ATL’s Got a New Spike Lee
By Kandis Knight
Hittmenn Djs President, Rob “Kaspa Da Don” Smith is already a veteran among Atlanta’s elite “movers and shakers”. Ask anyone about his vigorous work ethic and you will get an ear full. In 2008, Smith is going to take the same hustle that made his name big in the music industry to the big screen.
Smith is on an all out “grind mission” that will include directing the movie he wrote and produced titled Off Tha Hook, and producing and starring in a comedy DVD.
“I am free. Everything that I want to do and anything that I want to create, I feel as though I can attain it,” says the mogul, reclining into a lush leather chair while feverishly texting on his I-Phone. “I am a writer and a visionary. So when it comes to production, I am able to conquer whatever I set my sights on.”
Off Tha Hook is the second movie written by Smith and his first production. “The film production crew came to me with the movie because they wanted to take it to the next level. Off Tha Hook is basically a street oriented movie featuring Rich Boy, Dem Franchize Boys, Stacks, Polow Da Don and Greg Street, we have a few others, you know surrounded around the music industry? You will get to see some of your favorite artists showcasing their skills in the acting realm.”
Smith is not new to film production, he has been known to pen entire scripts in a days work. “I am a blessed writer. I write fast once I have a vision.”
Off Tha Hook is a contemporary urban story about karma. It is the story of “BP” played by actor Terry Brown. “It is about a drug deal gone bad. The main character, BP, is a guy who doesn’t care. He is an assertive persistent character from the street that doesn’t understand no,” explains Smith.
“I think it is time that Atlanta grows, not so much in music but on a bigger level such as film industry. The film industry is just now getting ready to take off. True, we have Tyler Perry and Ryan Glover at Turner Broadcasting. However, I think Atlanta as a whole is ready to grow, we have the scenery and the people, let’s draw a niche in that way and give the world more films made in Atlanta.”
Smith has been a pioneer in the music industry for many years, and his transition into film will be no different. “I believe I am a pioneer, my writing and directing techniques are different. People are going to appreciate my editing techniques and the unique angles I choose. With this film I will be able to touch a lot of people.”
Smith admits it was difficult to teach hip-hop artists the fine points of acting. Despite the hurdles, the strength of Smith’s production team pulled the project through. “It is all about creativity and the team you have on the creative side. You want to take the person that is most creative with dialogue, location, wardrobe, production and props to get the best results.”
Among the stand out first time actors, is V-103’s star Dj, Greg Street. “Greg Street really did his thing in the movie as far as he had to bring a whole element to the movie. His part was so powerful that it ushered in a direction change in the entire movie.”
Smith is quick to explain the movie was created to “touch the streets”. “It is what it is, it is Off Tha’ Hook, there is something for everyone, murder, mystery, comedy and drama.” Off Tha Hook will be distributed in March presented to a hood near you by Smith’s sprawling International Hittmenn Djs network.
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