Lights … Camera … Action …
So, who is the man behind the scenes directing some of the most successful reality shows on television for VH1, BET, Bravo and even Oprah’s OWN Network?
That would be Oji Singletary, a passionate and talented director-at- heart that jet sets across the world to shoot reality shows. Spending his days managing cast and crews, creating story elements, conducting interviews with cast and directing multi-cam scenes, Singletary is one busy man.
“I love reality television, and I love what I do,” says Singletary. Currently, he directs “The Braxton’s Family Values,” “Tamar & Vince” and “The Real.” In addition to directing, Singletary spends his time balancing the shows’ strong personalities. “All the sisters bring something unique and special. They are definitely a talented bunch,” says Singletary. “They all have their lives. They all have opportunities and have their own opportunities.” Singletary says, the key to managing guests is to be strategic. “We have to … pick and choose our moments, so we can get the most bang for our buck.”
The accomplished media expert, also directed BET’s “College Hill, College Hill: Interns” and VH1’s “Basketball Wives,” “Welcome to Sweeties Pie’s,” “Shahs of Sunset,” “Lisa Raye: The Real McCoy,” “Bridezillas,” “Son of a Gun” and others.
Singletary’s family is no stranger to the entertainment industry. His father, Tony Singletary, was also a successful director. He directed “Sandford and Son,” “Martin” and “The Bill Cosby Show.” Singletary’s father helped him with his soon-to-be-released documentary, Misguided Altruism, in which he credits Tracy Edmonds for giving him his first big break at directing.
And, although, he loves reality television, he says after awhile, the drama starts becoming embarrassing.
“Well to be honest … I try to avoid shows with just drama. I was attracted to “The Braxton’s” because it is a love, comedy, feel good show. I try to balance,” he says. When directing the “Basketball Wives,” he says, “I was literally separating the ‘Basketball Wives’ from each other in Italy and it wasn’t a good feeling.”
“I also have my own Oji products, my passion projects. One is a documentary, Misguided Altruism, about a [Dr. Ozel Clifford Brazil] helping kids go to school. I am one of his products. He helps students go to college. Overall, he helped over 20,000 students,” says Singletary. “I’m very excited and passionate about the project,” he says.
His project can be seen at various film festivals across the country, including the Pan African Film Festival.
“My father executive produced it and gave us the financial help to help us tell the story,” says Singletary. “My brother, Travis, helped and it was a very small crew of passionate students who were all students of Dr. Brazil’s and thought it was important to get the story out there.”
Singletary has goals beyond reality TV, and we expect to see a lot more of him in the near future.
Angela P. Moore-Thorpe is an Atlanta-based freelance writer for local and national magazines. She is also a Publicist and CEO at APM Public Relations (www.apmpublicrelations.com) and owner of The Inkwell Agency.