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Banks ’76 premieres TV One show at ELA


Susan Banks '76 is executive producer of The Fright Night Files, a new show on TV One that premiered at Emerson Los Angeles on October 14. (Photo by Daryl Paranada)

Halloween came to Emerson College Los Angeles a bit early this year with the LA premiere screening of The Fright Night Files on October 14.

Executive produced by Susan Banks ’76, The Fright Night Files is an anthology of three short films containing deadly romance, which will broadcast on TV One, a cable network that targets an African American audience.

“African Americans love horror. They watch horror and have high viewership of horror films,” Banks said. “But there aren't many horror films starring African Americans.”

Banks and her colleagues at TV One sought to fill the gap by creating the horror trilogy, which stars Elise Neal, Lynn Whitfield, Victoria Rowell, Eva Marcille, Sean Blakemore, and Davetta Sherwood, among others.


Actor Victoria Rowell of Fright Night Files poses for photographs in front of a promotional poster at Emerson Los Angeles on October 14. (Photo by Daryl Paranada)

Banks wrote one of the short films featured in the trilogy, which stars actress Whitfield, who plays a voodoo expert helping to walk viewers through an evening of chilling relationship catastrophes. It was the first time Banks had written dialogue.

“I’ve done a lot of writing in my career—concept writing and things like that—but never actual dialogue,” Banks said. “When I sat down to write the short film, I thought about what would draw me into a story and just took things from there.”

For Banks, premiering the trilogy at ELA was a natural step.

“When they built this new building on Sunset Boulevard, I said before I even had a movie that if I have something to screen, I want to bring it here,” said Banks, who serves on the Emerson Alumni Association’s Board of Directors.

Fright Night crowd

Stephen Farrier '75 of the EBONI Alumni Association introduces Fright Night Files to the audience in the Assembly Room at Emerson Los Angeles on October 14. (Photo by Daryl Paranada)

The ELA screening of Fright Night Files followed a successful world premiere in Washington, DC, on October 10. Presented by TV One and Emerson's DC Alumni Chapter, the event was attended by a host of Emersonians and entertainment moguls living in the nation's capital.

Banks said that being a part of the Alumni Board has enabled her to reconnect with many Emerson alumni.

“It’s been a great opportunity to network and I’ve been able to meet a lot of Emerson alumni I didn’t know,” she said.

For many of the trilogy’s actors, the LA premiere was the first time they had ever visited ELA.

“The building is beautiful,” said Rowell. “I’m so proud to be a part of this trilogy and I hope there’s a sequel.”

Bright, Banks

Emerson Los Angeles executive director Kevin Bright '76 with Alumni Association Board of Directors member Susan Banks '76, executive producer of Fright Night Files. (Photo by Daryl Paranada)

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