top of page
AN INTERVIEW WITH Bill Liggins, Producer & DIRECTOR
As a filmmaker, please introduce yourself.
I'm Bill Liggins, a native of Cleveland OH, resident of Tampa FL.
Why did you become a filmmaker/director?
I grew up in media. I was a stage actor and a journalist. I was even a television sportscaster/producer in the New York City area.
After taking some time away from the business to raise a son, my wife, Yolanda and I were looking for other challenges.
I was already a published novelist with six books on the market when we came across a thriving community of independent film producers in our area.
They inspired me to take one of my books, I NEED; I WANT, to film. I also thought my background in media could be applied solidly as this film's director.
Give some more information about yourself and the films you have made so far, about your experience?
I NEED; I WANT is my first feature film. It was based on my award-winning contemporary novel of the same name.
My other novels are: WARNING (Science Fiction), NOVA CHASERS (Science Fiction), UNDYING LOVE (Science Fiction), TABLE OF THE SUN (Historic),
and THE SENIOR YEAR (Contemporary). I had also produced an award-winning documentary TV program called BOULEVARDS,
was a stage actor in such productions as A SOLDIERS PLAY, THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING, and THE ME NOBODY KNOWS.
I was a sportscaster for several TV and cable channels and even called play-by-play for college basketball and football.
I've been honored with many awards for the things I've worked on. Among them: I'm a two-time Emmy Award nominee, won two CableACE Awards,
winner of two Associated Press Awards, two UPI awards, and was an AAMBC Urban Book of the Year nominee.
I am a graduate of Cleveland State University with degrees in Geology and Communications.
What are the films or people that had impacts on you and deeply inspired you to become a filmmaker?
I can't pick one -- so all of them.
You have made your film which got some awards from "
American Golden Picture International Film Festival".
As a filmmaker, why you decided to make it?
It is my first film. I have plenty of stories to draw on from my books. There were some fiscal considerations, and my stories were large in scale.
Only I NEED; I WANT was reachable with the tiny budget we had. Plus, this was an actors movie about actors.
It was fun for me to direct it, and fun for the actors to be in it.
What were some of the challenges you faced in making this specific film?
Budget: We shot until we ran out of money, take a break until we had money again, then shot some more.
Covid: The day we started shooting was the day we had a government-mandated shut-down. It was a year before I felt comfortable enough to resume shooting.
We managed to hold most of the cast together. We managed, with the guidance of two healthcare professionals,
to keep our cast relatively comfortable with our Covid precautions.
Schedule and location issues were just "little fires" that seemed nothing compared to the other two problems.
Let us more about your experience in this film?
Our core cast, Milly Figuereo, Bernie Rodriguez, Karen Maitzen-Sarkady, James L. Lincoln, and Ivy Sunflower, were ultimate pros.
I could understand their skepticism over working with a first-time director. But they put that aside, gave it their all, and together we made discoveries
and built new dimensions to what eventually became a showcase for everyone. I'm also proud of the members of our featured and principal cast,
including Latraia Savage, Jonathan Montes, Susmita Patel, Gabrielle Ringler, and Bri Bryant.
Of course, there would be no pictures without our director of photography Allen J. Johnson. He was virtually a one-man band with all his equipment.
With his mild demeanor and technical mobility, we managed to keep everything on schedule and under budget without losing the artistry of this project.
And of course, my editor/co-producer and wife, Yolanda Cabrera-Liggins. This was her first experience with a feature film as well.
We had twelve weeks in a little office learning and applying new editing technology and techniques, overcoming debate and clashes of creative instincts, a
nd what came out was a presentation right on point.
What was it like to work with your team?
For you what was the biggest lesson you had to learn after making this film?
Converting a 430-page novel into a 116-page screenplay. That's hard. What do you throw out? What do you keep in?
Script format. All that. You have an hour?
What keeps you inspired to continue filmmaking?
Taking what I've learned to a larger scale. The positive feedback from others.
The most important part is distributing the film. What did you do for distributing this film ?
We want to take our film through the film festival circuit first, gain a positive track record, then use that to gain access to popular film streaming services.
What are your filmmaking goals?
I want a self-sustaining career as a writer/director. I would be happy if many of my films were based on my novels too.
What is your next project?
I am eying a college drama, a murder mystery, and a sports story.
Good Luck Bill,
bottom of page