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3 STRIKES

About The Production
It was officially called AB 971 when signed into law in 1994 by California Governor Pete Wilson, but it's commonly known as Three Strikes And You 're Out and provides a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life for a anyone convicted of a third felony in the state. The legality of the measure has been -- and will continue to be -- hotly debated by politicians, legal experts and civil libertarians who challenge or defend the law's affect, particularly on African American defendants. But for 3 Strikes writer director D.J. Pooh, the law serves as a timely subject for comic political commentary for his feature film directorial debut.

"I know a wide range of people, and I do know folks who've been affected by the three strikes law, but I don't want to get into specifics about what they may have done," says Pooh with a chuckle. "The law has had a negative affect on African Americans and I believe that that is what the law was created for. But Three Strikes was a way to poke fun at the law, and get people to think about it without getting to serious or losing the entertainment value of the film."

Pooh worked on the script for three months and the project marks his second feature film writing credit. Pooh and fellow rapper and filmmaker Ice Cube co-wrote the hit urban comedy Friday, which spawned the recently-released sequel Next Friday.

The experience and working with Friday director F. Gary Gray convinced Pooh, who also starred in the film, to continue to pursue opportunities on the other side of the camera.

"Friday was a big opportunity and a springboard for me to pursue my vision," said Pooh. "I respected F. Gary Gray for being able to make the leap from directing videos to feature films with success. There's not enough Black product out there in the film market so, I wanted to pursue my own vision with 3 Strikes."

3 Strikes producer Marcus Morton of Absolute Entertainment agrees. "There is a lack of films for the urban marketplace and there always has been, so it was one of my goals to work with artists like D.J. Pooh and help create opportunities to express themselves on projects like these."

Morton, a colleague of Pooh's through their work in the rap music genre, said the script for 3 Strikes and Pooh's past success as a screenwriter were among the factors bringing two together on their first film project. 3 Strikes also marks the feature film producing debut for Morton's Absolute Entertainment.

"With both of us being involved in the music industry, Pooh and I speak the same language and we understand each other quite well," said Morton. "The script for 3 Strikes is as funny as hell, and when you've watched the original Friday, as many times as I have, you can see Pooh's talent for comic writing and for treating a serious subject in an entertaining way."

What 3 Strikes star Brian Hooks says he appreciated most about working with Pooh was the director's flexibility and his willingness to let cast members make their own contributions to a script that Pooh himself wrote.

"Pooh is creative beyond belief and he came to the set with ideas that were as good or better than what I had in mind," said Hooks. "Pooh is also an actor and he understands what an actor is looking for from a director. But the best thing is that Pooh didn't handcuff a brother to the script. He let us ad lib a lot of scenes. There were some scenes where he told us what the direction was for the scene and told us to get to the 'end zone' in whatever way we can.

One scene in particular where Hooks and 3 Strikes co-star Mo'Nique engaged in some comedic improvisation included the "love

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