Greensboro, North Carolina, writer, filmmaker and actress Alyze Elyse has made a historical milestone by garnering over 25 million streams on Amazon Prime, making her the first female independent filmmaker to achieve these numbers.
Another reason the news is so huge is that competition is fierce on the home front for female filmmakers and producers in a predominately male industry. After over a decade of writing, producing and casting, things are finally paying off for Elyse.
Her first film Innocent came by God’s calling. “Some don’t always believe in callings, but I believe it chose me,” she told Rolling Out.
“Filmmaking was never a dream of mine. I was coming off the road from music and felt it was always a fight in this music industry for me and was getting tired of the politics and a lot of the false perceptions the music game had to offer.”
“I remember sitting in my car listening to my music and wondering why is it so hard and I was very confused and sad feeling like I needed to give up and I heard a voice say write a movie. At first, I thought it was crazy, so I delayed for a few weeks in doing so but I heard that voice again, and it was telling me this film will bring you more exposure than anything you’ve ever done before. So I remember wondering what to write about, and I was listening to my album, and the story came to me. I could visualize the story, so I went to buy some paper and started writing until I was done and Innocent was born.”
According to Elyse, it’s so hard for female producers to get recognition because women are normally overlooked in the industry and men are highlighted as the dominant factors much more in the business…but it’s only a false perception because woman or male, I believe talent will always speak for itself and the work over time will become recognized by the people you create it for. It takes time, but it can happen.”
The obstacles that Elyse had to overcome include experiencing rejection. But right now, what keeps her grounded and committed to the art of making movies is the love the people show her.
“When people reach out to say I love your films, it shows me I’m doing something right ’cause they don’t owe me anything; but they take the time to spend their money to buy, stream and embrace my films with so much support, who wouldn’t want that?”
Alyze Elyse has been releasing her projects through her company, Soul City Films. To date, she has eight film projects under her belt all written and executive produced by her for her company.
One incredible thing about Elyse is that she taught herself the business of filmmaking. “I learned by failing and taking certain chances on myself,” she said. “I learned from my mistakes.”
Elyse has indeed broken barriers for females in both music and film alike nationwide. Her releases are distributed through major platforms such as Netflix, Redbox, Walmart, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Video On Demand among others.
And her advice to new filmmakers who are getting started in the business is simple; “Learn the business extensively.”