Marlon and Enisha Adams have been in the wedding photography, videography and music business for more than 20 years. Now, they are expanding their talents with the development of their first full-length feature film.
The Orangeburg couple credits God with the success of their business, MEA Entertainment, which provides wedding photography, videography and DJ services for clients located statewide and as far away as Georgia and Virginia.
While the couple have already completed one short film, “The Gift,” they are currently developing their first full-length feature film titled “The Last Dime.”
They say the Christian film will promote the love that God has for everyone in good and bad times and reflect their own faith in God, who has given them the desire and fortitude to take their talents to another level.
“God is our motivation for everything that we do, even in our wedding business and how we handle our clients and do our wedding videos. They’re already done like movies,” Enisha said.
Marlon said, “That’s kind of what inspired us to do it on another scale and level. We already had these stories. I’m always telling stories. Something just pops up in my head … and my wife will say, ‘You’re a really good storyteller.'"
“We’ve got the equipment and things to do a professional film. We never went to school for it (filmmaking). We’re self-taught," he added. "We’re pretty advanced in knowing what it takes to produce a quality movie.”
The couple started out making Christian rap videos and albums to share their love of God, a venture that eventually branched out into photography and wedding videography. Hungry for more ways to share their messages of hope and inspiration, they decided to make short films that would bring people together and encourage them to seek God in times of adversity.
“With everything that we do, we try to give God the glory for all of it. Our company’s slogan is ‘Your Pathway to Another Level of Entertainment.’ We have to go further than just weddings. We went to the next step of film and decided to make a Christian film," Enisha said.
“So we’re still doing ministry and ministering through film beyond the four walls of the church. It’s more of an outreach for us, and then I get to do it with my best friend."
Marlon added, “It’s definitely a ministry, and you have to have a passion for it. We’re not looking to become rich or anything like that, but the main thing is to get the message out that we don’t have to be separated. We’re just teaching others how we can unify. We can do more together than we can do separately.”
“The Last Dime” delves into many societal issues, including racism and policy brutality. The cast includes approximately 40 main characters, many of whom are from the Orangeburg community.
“It’s a Christian movie, and we really focused on the different issues that we’re facing in our society right now: racism, police brutality and a couple of other issues," Marlon said. "We’re supplying a solution to those issues through Christ. All of our movies are Christian-based.”
Enisha noted, “The movie pretty much involves different aspects of a community,” including a mayor, a pair of police officers who are partners and individuals within the same community who are dealing with various life challenges.
“There’s a young lady who lost her daughter as a result of police brutality and another character who’s actually dealing with cancer. God is basically using all of these different situations to bring light to his love and purpose in their lives. That’s basically what the movie is about,” she said. “God is our ultimate orchestrator, and all things are working out for the good even though we can’t see it sometimes.”
The movie’s writer is Orangeburg native William Stokes, a longtime friend of Marlon’s who now resides in North Carolina.
“He was raised on Goff Avenue and he’s been my friend since the second grade. We did a lot of bad things together and when we got saved, we got a chance to do something positive together. He goes to a multicultural church, and all different kinds of nationalities were willing to come out and support the movie,” Marlon said. “That’s part of what the movie is about, trying to break the separation between the different races.”
The first of the movie’s 48 scenes was shot at Stokes' church in High Point, North Carolina, Body of Christ Christian Church. Members of nearby Harvest Church were used as extras in the film’s first scene.
“We really wanted it to be a diverse cast,” Marlon said.
Enisha added, “Our goal is to bring the different cultures together. God doesn’t see color. The film depicts that as well and is about showing God’s love.”
Marlon said the film will probably take a year to complete, noting that professionalism will be key.
He said several more people are needed to serve as extras in the film.
“We need all nationalities. We’re trying to propose to the community that this is an opportunity to be a part of something,” he said.
The couple said they are appreciative of the support they’ve already gotten from their local community.
The cast has conducted table readings at South Carolina State University’s Henderson Davis Theater. S.C. State Drama Program Coordinator Ursula O. Robinson serves as a consultant for the film and is also one of its lead actors.
“Ursula’s input has been very, very valuable. She came to the casting call and said she was very much interested in what we had going on. We fell in love with her," Marlon said. "We had a great connection and had helped her do a film that she co-wrote with one of students titled ‘Little Brown Boys.’”
Enisha added, “It was a great opportunity to work along with her and her students who could get first-hand experience. Some of her students are involved as actors. Whether they get into television or film, they’ll already know the ropes.”
“I am excited about the chance to create this moving story … ," Robinson said. "This is a great opportunity to expose my students to the world of filmmaking and to give them an upclose example of how to live your dream.”
Enisha said she and her husband are passionate about expanding their pursuits and are just trusting God to secure their future success.
“Sometimes we put limitations on what we can do. We expect God to do it for us … . If you’re gonna do anything, you always go for it as big as God allows. That’s our motivation,” she said.
Anyone interested in being a part of the upcoming film, including as an extra or part of the production crew, can sign up online at www.meaentertainment.com/casting.