By Greg Gelpi
Color isn't an issue for a local entertainment entrepreneur.
William Anthony Hollins, the director, writer and producer of Pecan Motion Picture Studios, has set his sites on developing the Hollywood of the South.
Hollins, who runs the minority production company, said metro Atlanta is an "untapped resource" of talent.
His goal, though, isn't creating entertainment for blacks, but creating entertainment for all people and all races.
"If you can ever cross that boundary from when people look at you for your work, not for the color of your skin, you'll become successful," he said.
Following in the tradition of "Leave it to Beaver," Hollins said he wants to provide "wholesome" family entertainment.
Growing up in Mississippi, he wrote his first commercial in sixth grade, graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in film and has written 13 screenplays and pilots for four sitcoms, he said.
Pecan Pictures, the umbrella company for a number of others, is working on a variety of endeavors, including a 3-D computer-animated cartoon using technology similar to that of the Hollywood hit "Shrek," Hollins said.
About a year into the three-year production of the cartoon featuring the Hiptoons, Hollins said movie-goers can expect to see the film in 2006. Hiptoons has a cast of 35 cartoon characters designed by Pecan Pictures. In the movie, Funky Freddy Fox, Eye-Ma Cheetah and others teach lessons, such as comradery and working together.
Putting a twist on the trend of "reality" television, he said he wants to produce his own version of reality TV, showing blacks and whites interacting and living together. In March, he plans production of a sitcom about an interracial family.
James Jernigan, a Clayton College & State University graduate with 20 years experience in the television industry, said it is "extremely tough" to break into the industry. More and more television channels, though, provide more and more opportunities to get into the industry.
"The promise of a 500-channel universe is becoming a reality," Jernigan, the chief executive officer of 1-800-TV-Crews, said, adding "I feel like it continues to diversify."
The industry is advertising-driven, he said, and productions that can attract advertising will survive.
Hollins said he will go into production of two sitcoms next month as his company continues work on the computer-animated movie of the Hiptoons, drawing on local talent and resources.