We are D’Angelo McCornell and Martel McCornell, The Next Level Brothers – two visionary, biological-brother, film directors, who were born Next Level. We were raised by a positive, strong-willed and determined Mom who gave her all for her 3 kids (thats including our sister Nishaye) in the cold and vicious inner-city streets of Cleveland, OH.
We have always had ambition to become the best we could be. We are determined teammates always working in UNITY. Our granddad loves to talk about us playing street football and basketball and how we used to mentally build momentum over our peers and power through, even though we were smaller than most of them. We have always been there for each other. The last time we were in the same school was in grade school, so working and studying film together now is a dream come true and we are so grateful. We are the first brothers ever to attend the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, for the Graduate Masters and Undergraduate Bachelors Film Program simultaneously.
Though six years apart in age, we are inseparable creatively and in life. We are blessed with love and synergy that brings us together as one. Our timeline stretches way back from riding a bike with training wheels, to discovering the art of drawing and creating.
Nothing was easy growing up. Our Mom (Nisha) is our superwoman. She still has her 9 to 5 community job that she volunteered at back when we were kids. Moving around the entire circle of Cleveland all while being a single parent, she always maintained our home through the struggle, even when conditions got slippery. There were times when bills piled up and our gas service was cut off. Winter was the worst when it was freezing out and we had no heat. We heated water in the microwave to bathe. Hungry, hiding her tears, always doing what she could, our Mom always said it would get better for us and it is. When we were young, she used to always sing that Whitney Houston classic song “The Children Are Our Future. It still rings in our ears today, moms hope manifested as a miracle for our life. We are where we are today because of her and our Aunt Tonya’s strength and encouragement. Our father (Marvin) was there as well, he told us told to always stick together and showed us a different perspective. Against all of the odds in Cleveland, we found enlightenment and motivation.
We graduated from two top-tier schools: Interlochen Arts Academy and Kent State University. We have strived through the years with the responsibility, determination, dedication, and loyalty that our Mom instilled in us. We acquired new skills that dovetailed with our instinctive will to get better. Being rewarded and recognized by many respected awards, including the National Awards such for a Gold Key at Scholastics ,President Awards, Leadership Excellence Awards and General Electric’s high school innovation search, are a few great accomplishments for us that made us believe even harder that is is possible.
With determination and dedication we packed our bags and transplanted our combined talents to Southern California to attend the Art Center College of Design (ACCD). On the journey, nearly penniless but full of hope and guts, homeless but for the generosity of friends and distant relatives, the only thing that we knew for certain was that we had to make it. Our vision landed us on top of the mountain, achieving goals that once were dreams. The ultimate film focus is to become internationally respected Writers and Directors who make hit content across a variety of genres. We’re learning to expand our creativity and professionalism under the leadership and mentorship of Film Department Chair, Ross LaManna, and all of the passionate and talented professors and staff of Art Center College of Design.
Currently located in Pasadena, CA, we find ourselves in an organically grown extended family of friends, colleagues, supporters, peers, and positive professional mentors and people who are thrilled about the Next Level. We are inspired by this community and are determined to continue to provide value around the world. We are highly respected for our creative work we Directed for OREO and Dolce & Gabbana.
It would take up so much space to name everyone and everything that inspires us. We gain our motivation from all sorts of leaders. The most common trait that they all have is passion in everything they do and the courage to never give up.
We have started a non-profit organization called UNITY. Our focus is the UNITY in the CommUnity. We plan to continue to provide value through great game-changing Film, Design and CommUnity innovation. We have an amazing team of members who collaborate with us in building products and plans to continuously make our surroundings better through innovation. We started this organization in early 2014, and have already formed great partnerships with the LA Food Bank, the Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena, and United Way to name a few. Having fun, creating opportunity and bringing great minds together for progress is the best. Be on the lookout for “Fueled By Film” a product designed to bring people food for their bodies and smiles for their spirits through technology.
Our logo is a smiling wink. We appreciate life every moment, and are full of gratitude for everything. That’s why we smile. We hope our smiles are contagious. Coming up with solutions to make situations better, is how we live our life! We have been inspired, and now we work to inspire everyone. We trust that if we believe and put the work in, we can achieve, all of us. We figured out the code when you put 1+1 together instead of getting 2 you get 11. The ones.
We are living proof that when you put ego aside, bringing synergy ,love and clear focus vision, there are limitless possibilities.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
~THE NEXT LEVEL BROTHERS