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Rising Stars: Meet Maria Williams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Williams.

Hi Maria, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I moved to Raleigh in 2005 directly after serving in the Operation Iraqi Freedom war as a US Army soldier. At that time, I was focused on building my career in IT field. I got a A.A.S in Networking technology, Comptia A+, Network+, MCP certifications. I started landing well-paying jobs but the further I got in my career, I started to feel empty. I didn’t feel as passionate about IT anymore. So I fell into a deep depression because I no longer knew who I was or what I really wanted out of life. Meanwhile, I had started producing plays and spoken word events at my church.

One day, I met a man who wanted a part in a skit I produced for the church. He asked me had I ever thought about producing a short film. It had never occurred to me… until that moment. So like the adventurer that I am, I decided to produce my first film project instead of doing the traditional Christmas play. And with that, a filmmaker was born! The film was terrible! But I learned that I wanted to become a filmmaker. Then almost immediately, I got discouraged because Raleigh is not “film market.” I was convinced if I was going to live my dreams, I would have to move to a bigger city like Atlanta, Los Angeles or New York City. None of which sounded exciting or plausible for me because I have a son and our life is here in North Carolina. However, I am a resilient woman and decided to create a space for me here.

I remember watching an interview with Ava Duvernay, who reminded me that I don’t need validation or someone’s permission to be great! She stated that she picked up a first camera at the age of 32. At the time, I was 38 years old with 14 yrs of IT experience and one film project to my name. That’s when I founded Godbox Productions, LLC. My faith is bigger than any circumstances. So I wrote a script about my experience with PTSD and begin looking for a production team to help me produce it. That’s when I met my now business partner, Steph Perry, an extraordinary cinematographer, who had already started building a team of filmmakers (Eaze Day Entertainment) here in the area. We have been working side by side ever since. Now, I have helped produce over 30 short films, web series, corporate commercials and music videos. You can currently find some of the projects I’ve produced on IMDB and the Eaze Day Ent Youtube page. Now, Godbox Productions has started to focus on commercial advertising and marketing videos, brand photography and podcast production.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not be an easy road to get here. When I made the conscious decisions to leave a lucrative and blossoming career, to become a full-time filmmaker, I knew financial hardship would be a by product of entrepreneurship. I ended up selling my home, downgrading my life to live the life I wanted to live. Not many people in my life was very supportive of my decisions because of the great of mount of risk I was taking. There were days I thought I had lose my mind, afraid of what the future may hold. But I had to see it through.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am an independent film producer, director, brand photographer, and podcaster. Right now, my focus is on helping small businesses, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs tell an authentic story about their brands. Both visually and audibly. In the world of social media, it’s hard to stand out from millions of brands and advertising.

We actually take the time to understand brands from a psychological and emotional standpoint. Traditional advertising is no longer a successful strategy. Having a basic boring video about what your product does and who it’s for is not effective with millenials and younger. We understand the way they think and how they will respond to certain visuals and stories. That is what makes me proud. Telling a story so compelling it changed at least one life. I grew up with a grandmother who was an excellent storyteller. I remember being a small child and choosing to listen to my grandmother stories over watching a cartoon. That’s the power of great storytelling.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
In our household, whenever it would storm outside, we would have to turn off all power in the house and be quiet. My grandmother would say, “That’s the Lord doing his work. So be still.” That’s when my grandmother would tell us stories about her childhood. She use to be so animated! My grandmother would implement different character voices, body movements and facial expressions. She would be so detailed, you would feel like you are actually there. I would be mesmerized for hours.


  • Commercials (up to 3 mins): starting at $1200
  • Brand photography: starting at $175
  • Podcast production (up to 60 mins): starting at $200

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Godbox Productions & Eaze Day Entertainment

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