The O.D.: A Mixtape Daily Exclusive
Omar Broadway has managed to make the cable series "Lockup Raw" and "Locked Up Abroad" look like sitcoms. While serving out a 10-year sentence at Northern State Prison in Newark, New Jersey, the filmmaker and former inmate shot the deplorable and chaotic conditions he was living in. No easy task considering what he was doing was illegal.
"My relationship with several officers allowed a camera to fall into my lap and record how we were living back there, how life was in a gang unit," Omar told Mixtape Daily. "We just managed not to get caught with the camera."
Using a Panasonic PV-GS12, Omar secretly documented his life behind bars over a 14-month span. Originally, he planned to use the footage as a bargaining tool for an early release but instead he worked the material into "An Omar Broadway Film," which was picked up by HBO Documentaries and screened at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The documentary is a raw and uncut look at prison life without any sanitization for television audiences or prison officials.
"I feel the world really needs to see what's going on inside of the country's many prisons because people see what they see through the [National Geographics] and the Discovery Channels," Omar said. "But they're authorized productions with people coming in, a lot of stuff is contrived and it's not a natural look at what's going on with everybody knowing that a camera is there and you not being able to act out in certain ways. Because it's an authorized production, the officer isn't going to say and do certain things off the top."
Omar also revealed that the DVD of "An Omar Broadway Film" is coming soon, as well as a sequel. The Jersey native is actually the biological brother of DJ Scoob Doo, Lil Wayne's videographer and director of the "Nino Brown" DVD series. After a recent trip to Africa, Scoob was back taping the rapper on the I Am Still Music Tour this week. And Omar shares his sibling's enthusiasm for hip-hop music. "Lyrically, a lot of artists are stepping it up all around the board," he said. "A lot of artists: Wayne, Drake, Em, Jay, Kanye. The South is where it's at, really."
Now a free man, and with his brother by his side, Omar said, "If someone can make a film from the confines of a cell, regardless of a recession, you have no excuse when you live in the land of milk and honey."
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