We are sharing here our recent interview interviewed Entrepreneur, Filmmaker & Fashion Designer ‘Michael “Lyfelong” Foster’.
Pro Media Mag : First of all please do introduce yourself to our readers.
Michael Foster : I am Michael “Lyfelong” Foster. I’m a Filmmaker, International Creative, & Entrepreneur amongst other things.
Pro Media Mag : Who or what inspired you as an artist growing up?
Michael Foster : First and foremost I’d have to say my earliest artistic inspiration was Michael Jackson. He was for me at 4 years old and to this day the epitome of creativity. I remember being a kid watching the “Thriller” video being amazed because it was an actual movie. As far as filmmakers I’d have to say Tarantino and Scorsese had the earliest impact on me as a Writer/Director. Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, GoodFellas, & Casino are still today some of my favorite films. Tarantino’s style of dialogue and Scorsese’s gangster elements can be found in some if not most of my work so far, just with my own take on them.
Pro Media Mag : You started as music artist and received so much appreciation. What helped you developed your music skills to that extent?
Michael Foster : I started writing songs and poetry when I was 11 years old and I always used any opportunity I could to let people hear my work. Once I started recording professionally under my “Lyfelong” moniker I kept myself open to constructive criticism. And from there I just kept getting better.
Pro Media Mag : Tell us about your short films collection ‘Reel Lyfe Cinema Vol.1’ ?
Michael Foster : It’s a collection of my best short films to date. These are the ones that I toured with on the national and international film festival circuit and received the most praise for. I wanted to provide the rest of the world who may not have been present at the screenings an opportunity to see my work since people were always asking. Plus it provided me an opportunity to prove the people wrong who told me I couldn’t monetize short films. You can, you just have to be creative.
Pro Media Mag : You have won several awards. What do you rate as best achievement in your career so far?
Michael Foster : That’s a tough one because every day there’s literally a new achievement. But I’ll say when my first film “Evelyn Black” was selected to be screened at the Montreal International Black Film Festival. I was new to the world of filmmaking and festivals and for Joyce Fuerza, the Programming Coordinator of the festival, to find me showed me I was headed in the right direction. Once I got to Montreal they rolled out the red carpet for me and had me feeling like I had officially arrived as a filmmaker. Being there around so many filmmakers from all across the world gave me a totally different mindset about films and how the U.S. is viewed globally. I then realized that I was an American Filmmaker representing what it was like to be Black in America through my film. That experience also made me want to be fluent in another language besides English seeing how in Montreal they speak French, but can speak English at the flip of a switch. That showed a great deal of intellect to me. It also showed me the bar for filmmaking as my film was obviously good or wouldn’t have been there, but I saw where I had room to improve. When you’re watching the best films from across the world it keeps you humble and striving to be better.
Pro Media Mag : Our readers would like to know more about ‘Swagger TV’?
Michael Foster : I started Swagger TV back in 2004 on Public Access but had the idea to have it online as well on the site. This was before youtube or anybody was streaming so I remember people looking confused when I explained my vision to them. I found a way to have the show play on the site through a Windows Media player. It was at that point I knew I was ahead of the curve when it came to how media was to be consumed so from there I just wanted to continue to push the envelope. The next step was making Swagger TV the first Urban Media Network. We were the first to stream live from events of that magnitude to the urban demographic. We interviewed artists from Rick Ross to Wale and more along with live streaming a comedy show, “Tone X & Friends”, every Tuesday. We had viewers from literally all across the world tuned in.
Pro Media Mag : What are the specialties of your Fashion line Inner Elite?
Michael Foster : As of now it’s more urban and street wear, but the process of expanding into other areas is already in the works. Since I was young I realized people would always give me praise for my style of dress to the point of even emulating it. So I figured why not create my own brand since all I was doing was being a billboard for designers who could care less about me.
Pro Media Mag : Entrepreneur, Filmmaking & Fashion Designing how do you manage it all?
Michael Foster : It takes a lot of balance. First and foremost my wife keeps things balanced with the household and family so that allows me to manage all of my ventures and projects without being overwhelmed. From there I have a great team of people that I’ve surrounded myself with.
Pro Media Mag : Any advice for the aspiring young artist?
Michael Foster : Try to focus on one goal, project, or task at a time in the beginning. Spreading yourself too thin will work against you. Learn to say no as well. Overcommitting will also spread you too thin. Surround yourself with people that have the same energy for success as you, and also people that may be smarter than you. Other than that, just never stop forward progress and you’ll get to where you want to be soon enough.
Pro Media Mag : what’s the best way to follow you online?
Michael Foster : My website TheMichaelFosterExperience.com is the main hub for all things The Experience.
Follow me on Instagram at @TheMichaelFoster.