August 26, 2010TALLAHASSEE, Fla.
|Filmmaker Will Packer signs a “Takers” poster for a student during his visit to his alma mater, Florida A&M University.|
– From debuting his first film “Chocolate City” in Lee Hall Auditorium in the mid-90s for his classmates, to an advance screening of his latest film “Takers” in a packed AMC theater, Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumnus Will Packer has made it.
Packer, who graduated magna cum laude in 1997 with a degree in electrical engineering, made his way back to the campus to encourage the freshman class to make the most of their days at FAMU.
“It’s amazing for me to be back at FAMU speaking to all of you,” Packer told a group of nearly 150 freshmen during a luncheon held in the Grand Ballroom. “I came to FAMU and met people who have become life-long friends and business partners. You are here now starting a new chapter in your life. You are now defining who you will be for the rest of your life.”
Packer started his production company, Rainforest Films, with fellow FAMU alum Rob Hardy in 1994. One of their most successful projects, “Stomp the Yard,” grossed more than $65 million and held the No. 1 position at the box office for two weekends in January of 2007. Later that year, the company produced “This Christmas,” which made $50 million. The success of both projects landed the duo amongst the “Top 25 Entertainers and Moneymakers” in Black Enterprise magazine in 2008.
Packer stressed to the audience members that if he had never attained success in the film industry, he was secure because he attained a degree from FAMU.
“No matter what, always give 110 percent,” he said. “I want you to enjoy your time at FAMU. The power is in you. You really define your success.”
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