By N. Ali Early, RollingOut.com
Long before the global pandemic known as COVID-19 changed the course of our lives as we knew them, Holly Carter was establishing herself as a force in the movie industry as the executive producer of the faith-based, family-friendly, biopic, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel. Off the set, she was also making a name for herself at church for tactics that many perceived as mysterious, to say the least.
“It’s so funny… I would sit in the back and pull out my oils and make myself right, because there’s so many people around, sniffing and snotting… and this is before COVID,” she explains. “They would be like, ‘Oh, here comes the witch doctor.
“But after a while, when people started getting sick, they were like, ‘Can I have [some]?’ I was like, ‘Oh, you want some of my oils, but I’m the witch doctor? Okay. All right. Here you go.’ So now every pretty much everybody in my church knows about the oils. I have half of them on it, and the other half still trying to figure it out.”
With an extensive stash of essential oils in her medicine cabinet that includes oregano, rosemary, peppermint, frankincense, on guard and Eucalyptus, it should come as no surprise that Carter is opposed to being vaccinated, for the time being.
“The blood is my vaccination,” she says with a very certain confidence. “As of now, we have no intentions of getting the vaccine. We obviously have an essential oil protocol for COVID. So we’ve not gotten COVID, thank God. And in terms of the blood of Jesus, I pray that over us as our vaccine. So right now we’re good.”
Setting protocol and establishing trends during the pandemic, or otherwise, is nothing new for Carter. Before her hit movie, The Clark Sisters, became the highest-rated Lifetime film of 2020, she was faced with the obstacle of how to market and promote a film she’d been fighting to get green-lighted for 17 years.
“Right before the movie came out we had all of these screenings set up across the country and we had to cancel them all one by one,” she says. “So we created this guerrilla [style] digital marketing program to get the movie out. I was interviewing everybody. … Latifah … Mary and Missy on Facebook, interviewed them all. I was talking to everybody, creating all kinds of activations.
“It worked so well, that Lifetime has taken the process, and now they do it for all their stuff.”
Carter continues to set standards, having recently developed a phenomenal Easter special: “Our OWN Easter” featuring Kirk Franklin, Anthony Hamilton and Fantasia, hosted by BeBe and CeCe Winans. She’s also set to produce Mahalia! along with Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere. The Amazon Prime flick finds the incomparable Jill Scott taking on the task of becoming the queen of gospel.
“I have made adjustments [that] have proven to be great,” Carter says humbly. “It’s been a blessed time for me, and I’m careful to say this, [but] … when change hits, change is required. And that’s what we did.”
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