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"A part of me died that day,” says Catrina Merrick as the grief-stricken mother details the events of August 13th, 2020. Merrick references her only son Allen as her heart and soul. Friends, family, and college football fans were all left utterly devastated following the senseless shooting death of Allen Merrick Jr.

Allen was a freshman at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). During a visit home to Gadsden, Al, Allen was shot. His untimely and tragic death left a mountain of unanswered questions for his grieving mother.

Executive producer Regina Miller (Miller Talent Media/The Miller Agency), Pain To Power: The Allen Merrick Story chronicles families and communities in their efforts to put their lives back together following the tragedy. Catrina Merrick, family, friends, and Allen’s high school coach appears in the documentary.

Miller, who made her producing debut with Pain to Power says, “These stories are important to me because I think about my grandchildren and then I start thinking about our youth. After reading so many stories on Facebook of parents losing their children to senseless gun violence, I felt deep compassion for the survivors. I felt compassion for the parents of these dramatic stories.

Gun violence is having a devastating impact on the Black community. Our young people and our children are suffering from gun violence at disproportionate rates, all while some of our elected officials push for measures that would further endanger our young generations. I felt led to tell these stories.”

When asked about assuming the role of a producer, Miller says, “The producer role is so new to me. I didn't know what to expect, but I had a great mentor Demetrius Malone, President of DemiTv. He walked with me through the whole process. He spent endless hours with me outside filming to help me plan and prepare before filming day. This allowed me to be at ease and focus on the Merrick family.

This was paramount because we knew production day would be extremely hard for the family. DemiTv ensured a team member was on set primarily to look after Allen’s mom.

We were filming at Allen’s birthday celebration a year following his death. Although not within our powers, we wanted to ensure we did everything possible to help the family on filming day. Honestly, I wasn't concerned about myself. I was more concerned about The Merrick Family because they have to live this horrible story all over again. The Allen Merrick Story was filmed almost two years ago and the wounds are still very new. ”

“Lastly I would like to share that I was extremely green and honestly scared, but I didn't let fear stop me. Through this experience, I learned some valuable takeaways. I realized it's OK not to know everything and be excited to learn. Make sure you prepare and plan your project before production. Lean on your production team and mentors; they are there to assist you.

Above all else, keep positive energy around you and you will be off to a great start. There is no way I could have pulled this project off by myself. When I pitched this project to Demetrius he could have said no, but he didn't. He guided me through this whole process, and for that, I will forever be grateful. I believe these stories will spark conversations about gun violence.”

Miller, who remains passionate about sharing stories of tragedy and triumph, plans to continue producing.

Pain To Power: The Allen Merrick Story will premiere March 19th, 2023 exclusively on DemiTv.

DemiTv relaunches March 19th, 2023. Viewers may subscribe and download the apps on their Roku TVs, mobile devices, and AppleTV devices.


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