My name is Arvel Chappell III. I am the writer/director of “Compton: The Antwon Ross Story.” It’s an uplifting film about redemption, perseverance and social mobility through flight. Few people know that Compton has an airport and my goal is to take audiences above the streets of Compton to share in the freedom through flight with Antwon. I’ve spent a good amount of my life in Compton and have always wondered about the planes I’d see landing at the airport. Now as a filmmaker and pilot, my film takes you into that world. This is a different narrative coming out of Compton. This is the real Compton. I’m at the beginning stages of this film (talking to studios/production companies/financiers/talent) and I’m taking everyone along for the ride. This is an exciting project and slowly it’s gaining momentum. Check out the teaser/trailer below.
I’m just a dude who’s passionate about cinema, aviation and science. This film combines everything I love but Antwon is not just me. Antwon is my cousins, friends, strangers I’ve met. Antwon is an allegory for the city itself. I spent a good portion of my childhood in Compton. My roots in the city go back to the 1950s when my grandfather broke the color barrier and became the first African-American to run for office. It’s all that history, mine, my family’s that has informed the writing of this film.
I came into filmmaking through making home videos in the late 80s early 90s. As a kid, I was the official family videographer. My grandparents had a large over the shoulder VHS camcorder and I operated it at every family event. That’s really how it all started; home videos at Grandma’s with the whole family. While I was in high school, I took photography and wrote poetry so at first, film was just a merger of the two. Then in the early 2000s, the computer revolution started and while studying engineering as an undergrad, I started playing around editing in flash, final cut pro and adobe premiere. I made many short films and nearly failed engineering school one quarter because I was editing. I graduated with my engineering degree, had a lot of industry mentors before I took the leap to USC’s graduate film school. It’s been a long road but the passion to create has driven me through it all.
Join me as it’s actually happening, from the beginning. I’m not even talking about the production, I’m talking about all the stuff before you even get on set. The road to making “Compton: The Antwon Ross Story” starts here. For more clips of me pursuing my passion, piloting planes and embarking on the journey to making this film, check out my blog at http://www.comptontakesflight.com/.