In addition to acting, Harraway directs and likes coordinating the overall vision and look of a piece. He also loves to write and create story ideas and says writing and directing go well together.
Harraway is active in film, music and television. A few of those projects are Seducing Cindy, VH1's Famous Crime Scene (Tupac Shakur's murder re-enactment) and the Rolling Razor music video commercial.
Josh Harraway on his latest project:
Josh, I see you have been involved in another film project called A Film About Races, and that it even premieres soon. How were you cast for this film?
Well, I heard that auditions were being held for an Olympics styled competition where the competing groups were based on race instead of nationality and I thought "Wow, that sounds interesting". So I drove out to the valley and I met with Paul Duddridge who is the host and writer of the film. There were all these different races of people at the audition, but for some reason I just so happened to be the only black guy. So, me and Paul started making jokes about why no other black people had shown up to the audition. We clicked immediately and the crew pretty much started filming me right then and there at the audition. We philosophized about race and class and culture and all sorts of different topics.
What is the film about?
The film is not about racism. The producers were very adamant about that point. It's more of an innocent, examination of all the different categories we divide ourselves into in terms of race and culture. It's a documentary project that interviews noteworthy scientists and language experts and so forth about the basic questions of race. As Paul travels the country speaking with sundry experts trying to define what a "race" is, how many races there are and so forth he is also organizing a mini-olympics competition with groups separated by their racial classifications. The whole thing was a lot of fun to participate in and it turned out really good. I'm very proud of the project. Jonathon Marc Baker did a great job directing the film.
Paul Duddridge is from the United Kingdom and his perspective is that of a foreigner trying to understand the unspoken, often taboo, American racial classifications.
Please share some of your experiences on set.
Well, when we first got to the mini-Olympics set --which was a community park where one of South Central L.A.'s most notorious gangs was formed-- each group was assigned a tent and a banner with their group name printed on it. I had named our group Team "Onyx" so that's what our banner read. After socializing for a bit we looked over and noticed that the "Terminators" (which is what the "White" Team named themselves) had somehow attached their banner to their tent so that it was hanging proudly. So, immediately we all started scrambling to hang our banner up also. But we didn't have any rope or adhesive material or anything. We kept trying to figure out how the other team had done it and it was just hilarious because half the black team were comedians anyway and we were just cracking up laughing at ourselves and how we couldn't figure out how to hang our banner up properly. I finally grabbed some dental floss from my bag and we used that to string our banner up, but it was really ghetto.
There's so many funny experiences that occurred throughout the filming process. Paul Duddridge is just hilarious anyway. But at one point while he and I were conversating about the planned events in the competition I noticed that most of the challenges were athletic in nature. So, I questioned whether there should be more intellectual challenges like a chess competition or some sort of riddle or mathematics/logic problem or even trivia. I figured many people would just assume that certain racial groups should win certain athletic competitions, but by including some non-athletic challenges it might make things more interesting. He actually agreed with me and he ended up adding a challenge that tested intelligence.
When and where does this film premiere?
The film premieres at the "Dances With Films" film festival. Sunday June 6, 2010 at 2:45pm at the Sunset 5 at 8000 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California.
Thanks Josh for taking the time to chat about your latest project. I look forward to A Film About Races.