Being a filmmaker, actor or writer is no easy career to pursue, no matter who you are. But the journey to playing a superhero is even harder. The genre is competitive, and it has a decided reputation for not always being as diverse as it could be. When even the Harvard Political Review is discussing the Superhero Diversity Problem, something has to give. And maybe that give is coming from indie SFF filmmakers like Ricky Bell Jr., who is launching into the realm of indie SFF filmmaking, acting and writing to make his own superhero dreams come to life.
We spoke to Bell about what inspired him to step into the indie filmmaking realm. As with all artists, he says, it started with a dream.
“As an actor, deep down inside it was always a dream of mine to portray a superhero,” Bell says. “So, I dared myself to create my own. I especially always liked the idea of cosmic superheroes. It was by molding inspiration from already well-known superheroes Superman and Luke Cage that I came up with the concept of JARMON.”
“Jarmon is an alien being from another planet known as Xenar, and outside of his younger brother, his race is mostly extinct,” Bell explains. “Jarmon is known throughout the cosmos for his heroic ventures and his extraordinary strength, shared by his race. The nickname given to him over time was ‘The Strong One.’ I wanted to show a superhero who doesn’t always want to solve his problems with his fists, despite his dark nature, but only when completely necessary.”
Bell says one of the chief joys of creating his own work is seeing what he imagined come into being for all to see. “In the world of sci-fi and fantasy, it is always so much fun to watch these characters come to life on-screen,” he says. “That’s another reason why I enjoy doing this.”
Ricky Bell Jr. is a rising actor in the southeast who began his journey in mid -012. Ever since then, he has enjoyed every bit of the ride, working in theater, short films, feature films and several commercials over. His strength and determination that he displays on-screen derives from his days as a high school athlete. In his spare time, he often enjoys exercise, writing, and reading as a way of letting loose his active imagination.