Rod Veal | The People’s Filmmaker
who is rod veal?
Rod Veal’s Blog
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Breakfast with Ana
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Rod Veal is a photographer of nearly 20 years and the author of three feature length screenplays as well as director of five narrative shorts including The Lucid Perceptive Dream and Breakfast with Ana. Currently, he is in development on his first feature Reparations Check scheduled for production in late 2016.
Inspired by the photos of Gordon Parks and the films of Spike Lee, Veal was inspired early on by the conflict and beauty inherent in the experience of blacks in America. He soon realized the power of cinema to inspire and enlighten as well as spark difficult conversations.
Rod shot his first stories in video production classes at the University of Illinois. He produced Amauri’s Ty that attempted to stem the use of racial epithets between African-Americans. After graduation, he would become a photojournalist shooting Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals and documenting the black socialite scene in Chicago amongst other freelance work for the Chicago Defender, the old surviving African American daily newspaper in the country.
Next he was off to California where he spent the next 16 years as a photojournalist at the Orange County Register in Orange County, CA. There he developed his skills for storytelling by pursuing photo documentaries End of the Journey and Ex-football star repairs his body one workout at a time. Eventually, he would begin shooting video profiles on locals for the newspaper’s website. That developed into shooting a sports web series entitled Tough Knocks where he covered two high school football teams, a hs basketball team and became known as a good luck charm because the team’s won championships with him around.
Since then, Rod has been on a mission to “heal black folks through film”. Growing up in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, he wanted to create movies for African-Americans that fostered hope, unity and pride without focusing on the trite characterizations commonly attributed to black characters.
Rod now lives in Long Beach, CA. which he describes as “Chitown by the Sea”. He’s also the proprietor at rodvealphotography.com. In his free time he likes bike riding around Long Beach or watching movies.