Black Creatives: Is Social Media Killing Your Creativity?

Black Creatives: Is Social Media Killing Your Creativity?

I try to stay engaged on social media AND be productive in my creative life. But, it NEVER works. I’m most productive when I’m taking a social media recess. For the last couple of weeks I have stayed off of Instagram. Not because I don’t love my Black TV Film Crew family there. I miss ya’ll so much. But, I’ve learned that keeping up with posting, the likes, the comments, the direct messages uses up so much of my mental bandwidth that I need a break from social media in order to be productive in real life. 

Black Creatives, How Do we Keep It Creative?

I don’t know if it’s my old school creative process or what but these are five things that happen when I take a social media recess. 

  1. I find time to read.  I remember before Instagram that I managed to read more than 100 books in one year. Sounds impossible. I did it. Staying off social media allows my mind to wander into a book, a screenplay, or writing that stimulates my mind. 
  2. I think about ways to improve myself. Instead of liking photos or comments, I think about things to do like, “Give myself a facemask,” or “Walk 45 minutes every day.” Not tying myself to social media allows me to think about me. 
  3. I write more and more often. When I’m not compulsively checking social media I’m able to write things in long form- screenplays, books, short film scripts. The absence of social media allows me to concentrate better. 
  4. My desire to write returns. When I’m posting to social media regularly, it dulls my interest in writing screenplays of any kind. When I’m off of social media, slowly but surely, my desire to write returns with a vengeance. I’m writing everyday. I cannot wait to get to my laptop and get busy.
  5. I remember to ‘old school’ engage people, my senses and my creativity. I take writing, photography, or other creative classes, go for long walks, go to the movies, etc. I don’t look for stimulation on the internet or in the palm of my hand. 

Disconnect from social media if that means you’re writing the next ‘Get Out’ or ‘Moonlight’

I believe we are connected in our experiences so I wanted to write this article in case any of you are noticing that your creativity is suffering. If Black TV Film Crew is less active from time to time, it isn’t because I don’t love you and want to support you. I take steps back from time to time because I must feed my creative spirit with a social media recess. 

Black Web Series Love: What’s New In July

Black Web Series Love: What’s New In July

Our crew members are some of the most talented creatives on the planet. So, here are some web series created, written by, and/ or produced by our members and hitting the net in July. 

Unconditional Love Series created and written by: Thomas Mason Jr. and Joseph Goncalves

Web Series

Unconditional Love Series

July 17th – Final Season Premiere

Series Synopsis: Explores the ups and downs of a romance between a black gay couple. According to the creators, “The show was created because we were not seeing our stories told in an authentic way in mainstream media. As content creators, we find it especially important to include images that are often ignored, erased, or exploited. We decided to fill the void by creating a show with a gay, black men at the forefront. Our show humanizes the marginalized and we take pride in telling responsible, impactful stories where everyone can draw experience.

Watch it on Youtube

54:17 web series created, written and directed by Frantzy Moreau 

July 20th Premiere

Web Series

Frantzy Moreau

 Series Synopsis: A young gunsmith (Isaiah) has mended the weapons that are going to kill the people he can save from them. This series has veteran actress JoMarie Payton as a part of the team. According to the Writer / Director / Creator, Frantzy Moreau, “Most of you know JoMarie Payton as Harriette Winslow from Family Matters! I had the honor of having the Mom I’ve watched on TV all my life and low key raised me actually portray my Mom in my project and bring to life my vision and lines that I wrote! Watch how she delivers the lines.”

Watch it on Youtube

The 6th degree TV web series written and directed by Lyandre Pierre. 

July 20th Premiere

web seriesSeries Synopsis: The 6th Degree is a multimedia project that combines a scripted story with real roundtable conversations on the topics of race, masculinity, femininity, relationships, artistry, and mortality. In each episode you are introduced to the central character of the next episode. Journey with us as we explore what it means to be connected in a world full of differences.

Website and Watch It On YouTube

Series: Po’ Psi Broke web series created* and directed by Akil DuPont.

web series

Po Psi Broke

July 21st live in ATL and 8pm online Premiere

Series Synopsis: A series about a rich freshman trying to get into a poor and PROUD fraternity! Inspired by Kanye’s “Broke Phi Broke” skit, Po’ Psi Broke is the highly-anticipated new production guaranteed to get you a new 6-pack from laughing!

*Tyler Buckingham is also a co-writer on this series. 

Website and Watch it on Youtube

*If you have a web series that is premiering, let us know. Email us with the subject line: Web Series Love. We are currently prepping our August and September lists. Don’t be late. 

Writer / Producer Wendy Calhoun Inks Overall Deal With Warner Bros TV

Writer / Producer Wendy Calhoun Inks Overall Deal With Warner Bros TV

WENDY CALHOUN INKS DEAL WITH WARNER BROS. TELEVISION

Congrats are in order for one of our favorite writer / producers, Wendy Calhoun. As reported in Deadline, Wendy recently inked a multi-year deal with Warner Bros. Television. You may remember Wendy Calhoun for her Co-Executive Producer work on Empire but she has stayed busy since then. She was most recently a consulting producer for the Grey’s Anatomy Spin-off Station 19. Dedicated to the business, Wendy has developed projects for Netflix, FX, AND 20TH TV Studios and more. 

She is also a Writers Guild of America Award nominee for her work on Nashville and Justified. And, she served as a producer on ABC’s Revenge series. 

Get inspired by our Black Creatives 

I had the opportunity to meet Wendy a few years ago while she was working on Empire. In a room full of writers, she explained to us how important it was to be organized and to work in various areas for your craft. She shared with us her experience working in theater as well as in reality TV. Many writers who desire to work in the narrative space were taken aback by her work in reality TV. But, I remember Wendy explaining that story is story. Whatever you’re writing, whether it be a book, reality tv, or a medical drama, great shows need great stories. 

Wendy shared with us one of the old Empire scripts and explained story development and character arcs. She emphasized the importance of story development and knowing our characters. I remember speaking to other writers in the room and we were all blown away by what she shared with us. 

From that event with Wendy at Fox Studios in Los Angeles, I remembered these three things.  

  1. The best thing a writer can do for him or herself is to become a better writer. 
  2. We need complex characters and great storylines. 
  3. Utilize all of your writing experiences to become a better writer.

Congratulations Wendy! You deserve the best. Here are the links to follow Wendy on Twitter and Instagram.

**Wendy Calhoun photo courtesy IG @WendyCalhoun**

Inspiration for Black Creatives on Pinterest

Inspiration for Black Creatives on Pinterest

African American Images for Inspiration and Motivation

Are you ever looking for sources of inspiration to keep going as a writer, filmmaker, or simply African American grinding? Well, Black TV Film Crew began curating inspiring and motivating images on Pinterest a couple of months ago. The goal of our Pinterest page is to remind people of color that we’ve come so far. And, we still have so much important work to do. 

Our images are viewed by 6k people monthly.  They show people such as Phylicia Rashad, Flo Jo, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Oprah Winfrey, and LeBron James. We have an assortment of Black Comedians, Black Actresses, Black Actors, Black Directors, and Black Writers. And for all you people who want to go back to Wakanda, we have a curation of images from the Black Panther Movie. Yep, that means Michael B. Jordan, Ryan Coogler, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright and the rest of the warriors.

 

When I need to be reminded of how far black people have come in America, I look at images of people like Lena Horne, Ruby Dee, Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey. They climbed mountains people didn’t even think they could see.

Yasmin Shiraz

Writer / Director / Producer, Still Eye Rise Media

Inspiration, Matthew A. Cherry

The link to this profile of Matthew A. Cherry appears in our Black Directors page on Pinterest.

To further promote our members we have curated images of our crew members as well. So, you’ll see our fabulousness right next to the well-known celebrities. And, if you’re looking for Black Photographers, Black Vloggers, Black Illustrators and other people who are doing creative things while Black, the Black TV Film Crew Pinterest page has you covered. 

If you’re anything like me, you’ll also appreciate our images that contain Gifts for Black Writers, Quotes from African Americans, Pro Black Tee Shirts, and Black Animated Short Films. We’re constantly adding more images to keep the motivation and inspiration alive for black folks creating art and who are in the entertainment business. 

We’re not sure if our members are on Pinterest, but if you are, please hop over to the Black TV Film Crew page and follow us. I’m sure some of our 33 boards are guaranteed to inspire you and remind you as to why you became a black creative in the first place. 

Job Opportunity: ISO Storytellers Who Can Shoot and Edit

Job Opportunity: ISO Storytellers Who Can Shoot and Edit

Storytellers, Raise Your Hands

Storytellers are in demand these days. Have you ever said, “If only you had the opportunity?” Are you that person who sits back and wonders when your big break is gonna come? Have you ever wondered when you’d be able to support yourself as a creative professional—no side gigs necessary? Well, this may be your opportunity. 

We have a client who is looking for diverse storytellers who can shoot and edit. Can you conceptualize dope stories, shoot them and then edit them to perfection? Are you always coming up with something new? New story idea? New way to shoot a concept? Do you care about what’s going on in the world around you? Do you want to contribute to the conversation? And possibly most importantly, are you fast and efficient? 

If you are a production company looking for diverse candidates, please consider a partnership with Black TV Film Crew. We have a network of over 7k professionals throughout the US, Africa and the UK.

 

This ongoing position is for shooters based in New York City, Connecticut and the Northeast area. Preference is given to members of Black TV Film Crew. So, join us on IG, Facebook and our newsletter. Let’s show the world that inclusion is a good word.

Please submit your resume and reel to us at BlackTVFilmCrew AT gmail.com.

Side note: We’ve been connecting with lots of creatives lately and some storytellers who can edit have told us they don’t have a reel. Your competition has a reel. They do. Your competition has links for days. Your competition has a resume that looks like Maya Angelou wrote it. There is a quote that goes, “Don’t get ready, be ready.” What are we doing in our downtime if we are not getting ready? Let’s be ready for these opportunities by getting our resumes and reels together. 

If you need help with your resume or reel, let us know.