Apply Now – PGA: Power of Diversity Workshop

Apply Now – PGA: Power of Diversity Workshop

According to the Producer’s Guild of America’s website, The Power of Diversity Master Workshop is an eight-week intensive program that trains you as a creative producer to take a project from script through distribution on multiple platforms. The Workshop exists to help nurture creativity and diverse perspectives from people from all walks of life. It gives select participants an opportunity to learn from some of the most successful producers in the business, and network with like-minded participants.

What kinds of people apply to the workshop?

If you are a highly motivated and creative emerging or mid-career producer with a project that you believe in, this is the place for you. There are no barriers here; we seek underserved voices in media: all genders, all sexual orientations, all ethnicities, all religions, all ages, all abilities and veterans.  We accept participants from all around the world, but you must provide your own transportation and lodging.  Our mission is to prepare you to launch a story to the world from your unique perspective.

What kinds of projects do you accept? What genres?

We accept film, television, documentary features and series, and new media projects, in all genres. We do not accept shorts.  You must submit a completed script, though not necessarily a final draft, or for documentary projects, a detailed treatment. We are looking for commercially-viable projects that foster diversity in the industry.

What does the workshop cover?

The workshop is focused on the tools of producing for feature films, television, documentary and digital media, with emphasis on up-to-the-minute trends in the industry. In eight weeks, we cover story, development, pitching, finance, packaging, production, marketing, distribution trends, multiplatform and more. Participants are expected to complete weekly homework assignments.

In addition to the expertise of guest speakers, each producer gets the benefit of individual mentorship throughout the two-month workshop by Producers Guild members. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will have a final project strategy, ready to launch into the marketplace.

Who are the speakers?

Some of the industry’s most successful producers in film, television, and new media. Past speakers have included:  Shonda Rhimes, Bruce Cohen, Lori McCreary, Gary Lucchesi, Mark Gordon, Marshall Herskovitz, Bonnie Arnold, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Ashok Amritraj, Caryn Mandabach, Luis Barreto, Ali LeRoi, Cathy Schulman, Lauren Shuler Donner, Damon Lindelof, Lindsay Doran, Ralph Winter, Bruna Papandrea and many more.

What do I get out of this?

Success in any business, and most certainly in production, is predicated on building strong relationships. Some of our past participants have gone on to great success, and many have formed lasting relationships through the Workshop that will carry them well into the future.

Do I have to be a PGA member to apply?

No, you do not have to be a PGA member to apply.  We encourage non-guild as well as guild members to apply.

I’m already a professional producer. Why should I apply?

A good producer is one who is always evolving, learning new things, meeting new people and searching out new stories. In the words of Dr. Seuss, “The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

YOU CAN APPLY ON THE SITE AND THERE’S MORE INFO…

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. 

Malachi Rivers: Talks Acting, Writing and Producing

Malachi Rivers: Talks Acting, Writing and Producing

Crew Spotlight: Malachi Rivers

Several months ago I ran a contest through Black TV Film Crew’s weekly newsletter. In the contest, the first two people who could me tell where the line “falling for a banana in the tailpipe” came from would receive a profile on Black TV Film Crew’s website. Actor / Writer / Producer, Malachi Rivers answered ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ and sent in his reply within 5 minutes.  And so, here he is. Malachi originally hails from Maryland but he now resides in Los Angeles, CA. He is currently on tour with a play called “Loving Him” (And He’s Not Ready) by NAACP Theatre award winning playwright Peachanda DuBose. He is also gearing up to reprise my role as “Chad Bossman” in the NAACP Theatre award winning play “Ferguson”: The Musical. In the fall, he starts shooting season 2 of “Rhonda Mitchell M.D.” web series which is an official selection at the Hip Hop Film Festival. He will also be filming the third season of the popular web series “LIPS” (Love Inside Prevails) in which he was nominated for best supporting actor for my role as “William Green” at the 2018 Urban Web Series Awards. Malachi Rivers But, there is a new digital series, “Poz Roz” on the horizon for Malachi and he will be co-producing along with director Carlton Jordan. They shoot in July and have some heavy hitters attached to the project.

CHOOSING HIS CAREER PATH

Rivers explains how he was inspired to take his career path.  “The arts have always been a driving force me in my life. Acting and music have been the catalyst for keeping me out of trouble. Creating is in my blood especially in subject matters that deal with people of the African diaspora.”
I think you must allow your work to first connect with you and make sure that it resonates in your soul. It must be genuine to your journey then God willing people will receive it. — Malachi Rivers

Who Inspires Malachi?

Rivers was inspired by many people throughout his life. He explains, “My teachers at the Performing Arts High School in Maryland taught me lessons that I still use to this day. The original stick outs for me are Whoopi Goldberg, Lauryn Hill, and Mario Van Peebles. I got the chance to tell Whoopi and Mario both in person in an intimate setting about how they have changed my life. “Sister Act 2” made me really want to make a career out of acting and music. “Posse” I used to watch that movie everyday. It gave me insight that black people can be anything, even bad ass cowboys running the west. Malachi Rivers However, the biggest influence for me was one of my best friends who was like a brother to me, Nelsan Ellis. Nelsan was a well-known actor who became famous for his role as “Lafayette” on True Blood on HBO and we were extremely close. He always told me my time is coming and believed I was an amazing talent.
I say he is my biggest influence because with his passing I realized more so than ever that life is short, and you must do what makes your spirit happy.
He taught me that and I will always appreciate that. I’ve learned so much from him about what to do and not to do in this industry.” Life has its share of ups and downs, but who you are emotionally and spiritually is key for Malachi. He shared with us a personal experience that really opened his eyes. “One day I was hanging with some friends and woman who professed to be a spiritual reader decided she wanted to read us. Long story short, she ended up telling me I was protected. The crazy part was I always felt that way. But, what I started realizing through the reading is: it wasn’t about her telling me, it was about me believing it. I quickly realized you are what you believe. What you speak, what you think, and what you believe will have an impact on your life. So even when things don’t go as planned I always say things like,”you are protected and what God has for you is for you and what doesn’t come to fruition wasn’t meant for you.” We’re proud to introduce you to Malachi Rivers. As is star continues to rise, follow him on all of his social media:
  1. Website: www.malachirivers.com
  2. Twitter Handle: malachirivers
  3. Instagram Handle: malachirivers
  4. Video links: www.youtube.com/malachirivers
Peace!!!  
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Writers Of Color – Huge TV & Digital Opportunity

Writers Of Color – Huge TV & Digital Opportunity

Writers of Color – Your Time Is Now

Writers of Color, you may have been discouraged in the past. You may have been told that your stories aren’t relevant? But your time is now. Our time is now. Tell your stories. Lift your voice. Check the info below.

Underrepresented Filmmakers of Color – From MACRO:

“MACRO and the Black List offer writers of color the opportunity to develop and produce an original digital or television pilot script. Our mission is to discover and empower episodic storytellers with the proper creative tools, resources, and access needed to help launch their careers.

In partnership with Emmy Award-winning writer Lena Waithe and Actress/Producer/Director Eva Longoria, MACRO aims to amplify fresh voices that are rooted in authenticity, creativity and excellence.

  • Applications will be accepted from June 6 – August 6.
  • Up to three (3) winners will receive development support and a pilot presentation or sizzle at a budget of up to $30,000 each.

We look forward to hearing from and supporting the next generation of game changers, rule breakers, and brilliant minds that exist at the intersection of craft and culture.”

Read This: How To Support Black Creatives

Charles King, former super agent at William and Morris, founded Macro. Macro creates and finances film, television, digital content, technologies and brands which are driven by people of color. Macro projects include: Roman J. Israel, Esq, Mudbound, Gente-fied, and Fences. In addition, they’re behind the website Blavity. 

Franklin Leonard founded The Black List, a network of scriptwriters, buyers and representatives. According to Black List, “over 300 Black List screenplays have been made as feature films. Those films have earned over $26 billion in worldwide box office.” Black List films have been nominated for 264 Academy Awards. They have won 48, including Best Pictures for Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, Argo and Spotlight. Black List screenplays have earned ten of the last twenty screenwriting Oscars.”

This is an extraordinary opportunity for writers of color and one that I hope some of our Black TV Film Crew members take advantage of. 

Apply Today. 

**Our featured photo is Emmy Award Winning Writer, Lena Waithe and Macro’s Charles King, courtesy of the Macro website **

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**