Independent filmmaker Robert Parham sits down with INFLUX Magazine

by Gordon Shelly

Robert Parham is a retired kickboxing and karate champion and a military veteran, turned independent filmmaker.

Additionally, he holds a PhD, and his journey as a creative artist is inspiring. 

INFLUX: You have a very unique background. What can you tell us about yourself?

ROBERT: I was formerly the 5-time World Kickboxing Champion, a 20-year military veteran, and now an independent filmmaker. I’ve been making independent films for about eight years now. I also have a doctorate degree in business administration, which aids in making decisions regarding making films.

INFLUX: What are you currently working on?

ROBERT: I am currently working on two films. The first is Heroes: The Saga Continues, which is a children’s martial arts film starring Willie “The Bam” Johnson (WMAC Masters) and Marcos Taylor (Straight Outta Compton). The second film is Cocaine Roach, starring Elise Hollywood Evans (Mad As Hell) and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (Cooley High).

INFLUX: What are your goals for your current project?

ROBERT: My expectations for any project I’m involved in is to inform and entertain the audience. Distribution and income are unsaid expectations as those are now easier than ever to accomplish.

INFLUX: What have been your greatest challenges as an indie filmmaker?

ROBERT: My greatest challenges as a filmmaker are attaining budgeting (through investments or self-funding), locations, and scheduling.

Robert Parham directs on set!

INFLUX: What has been your most significant accomplishment as a filmmaker?

ROBERT: My most significant accomplishment as a filmmaker is working alongside the actors/actresses I grew up admiring. I was fortunate to work with Fred Williamson, Cynda Williams, Eric Roberts, Gloria Hendry, Ron Van Clief, Vernon Wells, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Marcos Taylor, Art Camacho, and Chyna McCoy, to name drop a few.

INFLUX: Tell us about some of your past projects and where we can watch them if they’re available?

ROBERT: My most recent project is Mad as Hell, which is currently streaming on Tubi, Amazon, Vudu, Hoopla and Plex. Some of my past projects include Buster Jones, Snow Black, Jackson Bolt, and Soul Cage.

INFLUX: What goals to you have for yourself moving forward?

ROBERT: My goals are to complete five films I have slated for 2024. My ultimate goal is to become a distributor, thus giving indie filmmakers a well-deserved fair deal.

INFLUX: What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out?

ROBERT: The advice I’d give myself would be to take your time and study more of the technical aspects of filmmaking such as editing, SFX and sound.

INFLUX: Do you have a favorite director?

ROBERT: My favorite director is John Woo.