pryoritycoaching.com or www.prooftheliveshow.com
Can you give us a little background about the Sound Off Documentary?
Sound Off is a poetic visualization of authenticity regarding the Black male perspective on a range of timely subjects and impacts the concept of validation for Black men. The film explores the Black male experience in real-time and brings awareness to the realities of what survival looks and sounds like for Black men in 2020.
I created the film because I have a two-year-old son who I felt wouldn’t have content to relate to as a Black man growing up in America 10-20 years from now outside of the civil rights movement and Black Lives Matter. In my opinion, there is a lack of content available to the African-American audience, which ultimately empowered me to find a way to contribute toward filling in the gap. I felt that if I could help capture and visualize a community of Black men willingly engaging in healthy and effective communication exchange, we would then benefit from an additional form of cleansing through the film’s content that positively supports the evolve of Black men through peer mentoring.
Black men seldom offer continuity when expressing emotions or sharing inner thoughts, feelings, frustrations, and perspectives until it's too late. My goal was to create an anthropological love letter to the culture that supported our connection as Black men in a positive light while serving as a survival resource/tool for the next generation of Black men.
What made you decide to produce this documentary?
Empowering Black men in America never gets old. Outside of church, therapy is the next level of support recommended for Black men with regards to safe spaces to share and heal. This film highlights another overlooked support mechanism which is peer mentoring, that is as effective if not more as the other avenues of community for Black men.” Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us, a Netflix docuseries recounting the controversial Central Park Five case from 1989, as an inspiration to create visually, also inspired me. I would like audiences to walk away with a little more knowledge. I want those who view the documentary to feel a genuine connection and acquire more education on what the Black male experience is about — how they view themselves and how they feel they're viewed by the world.
What made you go the documentary route?
Black men desire to connect with other black men in healthy ways more than we admit however it’s not a mainstream norm. Films have a way of imprinting knowledge or causes in a way that’s effective and impactful so I felt a need to highlight the visual power of our connectedness and willingness to share, bond, and heal as Black men.
About how long did it take you to film the documentary?
Filming was complete within one weekend, but post-production took about two months.
What is one piece of advice you could give those who desire to produce documentaries?
My first piece of advice would be to just “Do it!” Documentaries allow one to educate while setting the story or narrative straight or propelling stories forward. If you’re a creative that has been in search of ways to align your passions with purpose, then this is an outlet you will enjoy. Simply put, be bold in breaking vicious cycles, dare to create, and be convicted in your will to inspire and empower others.
For more information, you can follow the Sound off Documentary on Facebook and also @soundoffdocumentary on Instagram. You can also follow Herman Pryor, Jr., Ed.D. @dr_hip.