Today I have the pleasure of interviewing two former students and twins who have started their own entertainment industry, they are also continuing to pursue advanced education. Because they are so invested in justice, articulate and telling a story, I also discuss the Travon Martin case or trial with them.
Jean Lucinda & Joyce Elizabeth Bevins:
Eli Lu Productions was created by twin sisters and West Philadelphia natives, Eli & Lu Bevins. Eli Lu’s mission is to not only grow as a production company, but enable unseen talent in various aspects and forms of art. In film and theater, Eli Lu is determined to develop creative story lines that captivate audiences through delivery of new concepts and ideas. No story is written without intriguing morals drafted into the storyboard.
Thus Far, Eli Lu has produced two full length Stage Plays, “Bones of My Brother” and “My Sister’s Body,” written and directed by the twins themselves. A third Stage play is in the works. Current projects consist of two web series, a sitcom called “For the Love of My Sistas,” and a talk & talent interactive web show called “Raw Expressions.” Both sisters are currently working on their own separate screenwriting projects, hoping to break into the film industry with full force. It’s not just entertainment, it’s a movement.
Growing up in West Philadelphia, Eli and Lu Bevins were raised by their grandparents, Helen and Earl Bevins, whom most of their inspiration would derive from. In a home generations removed, the sisters became accustomed to combining traditional and “back in the day” themes and storyboards with modern day twist and creativity, appealing to any age group. Eli and Lu began writing poetry in elementary school. The twins turned to writing further more after losing their grandfather to lung cancer in 2004. Their artistic eye for drawing, painting, and storyboarding was the way they often dealt with pain and expression. The twins’ aunt, Patricia Bevins Moye’, spent a lot of time engaging the sisters in arts and craft. Eli and Lu went on to attend Overbook High School, the same high school that Will Smith and Wilt Chamberlain attended. At Overbook, the sisters played basketball, volleyball, soccer, badminton, and softball. Eli grabbed badminton MVP, and Lu was soccer MVP two years in a row. The sisters were involved in over 17 clubs and organizations, including the Overbook Film club, ran by Sheri Thomas, where the ladies were first introduced to screenwriting. Both sisters graduated in the top 10 of their class with 3.7′s. The twins both attended college at Elizabeth City State University, located in North Carolina, where they received their bachelors in Computer Science with a minor in Aviation. Although they took on a science field, creative arts never left the sisters’ vision. In 2009, Eli and Lu were taught the basics of Photoshop when they discovered their love for graphic design and digital photography, ultimately resulting in buying their first DSLR camera and creating “Eli Lu Portraits & Designs.” After joining the Mass Media Club at the university, under direction of Melba Smith, Eli and Lu wrote and directed their first stage play, “Bones of My Brother,” which originally was done to make money for the club. This sister’s found this outlet to be another gift and talent after good reviews and reactions from the show. This lead to the sister’s second stage play, “My Sister’s Body.” Eli and Lu wanted their work to reach a broader audience and decided to make their second stage play, a web sitcom called, “For the Love of My Sistas.” After discussing various topics to six in the morning with a few college friends, the sister’s decided to create a web talk show called, “Raw Expressions.” The show includes round table discussions, social experiments, a talent spotlight portion, and documentary style story segments. The twins are extremely talented and are mainly self taught in many of their gifts. Lu even taught herself how to make beats in college, while Eli taught herself how to do hair by practicing on her very own. While the sisters don’t consider themselves “professionals” in the many gifts they have, they do a lot of freelance work. Both sisters also write songs for a hobby and spend a lot of time learning new skills. Eli and Lu are currently seeking representation for screenwriting as both sisters are currently working on separate screenwriting projects and scripts.