Visiting Filmmakers Series Online: Kwanza Gooden and Mannon Butt: Freelancing in LA
Tuesday, April 14, 2020 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Kwanza Nicole Gooden is a director, writer, producer, editor, and videographer who's work has been featured on USA Today, BuzzFeed, and BET Networks. In 2018, she was awarded Best Director at the Oscar-qualifying Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival for her short film Token. That same year she directed, shot, and edited Prisoners of Prohibition, a four-part doc-series EP’d by Snoop Dogg and his production company, Merry Jane. Prisoners later went on to win a gold Telly Award in 2019. A Jill of all trades, Kwanza’s vast skill set has allowed her to create a diverse portfolio encompassing many styles of visual content.Through film, TV and visual media, Kwanza continues to provide a platform that amplifies the often muted voices of those that are underrepresented and misrepresented.
After graduating from GMU's Film and Video Studies program in 2011, Mannon started working as a part-time Sports ENG Camera Operator for NBA Wizards, NHL Capitals, WNBA Mystics and NCAA Georgetown Hoyas home games, as well as a contracted, full-time Assistant Editor at Discovery Channel with WilmaTV Inc. He spent his free time working as a Director of Photography on several GMU Thesis Films, which led to his first paid DP job on a small VA indie film, Admins.
In 2015, Mannon moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a Cinematographer. After freelancing on several AFI, USC and NYFA Short Thesis Films as either a Camera Assistant or G&E, he got a job as the in-house Cinematographer / Media Manager at Narrator Inc., a film marketing and advertisement company. There he started working with several film studios like Warner Bros., Sony, Lionsgate, Netflix, Fox and Paramount. He has been the Camera Operator / DP for several behind the scenes DVD Featurettes and film advertisement pieces for movies such as John Wick 3, Bill and Ted 3, Birds of Prey, Joker, Deadpool 2, Space Jam 2 and The Lego Movie 2. While working in the film industry, he continues to use his free time to DP several different projects.