Charles Stone III
In stark contrast to Drumline, Stone's Paid in Full is a searing character study that explores success and betrayal amidst the seductive environment of drug dealing in 1980's Harlem. Based on a true story, the picture starred Wood Harris, Mekhi Phifer, Kevin Carroll, and Esai Morales and was praised by the New York Times as The ‘Mean Streets' of rap.
Stone first garnered attention for True, a two-minute comedy about male friendship that he wrote, produced, starred in and directed. Shot on Hi-8 video over one-and-a-half days for $1,000, the short created a sensation when it screened at 1998's MVPA (Music Video Production Association) Short Film Festival alongside work by Spike Jones and Michael Gondry. Shortly thereafter, Stone secured representation and agreed to direct Paid in Full. During production, DDB ad executives approached the director about creating a series of commercials for Budweiser based on True. The resulting campaign became a cultural touchstone.
The first Whassup?! spots aired during NBC's broadcast of a Nicks-Pacers game on December 24, 1999. Three spots (Call Waiting, Girlfriend, Intercom) debuted during the broadcast of Super Bowl XXXIV. The campaign was awarded the Grand Prix for Film at the 47 Annual International Advertising Festival in Cannes, as well as the Grand Clio for Television Award and the International Andy Grandy Award.
Early in his career, Stone worked at New York's Woo Art International, a production house specializing in commercial animation. He subsequently directed videos for A Tribe Called Quest, Neneh Cherry, Living Color, Public Enemy, The Roots, Shaggy, and Jimmy Lee Vaughn. For Black Sheep's The Choice Is Yours, Stone garnered Billboard and MTV nominations for Best Rap Video.
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Philadelphia, Stone graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. During his formative years Stone performed on the stages of Brown University, in comedy clubs and on the turntables in Providence.
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