One Creative Door (Temporarily) Closes, while another Creative Door (Permanently) Opens
B-Side Studios and Indie Centers “Film Flip” may be the remedy for the needed artistic void in Chicago
While March typically brings us some expected joy in being the twilight of winter and the proverbial gateway to spring, with longer daylight, leaves sprouting and birds returning from hibernation, its almost as if life and hope are returning after Winter. This year things changed. St. Patrick’s Day, one of the biggest social events in the country, a day when people use those 24 hours as a “welcome back outside” mindset, feasting on corned beef and drinking beer, it’s a happy madness but a madness that we embrace. And let us not forget about “March Madness”, the most thrilling basketball tournament that the month of March brings us. But this year a different March madness descended upon us. The western portion of the planet was impacted by Covid-19, known as “the coronavirus”. The virus impacted us in all directions, so that nothing was safe. St. Patrick’s Day, canceled. March Madness, canceled. Theatres, closed. Film making postponed. Everything stopped.
The pandemic forced a new kind of creativity, changing standard operations, forcing a new approach and resulting in impressive products. Theatre productions now include using Zoom platforms, and virtual table reads, so that artists are still able to entertain their audiences. This applies as well to both B-Side Studios and Indie Center. Indie Center is run by Luis Rivera Jr and B-Side Studios is run by Maurice D. Proffit. To learn more, we were able to talk with Maurice D. Proffit about their latest joint venture named “Film Flip”, an artistic experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Maurice! It’s great to talk with you again. How are you?
I’m great! All things considered. Just taking everything and everyday literally one minute at a time, but at the same time being cautious of everything.
Glad to know that. Please tell us how you got involved with this project? This sounds so exciting and different.
It really is. So, I’ve been in communication with Luis for about the last year or so, when I was a guest on his Podcast, “The Indie Center Podcast”. And since then I’ve stayed in touch with the Indie Center team between him and Jiccarra Hollman, so we’ve had a really strong professional relationship. Luis came to me during the summer and pitched this idea he wanted to try out. At that time, I was in the middle of putting together some virtual content myself for B-Side. And when Luis pitched the concept of this tournament to me, I couldn’t say “YES” fast enough because it was brilliant.
I imagine so. Now, please tell us about the concept.
What we’re doing, were assembling a tournament of paired up actors and each team needs to take a scene from a drama film and reenact/revision that scene as a comedy. So, imagine the iconic court room scene between Tom Cruises character and Jack Nicolas character from “A Few Good Men”. Intense scene, right? Gives you chills when you watch it. And now imagine it as something reimagined where now you’re on the floor cracking up laughing. That’s the kind of energy that is being brought to this project. And what’s great about it, you have no clue what to expect from these, let me tell ya.
This sounds enjoyable, and so different.
It really is, thus the reason why I wanted B-Side to be a heavy factor in the planning and organizing of all of this. When Luis and I met about this, the project gave me a lot of the same vibes that that one viral video had that showed the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” as a dark drama. So, imagine that but seeing it done with 8 different iconic film scenes, this is tremendous.
You mentioned that B-Side wanted to be a “heavy factor” in the planning process, can you expand on that?
Yeah, so this pairing of Indie Center and B-Side Studios really is the perfect marriage because there are areas that Luis and Indie Center are very strong in that helps B-Side up and there are areas that myself and B-Side are strong in that helps Indie Center up. So, the communication between us, the brainstorming and execution, we really have elevated each other to a whole different platform. The experience has been beyond enriching.
Great! Please tell us about teams, you guys have some heavy hitters in this.
Absolutely. I swear, we have assembled 16 of the best of the best when it comes to Chicagoland talent. And the pairings were very interesting because we wanted to make sure that there was instant chemistry between the pair ups. Considering that we were working with a certain window of time, we wanted to make sure that they all hit the group running and that they did. It just echoes even more just how professional they all are when it comes to perfecting their craft. This is why you consistently see them all on stages and on film. They’re stars already in my book.
What exactly is the goal of Film Flip?
This competition serves a few objectives. The main thing is that this is an opportunity for these actors to have a platform to continue showcasing their abilities and skills. Since theatres are closed and a lot of film productions are halted due to covid-19, this was a chance for them to be involved in something innovative and fun. It’s a tremendous opportunity for them to highlight and elevate their creativity and show it to the world. Also, we want to show that artist do what they do in the interest of humanity, whether it be telling stories or creating an escape for people, at the end of the day it’s all about helping others. This is the reason why all the teams are playing for a charity of their choice.
We saw that the teams were playing for charities, that is impressive.
Absolutely. Because we can’t lose focus of the fact that during this pandemic we saw a very rare sighting of unity come across us all when it came to acknowledging our front-line responders, trying to help local businesses and caring for one another as we try our hardest to navigate through this madness. And this tournament is a reminder letting the public know that yes, we are still here to entertain you and take your mind off things, but we can also still help these non-profit organizations that are doing so many great things to help our communities. As an artist you know your purpose to perform is bigger than you. It’s about what you can create today, that’s going to live tomorrow; so those next artists can continue to create for the future. And this is just a slice of that philosophy.
Well you certainly are making strides in complementing that goal.
I hope so. I really hope so.
Can you tell us all of the participants involved?
Definitely: We have “Team Hysterical Illuminators” comprised of Chantelly Johnson and D’Angelo Smith. They are playing for the JED Foundation.
We have team “Act Like Roo”, comprised of Martha Moncada and Lisa Michelle. They are playing for “Live Like Roo” Foundation.
We have team “Buzzin Cuzzins”, comprised of Teresa Johnson and Crissy Johnston. They are playing for The Epilepsy Foundation.
We have team “Passion Project”, comprised of Ahna Ayler and Raynah Unes-Reid. They are playing for Planned Parenthood.
We have team “Mocha Horchata”, comprised of Ruben “Baby Horchata” Ramirez and Doc Hollywood. They are playing for Mercy Home for Boys & Girls.
We have team “Too Cool Crew”, comprised of “Artemio Gonzalez and Chris Haney”. They are playing for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
We have team “Hot Fries”, comprised of Rebecca Kellner and Richard Inman. They are playing for “My Block, My Hood, My City”.
And last, but certainly NOT least, we have team “Beast Mode”, comprised of Andre Robinson and Christian Creasy. They too are playing for “My Block, My Hood, My City”.
You’re right, those are stellar names. How do the teams advance?
Film Flip will all take place on Facebook. Our hosts…by the way, BIG SHOUT OUTS to our hosts for this event both Jiccarra Hollman (from Indie Center) and John Robinson (from B-Side Studios) because they are nothing short of incredible. So anyway, the hosts will introduce the match ups, showing the movie scene they are re-enacting, then showing how they re-enacted the scene. After that, it’s up to votes from the public. The team with the most votes will win and move on to the next round. That next round is turning a comedy scene into a drama scene, same process with the voting. And the finals will be turning a scene into a horror, just in time for Halloween. The final round will be done via monetary votes (like a dollar a vote) and that money will go to the charities involved in the finals. Moving forward from there, we will then crown our first ever Film Flip Champion.
This is very exciting! What a great concept. Congratulations and good luck.
I know, right? One day I want to do this WWE style and have the winners at the end hold up championship belts in the middle of 50,000 people in the arena.
But let’s let covid-19 disappear first, of course.
Of course! Of course!
How can people find this event?
People can follow the Film Flip Page on Facebook at and also on Instagram @film.flip
In addition, you can always follow B-Side Studios and Indie Center on social media.
Will we be seeing more of this epic pairing between B-Side Studios and Indie Center?
I truly believe we will be working together again. I’m telling you, it’s been an amazing journey planning this project out, working with him has been seamless and this won’t be the last time that we see this collab happen. Especially if we do Film Flip 2021 as well, and why not. You know?
I couldn’t agree more. Maurice it’s always a pleasure to talk with you and we’re really looking forward to this event and all of your future projects.
Thank you Splash Magazines. The pleasure is always mine.
Please follow Flip Flip on Facebook at and also on Instagram @film.flip
In addition, you can find B-Side Studios on Facebook at and also on Instagram @bside.studios
Indie Center can be found on Facebook at and also on Instagram @indie_center_podcast
***Big Special Acknowledgements***
- Mike Irizarry, Jr.: Graphic Designer for designing the “Film Flip” Logo.
- Phantom Kickboxing Gym for the Photoshoot location: 852 Sharp Drive Shorewood, IL
- Raul Menchaca for the photography done at the photoshoot
Photos: Courtesy of Maurice D. Proffit