Skip to main content

Purpose, Passion, and PAs: Meet Lamont Richmond II

Lamont Richmond II > > >

A few days after Shooting Stars, the LeBron James biopic, premiered on Peacock, Lamont Richmond II dropped a link to an Instagram post from @MakeItUniversal in my inbox. It was a short feature about working as a production assistant (PA) on the film.

“I started in the hospital as a floor tech, cleaning floors,” Richmond tells us in the video. “I did that for three years. Got a call to be a production assistant. She said a P.A. No clue what the letters meant.”

And then there he was, on the Akron set of Shooting Stars, handing out call sheets and wrangling extras. I connected with that experience, having worked as a PA on a handful of productions some 20-plus years ago.

Which is what stood out to me when Richmond shared the video. Richmond is a young guy. Not like the crew of PAs I worked with. We were all in our early 20s, hoping to make the leap up the production ladder.

Beyond his obvious love for the world of film production, why was Richmond working as a PA?

Then, in the video, Richmond tells us.

“They always say, ‘What’s your why?’ My ‘why’ is to get my son through college,” Richmond explains. And then reveals that his son would receive his undergraduate degree that very week.

Hell, that’s a movie right there. I had to know more about Richmond’s incredible journey.

Richmond and crew from 'Shooting Stars' first day of production

An Introduction to Production

Richmond, a Cleveland native, was first introduced to production work while attending the University of Toledo. “I always wanted to be an actor,” Richmond tells me. “Always wanted to be in front of the camera or behind it.”

At Toledo, Richmond was introduced to broadcast television production, working with the student news program, learning how to work the camera and read a teleprompter. He even acted in a commercial for the student-run television station.

His next significant production work, however, wouldn’t arrive for another 10 years or so.

Working on the 'White Noise' set

From Floor Tech to Production Assistant

Here’s where things diverge a bit from the Universal video. Richmond, working at his floor tech job, was set to do day work as an extra the next morning. During the shoot on that film, background actors started to grow a bit antsy. For extras, movie sets can require a lot of patience, as the time on set is far outweighed by the time waiting to act.

“People started complaining. Everybody except me,” Richmond explains. “A crew member said she liked my attitude and thought my personality and passion would fit perfectly with being a PA. At the time, I had no clue what a PA was, but I still said ‘Yes.’”

The job was not on the Shooting Stars set, however.

“Turned out to be on the set of Judas and the Black Messiah. Big time!” says Richmond. “I was totally overwhelmed, confused, and way out of my league. Everyone saw it, too, but I stuck in there until the end.”

Ready for the next big thing

Rookie Mistakes Lead to Professional Opportunities

While the crew may have noted his rookie status, they also saw his strong work ethic and passion for filmmaking. That landed him a gig on White Noise, the Netflix film starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig, and an offer at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. He turned down the Tyler Perry role to join Shooting Stars and stick close to home.

His son was about to graduate, after all, fulfilling the promise Richmond and his son’s mother set years ago, to help his son financially. He graduated in 2023 with a degree in sports management.

“Balancing a flourishing career with personal responsibilities is difficult,” Richmond says. “And I have nothing but deep gratitude for the hard work and support I’ve received that has allowed me to help my son and pursue my dreams.”

Waiting for That Next Incredible Day

Richmond’s burgeoning career has already provided plenty of memorable moments. Reflecting on his journey, Richmond says he even cherishes freezing temperatures and the 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. workday on Judas and the Black Messiah. And he’ll never forget witnessing the staged train and truck crash - a remarkable feat of filmmaking - while working on White Noise.

And he can’t wait for the next incredible day.

Comments

Popular Posts

Everything we know about ‘Superman’ filming in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio

Writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely's Superman from DC's All-Star Superman Superman , under the guise of Genesis , was among the films awarded 2024 film tax incentives by the Ohio Department of Development. The Warner Bros. movie was one of 23 film, television, and theater projects awarded incentives through the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit Program. Superman, formally titled  Superman: Legacy , kicks off writer/director James Gunn’s DC Universe . Here’s everything we know about the production. Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, caricatured by Shuster Superman  will film on location in Cleveland and Cincinnati Superman  will film in Cleveland and Cincinnati, according to OhioData . On-location work in Cleveland is expected to start June 17 and last through July 16, according to an April 23 casting call from Angela Boehm Casting. Neither Warner Bros. , the Greater Cleveland Film Commission  (GCFC), nor Film Cincinnati have issued an official announceme

Two Disney films - 'Ella McCay,' 'Eenie Meanie' - and M. Night Shyamalan feature ‘Trap’ among Ohio Film Credit award recipients

Samara Weaving will star in 'Eenie Meanie,' shooting in Cleveland > > > Two Disney films, Ella McCa y and Eenie Meanie , and M. Night Shyamalan’s next feature film, Trap , were among eight recipients of Ohio’s Motion Picture Tax Credit program, announced at the end of July. Projects selected by Ohio’s Motion Picture Tax Credit program receive a refundable tax credit of 30% on production cast and crew wages, as well as other in-state expenditures. The eligibility criteria encompass a wide spectrum of creative endeavors, including feature-length films, documentaries, pre-Broadway productions, miniseries, video games, and music videos. Four other projects, encompassing an array of genres and narratives, were awarded production tax credits, as well. The program’s goal is to act as a powerful catalyst, encouraging both in-state and out-of-state filmmakers to choose Ohio as the canvas for their artistic endeavors. All eight awardees include: Samara Weaving in 'Ready or

5 Horrific Questions with 'Fetish of Flesh's' Freddie Meade

A test scene from the upcoming 'Fetish of Flesh' by Demented Media >>> Newark, Ohio’s, own Freddie Meade was 11 years old when he became a horror movie fan and we all have Andrew Copp to thank for it. Copp was an ultra-low-budget indie filmmaker from Dayton, Ohio, known for The Mutilation Man and Church of the Eyes . Copp died in 2013. “I met Andrew Copp and Tom 'Woodstock' Lee [Copp’s colleague], and I thought it was incredible that I actually got to meet someone who did that,” Meade says. That chance encounter set him on his filmmaking path. Meade's latest project, A Fetish of Flesh , is a spine-tingling endeavor that blurs the line between reality and fiction. Drawing inspiration from their own experiences, Meade and his friends ventured into the woods to create their first movie. However, what transpires in A Fetish of Flesh is a chilling tale of a group of students embarking on a thesis project, stumbling upon a modern-day Manson family reminiscen