Miasha is no stranger to success. In fact, the Philadelphia-native caused quite a bidding war with her debut novel, Secret Society, which eventually landed her a six-figure deal with Simon and Schuster.
With several published books under her belt, the go-getter recently decided to embark on the male-dominated film industry to turn her book into a movie. Eager to get behind-the-scenes insight on what it took to make Secret Society one of the most-watched dramas on Amazon Prime Video, we chatted with Miasha just in time for her book’s 15th anniversary.
“Everybody is just mind blown,” Miasha shares with BET Style about the 5-star movie that premiered on Amazon Prime on April 2, 2021. The movie has been doing so well, and I kind of expected that it would. When the book was released in 2006, it set the world on fire because it was so different. It’s filled with jaw-dropping plot twists and is more relevant than ever.”
As an independent producer without major funding, Miasha couldn’t be happier with the results of the film featuring Jeremy Meeks, Vince De Paul, Rayna Love, Tray Chaney, and award-winning actress Vivica A. Fox.
“Vivica is such a pro,” she tells us. “You can't be in a room with her for more than five minutes and not learn something. She knows exactly what she wants, and how she wants to be portrayed. She really grasped the role. She embraced it and gave it 1,000% and was so gracious to the cast and crew. Although it's a short role, it's impactful.”
Although the movie was based in Atlanta, Miasha was sure to pay tribute to her hometown—and the original setting of the book—with the inclusion of Philly creatives.
“I have to give a really huge shout out to Jamal Hill, a Philadelphia native who directed the movie,” she notes. “This was my first movie, so I appreciated having his guidance through this whole process. I learned so much working alongside him.”
Miasha, who attended Temple University for communications, even enlisted the help of female fashion designers, like Milano Di Rouge and These Pink Lips, from the City of Brotherly Love to contribute to the amazing style of each character.
“I wanted to make sure that I incorporated my Philly people in the movie,” she explains about the fashionable threads. “Styling the movie, I wanted the actresses to look really dope. It only made sense to pair with dope designers.”
Besides styling for the movie, Miasha wore many hats during the production. When we asked how hands-on she was in the production of the movie, she playfully responded, “Oh, my God. I was not hands-on, I was feet on. Being an independent producer, every part of me was involved in this movie.”
Thankfully, her husband was by her side since the beginning of the time-consuming and pricey project. “My husband Rich and I are partners through and through,” she explains about financing the movie with her husband. “Once I told him, I'm tired of waiting to see if someone will come through and help us out, he said, ‘well, if you feel strongly about it, let's do it.’”
When we asked how it feels to have her partner so involved, she responded, “It's great! We've been together since we were 14-year-old, coming up on our 18th wedding anniversary. He's my best friend and my number one supporter.”
For those who are looking to get into the filming industry, she offers this advice, “Just do it!”
Elaborating on what it takes to make it happen, she adds, “I've been trying to do movies for years now, but I've always been the person that looked to other people for help. I was so set on getting someone who had done movies, and financially, I was looking for backers and that's what really stagnated me over the years.”
She continues, “In 2019, when I decided in my own mind that I was going to make a movie with or without anybody, all the doors started to open for me. All the things that I didn't know, I needed or didn't even have access to just appeared. It made me realize that it's all about that first step. Make up your mind to do it and take that first step. Have faith and the rest will fall into place.”
Get a sneak peek of the movie below:
(Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images)