Antoine Fuqua- Actor, Producer, & Director- photo credit LA Times

Today i would like to share an interesting and inspiring story about someone i believe to be one of the most consistent, but underrated film directors in the world.
Meet Antoine Fuqua, a very talented but also very creative Director, Producer & Actor. You may not recognize him or even have heard his name before but i am certain you have seen his work. Training Day, The Replacement Killer(1998), Shooter (2007), King Arthur(2014), Brooklyn’s Finest(2010), Olympus has fallen(2013) & recently The Equalizer  (2014)  are just some of the movies Antoine has directed in addition to directing music videos for Tony Braxton, Prince, Stevie Wonder (Find your love, 1995), Usher(Bedtime, ver. 2), Lil Wayne (Mirror, 2011), and wait for it Coolio (Ganster’s paradise, 1995) yeah! He also has a few TV Commercials to his credit which include: Pirelli Tires (The Call, 2006), Reebok, Toyota, Armani.. I could go on and on but you see what i mean by ‘underrated’
I found his story particularly inspiring, because like him, a lot of us started our chosen career paths with nothing. He used his ‘lack’ as fuel and motivation to make something out his his life. 
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on the 19th of January 1966, He credits his big break and turning point to getting Shot at the age of 15-(Did i hear you say weird? keep reading..). Yes at 15 he got shot on the streets and he says that pushed him to stay away from the streets and engage in everyday activities like going to the movies and playing basketball. This probably set him on his artistic course.
Before long he landed a Basketball scholarship to study Electrical Engineering at the West Virginia University, He did not graduate- (Lesson: though a degree gives you some level of social standing and job market leverage, it doesn’t determine all you can be in Life, because if you lack the strength to impose your terms on Life, then you deserve the terms Life imposes on you). 

His first major influence in directing was from Akira Kurosama, the director of 7th Samurai, shortly after he put his rent money into a short film called ‘Exit’ a story about a drug dealer and his illusions of Stigma and suicide. He sent it out to major record labels who didn’t know what to make of it. Not long after that, he got a call from the legendary Jerry Bruckheimer who invited him to make a music video with Coolio, for a movie he was working on. He recalls being sent on coffee runs by people he was supposed to be meeting who mistook him for a production assistant and who didn’t realize he was the director presumably because he was black. 
His fire comes from the believe that sometimes unfortunate things happen to people in Life, you have to take those experiences and use them as leverage to propel yourself to your dreams and not go backwards. Burn that bridge behind you so the only way for you is forward, Believe in yourself, Open up your mind to better ways of doing things.

Antoine Fuqua is married to Lela Rochon also an actor. He currently has an estimated net-worth of about $18,000,000. He says if he wasnt a film maker, he would be in some Government Military organization. He hates the ‘black’ label some media people attach to his personality or achievement. He feels that movie making should be about elevating the idea of what we are and who we are as people in the cinema, and that movies like ‘Soul Plane’ keep dragging us back down. 
..lol
What would you say has marked your turning point or biggest leverage in your career that has propelled you to an even greater path?  let me know in the comment box. thank you for reading along.
– @gozzim
sources: MyFirstBigBreak, Wikipedia, IMDB, bbc.co.uk