After its release in 2019, The Rise and Fall of Coo Coo Cal, a documentary on the storied Milwaukee rapper who reached the top of the Billboard charts before quickly losing his success, went on to receive critical acclaim and was an official selection to both the Indie Nights Film Festival and Urban Film Festival. The project was the third release by Swift Motion Pictures, a film production studio founded in Milwaukee by Ramon “Swift” Sloan, and it was the first movie from the film house to be selected to such prestigious festivals. Sloan, who also works as the studio’s CEO, is taking it all in stride and looking towards the next step.
In 2017, Swift Sloan made a career switch. Working as an author since 2010, he decided it was time to pursue storytelling via a different medium: film. Adapting his books to a screenplay, Sloan began directing and producing the first installment of his Circumstances series. Seeing a piece of work that was all his own come full circle on the big screen was a life-changing moment for the independent filmmaker. “As an artist,” Sloan remarks, “there’s nothing more rewarding than knowing people enjoy your work.”
For Sloan, the motivation behind pursuing a career in film is all about creating a platform for independent artists to create high-quality, small-budget content. The content that comes from Swift Motion Pictures is relatable, entertaining, and informative across many different channels. Pushing forward, the studio is currently working on two more feature-length films and a new documentary, Line 43: Barriers Defined by Color.
Even with everything he has on his plate already, Sloan is passionate about giving education and space for the next generation of hopeful filmmakers to create. “Go after your dreams, and don’t be afraid to make yourself vulnerable to the right people and situations,” he advises. Recently, the Milwaukee film producer created the e-learning Swift Motion Pictures Movie Mastery Course.
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In the course, Sloan shares what he has learned as an independent film director/producer and what film industry hopefuls need to do to succeed.
“Reality is you got to take your L’s first and learn from them for success later because if you stay down and move with calculation, it’s only a matter of time,” Sloan says. Educating others via his own successes and failures, Sloan is actively working to make change in the film industry, all while pursuing his own dreams.