From an early age, Gerald has had an obsession with storytelling. He used a pen and scratch pieces of paper to externalize his overactive imagination. This was a trait most likely passed down from his grandmother, Gladys Mae Ellen Jasper. Mrs. Jasper had written hundreds of poems about the Bible, love, and life. She's been one of his biggest inspirations.
At age 12, Gerald remembers buying Captain America and the Falcon #184, a comic book he found on a rack at a neighborhood store. "Our church was going to Universal Studios that day and I wanted to have something to read on the way. While waiting for the bus, I spotted the book that started it all. As a matter of fact, I still have it. I loved Captain America back then because I felt he stood for what America should be." Gerald continued to buy Captain America and the back issues. Next, he picked up other titles like the Avengers, Iron Man, X-Men, and the Fantastic Four.
Besides comic books, Gerald's imagination was spawned by watching those old television shows like "Twilight Zone, the Outer Limits, Star Trek, and One Step Beyond. "What intrigued me the most about those shows is that they kept you in suspense, entertained you, while offering some kind of social comment about the morality of mankind. They made a statement. They made you think."
Then came the time Gerald wanted put a comic together. "I remember trying to
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team up with an old friend of mine, Reggie Boone. I think we were twelve or thirteen at the time. "He was the artist and I was the writerâ€¦but we could never agree on the direction the comic should go so it never happened."
Years after much soul searching, Gerald returned to school in 1990. He picked up enough credits from West L.A. Junior College to transfer to the USC School of Cinema-Television. A couple of years later, he received his B.A. in film production. Immediately after that, he spent nearly a month down at the Sundance Film Labs in Utah and received valuable experience about how film were made and stories told. He later earned a Certification in Screenwriting from the Writers' Program at UCLA Extension program.
In October of 2002, Gerald founded Haynes Entertainment. "I decided I had to get a bit more serious about filmmaking and fulfilling my dreamsâ€¦ so I headed down to the County Clerks office and filed a DBA."
Gerald's first independent short film, "Hysteria," screened at the Pan African Film Festival where it was well received by its audience. "Hysteria," revolves around a detective who tells his psychiatrist about his encounters with the supernatural.
Gerald says, "There's a fine line between fantasy and reality. I've always been fascinated with how the mind works. 'Hysteria" is the type of film that challenges you to think on a different level." He's currently working on a companion piece to "Hysteria."
Gerald's goals are to firmly establish an entertainment company that satisfies the needs of audiences of all ethnicities and age groups. He feels he can accomplish this by creating stories that are universally appealing. Another goal is to create a film and art school that would educate economically challenged youth. He states that, "â€¦it's important for kids to know about careers in the entertainment industry. Not everyone has to be a rapper or basketball star to feel like they've accomplished something."
"As a Christian I definitely would like to keep everything I write family friendly. I don't believe it's always necessary to use profanity or sexual situations for the sake of entertainment. I also think that African American women are underrepresented in leading roles."
Gerald currently serves as the Director of Marketing for the Hollywood Black Film Festival which is heading into its 11th year. He's also a member of the Organization of Black Screenwriters (OBS). He lives in Wilmington with his wife Tierra and has three children.
Founder Gerald G. Haynes on the set of his latest film.
Super Cargo: A woman with extraordinary martial arts skills must protect a gifted young woman who is being pursued by a group of mysterious individuals.
Untitled Hysteria Companion Piece: A man is haunted by an image of a truth that he may not be prepared to face.