Interview with Producer Reuben Canon

Written by ayo on . Posted in Chronicle


Reuben Cannon is a legendary Hollywood producer.  For more than thirty years he has managed to navigate the peculiarities of Hollywood to cast and produce hundreds of films.  Beginning in the mailroom at a major studio, he later launched the careers of Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Willis, Danny Glover, Michael J. Fox and many more.

During our interview at the Spelman College Arts & Entertainment Summit, I asked Reuben, now 71, how an African American man who began in an inner-city housing project in Chicago managed to navigate the Hollywood waters and remain relevant for over thirty years.

The short answer is that he has a deep belief in God and a strong work ethic.

More than the television shows and films that he has cast or produced, Reuben is most proud of how he has mentored people who have become successful in the industry.  His face lit up with memories.

What a beautiful spirit. 

It was an honor to interview him.


Princess Zaya Debut

Written by ayo on . Posted in Chronicle


Makes Its Debut


It’s been a while since I made an animated film but I had an idea for a story for which animation seemed right.

As the story goes — After many years in hiding while her planet was at war, Princess Zaya emerges from a cave and discovers that she is the last survivor of the planet Origan. She finds herself on Earth believing that her status as a princess will be welcomed, but instead discovers that it has no currency. With no home and seemingly no bright future, Princess Zaya finally connects with her true calling and a new purpose.

The story of how and why I created the film is featured on the website where you can also watch the film.

PRINCESS ZAYA: the bend in origan

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PRINCESS ZAYA: The Bend in Origan


I’ve been working on the remake of a short animated film, Princess Zaya: The Bend in Origan. I wasn’t pleased with the first iteration. The ending never felt quite right and the middle seemed to barely exist.

Usually,  I’m not interested in reworking my films once they are complete, but this one was fairly recent, it felt incomplete and I knew that I had more to say in the story.

I loved the making process for this film. I used a few photographs that I made several years ago to build a story.

I’m just finishing up the website for the project.  By the first week in September you will be able to see the film and the details for how it was made.

In the meantime, you can go to www.bendinorigan and sign up to receive an email notice for when the site is complete.  

Welcome Again to Ayomentary

Written by ayo on . Posted in Chronicle

Yes, it’s true, I’m no longer posting on the popular social media platforms, only here on my website.  I just got tired of feeding the social media bear. If you were once following me elsewhere and are now taking a look at my blog, welcome.

I’ve been working on self portraits.  Some formal, some less so.  This particular one is composed of many separate photos all taken in a small room in my house.  The original is about 30 x 40 and I’m looking forward to printing it out in a few weeks.      


Written by ayo on . Posted in Chronicle

  PROTOTYPING A UNIQUE PERSONAL DIGITAL BRACELET Many of you know how much I like bracelets so here in the video you can see that I’ve made a large one as a tribute. I spent the month of June at New York University’s ITP Camp with three of my colleagues from Spelman College. ITP stands for Interactive Telecommunications Program. The camp is a place to play with physical, electronic and digital tools and meet new people with similar interests.  It’s right up my alley.  There’s lots of workshops to attend for both low and high tech platforms and you can either choose to make something or not. I decided to make a prototype for an object that will remind me to step away from my computer and take a moment to do something nice for myself or someone else — drink water, go for a walk, tell a friend that I love them… When I’m not wearing my Reminder Bracelet it can sit on my desk as a gentle reminder to connect to the other parts of my life.  Currently the lights are programmed to turn on every hour, stay on for two minutes and then go off. The prototype is made of cardboard cut on a laser cutter (see previous post), resin, color pigment, a NeoPixel Digital RGB LED strip, battery and an RTC (real time clock). Programming is done in Arduino. Now that I’ve prototyped, I’m ready to make the actual bracelet.