In the world of filmmaking, Robert L Butler Jr is a name synonymous with passion and innovation. As an Actor, Writer, Editor, Producer, Director and Owner of RLB JR Productions, his journey is a remarkable tale of dreams turned into reality.
From the childhood drive-in theater that sparked his inspiration to the numerous awards he’s garnered, Butler’s story is one of unwavering commitment. He not only entertains but also champions diversity by creating impactful roles for people of color.
In this exclusive interview with FilmmakerLife Magazine, we delve into Butler’s cinematic odyssey, exploring pivotal moments, creative challenges, and the profound messages within his iconic works. Join us as we uncover the intersection of his military service, personal beliefs, and artistic vision. Robert’s journey showcases the extraordinary potential of storytelling in shaping our world.
- FLM: Robert, you have an incredible journey in the world of filmmaking, starting with your inspiration from Bruce Lee’s “Enter The Dragon.” Can you share a pivotal moment from your childhood when you decided that filmmaking was your calling? Seeing a minority in a leading role for a change was very impactful for me as a kid, and after reading about Bruce Lee and his struggles to make it Hollywood and how he always believed in himself, and for him to finally achieve that success, motivated me to do the same, and not let anyone stop me from pursuing my dreams.
- FLM: Your passion for storytelling is evident in your work. Tell us about a film or project that challenged you the most creatively, and how did you overcome those challenges? My first feature was my most challenging one. I knew I had a great story, the challenging part was to cast the right talent to tell the story.
- FLM: “The Alliance” and its sequel “The Alliance 2: The Hunt for Breeze” have been huge successes, amassing numerous awards. Can you give us a sneak peek into what inspired these films, and what message you aimed to convey to your audience? Those films were heavly influenced by the series The Wire and The Godfather. I wanted to tell a believable compelling story with a diverse cast and create memorable characters.
- FLM: It’s impressive how you’ve used your platform to create roles for people of color. Can you share a memorable moment when you saw your work making a meaningful impact in this regard? For me having my script for The Alliance be a finalist in Cannes 2019 for Action/Adventure, showed all my non believers that I was a talented writer.
- FLM: You’ve not only worked in the film industry but also served as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. How has your military experience influenced your approach to filmmaking and storytelling? Being on time and prepared, being a good leader, know the answer to any and ever question asked. Most of all, being able to adapt and overcome last minute obtstacles that may occur during the film.
- FLM: You’ve faced your fair share of obstacles on your path to success. What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring filmmakers when they encounter setbacks or criticism? To learn from them, and keep it moving. Do not give up! You can’t fail or succeed if you don’t try! Never be that I wish I, should have, could have, would have, person.
- FLM: Apart from filmmaking, we’ve heard you have diverse interests, including cooking, working out, boxing, and bowling. How do these activities contribute to your creativity and balance in life? Sometimes when I have writers block, I step away and work out and sometimes ideas come to me. I feel keeping your body active, keeps your mind active as well.
- FLM: “Teamwork makes the dream work” is your motto. Could you share a specific experience or project where collaboration played a crucial role in achieving your creative vision? In both The Alliance and The Alliance 2, there are scenes in the film that are not in the script. While I am filming, I will get an idea to add more to the film, and write a quick draft of the scene and get with my camera crew and the actors for the scene and briefly go over the scene and basically improvise and create on the spot, with input from everyone involved in the scene.
- FLM: As a Catholic with liberal political affiliations, how do your personal beliefs and values influence the stories you choose to tell through your films? I keep religion and politics out of my films. I want to entertain and captivate my audience. There are certain things that happen in my films that some don’t approve of or say, ” Why did that have to happen?’ My response is, as a filmmaker I feel we should have no restrictions when telling a story. We should be able to push the limits if need be.
- FLM: Thanks for being with us today, Robert. Your journey is truly inspiring. it has been a great pleasure having you as a guest for this FilmmakerLife Interview. Would you like to dedicate these recent wins to someone in particular? I did not win any of my awards alone, all credit goes to my extremely talented cast and crew for believing in me and helping me fulfill my dreams as a filmmaker! TEAMWORKMAKESTHEDREAMWORK!!!
Thank you, Robert, for sharing your remarkable journey and insights with FilmmakerLife Magazine. Your passion for filmmaking and dedication to creating meaningful stories are truly inspiring. We look forward to seeing more of your exceptional work in the future.
The Alliance Official Trailer
The Alliance 2 The Hunt for Breeze
Connect with Robert Butler