Lamarr McPherson, a former Temple University running back turned filmmaker has been shooting music videos and working with artist from Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, Waka Flocka, and more for the past six years. In 2009, the 23-year-old Philadelphia native launched M-Visions Films, and since then, the budding director has changed his prespective and refocused his lens to evolve from producing street guerrilla viral videos to creating full-length features.
In his debut documentary, Declaring Destiny, McPherson chronicles the personal stories of three NFL prospects: Mike Brown, Bearnard Pierce and Morkeith Brown, who are currently pursuing their dream of playing professional football. As the months turn into days leading up to the 2012 NFL draft, McPherson tackles each player’s plight in preparing for the NFL combine and shines a spotlight on the many trials and tribulations athletes encounter on-and-off the field. Life + Times recently caught up with the emerging director along with Mr. Brown to discuss sports, entertainment, Diddy and judgment day.
Life+Times: You seem to have taken what you’ve learned on the grid-iron and applied it to real life. Speak on how the discipline in football translates to your work.
McPherson: In football you train for four quarters, but I train for five, because you might be down by the half, but it’s not over until the clock strikes zero and that’s exactly how life is. There are ups and downs, but it’s what you do in between that that counts- and that’s how I apply it. It applies with competition too…football is more physical but at the end of the day, but you have to push yourself in life. Competition, being driven, self-motivation, having pride and just going hard are all traits that carry over from football. My motto is, ‘The grind don’t stop, no matter what. Just keep going.’ And that’s what I received from football. Through pain and injury, you just have to keep going. [For me] football is over with. I’m not playing anymore and whatever I didn’t accomplish in football, it’s alright, because I’m going to accomplish it in film.
L+T: How did you discover the three athlete’s stories that are featured in Declaring Destiny?
McPherson: I was looking for the right story to do and it was like a blessing from the Lord knowing that I know all these athletes. I have sweated and gone through pain with all of them at one point in time. I’ve known Mike since the sixth or seventh grade. I’m from Newark, NJ but I moved to Philadelphia and once I got to Philly, I became a big high school recruit, he became a top recruit and when I went on to Syracuse I played against him my freshman year, while he was at the University of Virginia. Once I heard his story of leaving UVa, going through injuries, off the field issues and trying out for the league, I knew that I definitely believed in him. I know what he’s made of. I know where he comes from. I know he has a lot of pride. Bearnard Pierce was my roommate at Temple freshman year. I know everything he’s had to overcome, I’ve pushed him on the field and we’ve motivated each other. And it was the same with Morkeith. He was in the army and his story is a more feel good one that anyone can relate too. Whether you’re an All-American army person, an underdog like Mike or you went from an unknown to a fan-favorite like Bearnard, everyone can relate. It’s a natural story that people will gravitate towards.