1st generation American in a clan of Jamaicans.
REL. is just half the man. According to my birth certificate I was born Derrell Francis in Trenton New Jersey. My oldest memory was also my first glimpse into the film industry, sitting inside NJN broadcast station in Trenton, New Jersey. I would tag along with my Pops to his graveyard shift in the control room, he would point to which buttons to press to cue up the morning programs, like the Morning News and “Arthur” (my favorite cartoon at the time). As the years passed my Pops would teach me more and more about the field. By the time I was in the fourth grade I was editing on tape decks, we would even shoot events for the city of Trenton, then broadcast them on the local TV channel (19), and ever since I’ve been hooked. Finally came the time for me to take my craft to the next level and transition from Communications to Cinema. So I decided to run off to Art School and enrolled into SVA’s Film program with a focus in Directing.
Schooled in Visual Arts.
Equipped with all the skills my father taught me, I’d set out to make my inevitably crippling college debt “worth it”. For 4 years I audited as many classes as I could on top of my regular scheduled courses, the way I saw it, in order to become a good director I needed to understand all the puzzle pieces of production in order to see the big picture. Finally after years of studying, juggling gigs and destroying my body via self induced insomnia, I finally graduated with my BFA in 2014.