The future is now: Blacks in sci-fi, Afro-futurism on film

I’m so excited about Afro-futurism and glad to see that the visionary writings of Octavia Bulter, and the global  hit movie  Black Panther are joined by a growing body of work in all genres that affirms and celebrates  black people in imaginings of  the future and in alternate renderings of the universe.

Afro-futurism definition I was amazed and delighted to attend Far Out Black, a screening a panel curated and moderated by my friend and colleague, filmmaker Celia Peters at the California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles.

CAAM Far Out screening and Panel
Top row, L to R: Donovan Vim Crony, Keith Josef Adkins, Buki Bodunrin, Ezra Claytan Daniels, and Celia Peters; Celia Peters and Olu Gittens. Bottom row: CAAM event flyer, Celia Peters enging with audience members

Far Out Black featured Afrofuturist short films with visions of the future that are complex, unique, and vibrant. The packed audience had an opportunity to engage in conversation with these cinematic innovators about their films and their perspectives on working in the dynamic and quickly changing film industry.

Sorry to Bother You movieI also joined my friend, actress Monica Parks Simon, member of the Screen Actors Guild Film Nominating Committee, for a special early screening of Sorry to Bother You, directed by Boots Riley and starring Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson. “In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a macabre universe.”

The SAG-AFTRA screening was followed by a very well moderated and lively Q & A featuring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler and Writer/Director Boots Riley.

The future is now and we are in it!!

-O.G.

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Let’s Talk Hair at NAB 2018

On the heels of a successful screening in the Indie Night Film Festival a the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Let’s Talk Hair went to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in Las Vegas for our campaign to garner support for the show. Partnering with Harry Hall of MME Hub/Brandworks USA, we were able to meet with industry professionals and TV executives interested in Let’s Talk Hair.

We also used the convention as a way to find out ways the latest technologies can be integrated into the production of the show and to promote the project within the industry. 
Let's Talk Hair FB post combo pic - for blog
More on NAB: “The National Association of Broadcasters is the voice for the nation’s radio and television broadcasters. As the premier trade association for broadcasters, NAB advances the interests of our members in federal government, industry and public affairs; improves the quality and profitability of broadcasting; encourages content and technology innovation; and spotlights the important and unique ways stations serve their communities… Whether it’s the new possibilities created by mobile digital television or FM-enabled mobile devices, NAB is helping broadcasters seize opportunities in the digital age. Advances in technology are giving broadcasters opportunities to find better, more innovative ways to deliver the high-quality content and services that local communities expect and deserve.”

-O.G.

Let’s Talk Hair at Indie Night Film Festival

Showcase of TV pilot LET’S TALK HAIR in the IndieNight Film Festival on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at TCL Chinese Theater 6 in Hollywood, CA. HUGE THANKS to everyone who made the LET’S TALK HAIR screening in the Indie Night Film Festival a success!!

Let's Talk Hair TV at Indie Night Film Festival
Let’s Talk Hair TVpilot was showcased at the Indie Night Film Festival in Los Angeles!

Shout out to Dave Brown, Robi Reed and the #IndieNightFF team for an amazing showcase. #letstalkhair #LetsTalkHairTV

-O.G.

Coming soon: LET’S TALK HAIR television show

Let’s Talk Hair will be a TV magazine show geared to African-American women, who seek culturally relevant information about their hair textures and concerns.

Let's talk Hair TV show production set.jpg

Let’s Talk Hair will feature interviews, demos and on-the-scene video packages, and will broadcast as a half-hour series. 

Let's Talk Hair ABOUT graphicWith an engaged audience seeking culturally relevant and generation-aware messages, Let’s Talk Hair offers the ideal context to connect with African-American women around hair, beauty and a variety of goods and services.

Connecting with cosmetologists, do-it-yourself’ers, everyday women and the occasional celebrity, our show will go on a journey through the latest news, styling techniques, products and hair discussions – the beauty at heart of hair.

For more information, go to letstalkhair.tv

Harry Connick Jr. Show features makeup tutorial for ebony-skinned women

Beauty and diversity done right — Harry, the Harry Connick Jr. TV talk show features makeup tutorial for ebony-skinned women, featuring a high fashion model and a popular YouTuber. Here’s why this episode works so well.

Ebony, the darkest and rarest of woods, has been desired and held in high regard throughout history; however, while craftsmen and connoisseurs value ebony as the most prized wood, skin tones of that same rich color are often not held in such high esteem. Those blessed to have it often struggle with questions of its desirability as well as limited availability of makeup products and techniques that showcase it properly.

That’s why it’s no small matter when a major television show features ebony-skinned models in a beauty tutorial designed just for them.  Harry, the eponymous talk show hosted by Harry Connick Jr., recently featured gorgeous dark-skinned model Nyakim Gatwech and beauty blogger Nyma Tang in a makeup demo that highlights the beauty of dark skin.

Harry show - Nyma explains eye shadow

Louisiana -born singer and bandleader Connick, known for bringing back the sounds of classic jazz ballads and big bands to a modern, worldwide audience, has also proved his skills as an actor and now talk show host. Now in its second season with a solid daily viewership of about 1.4 million households, Harry features Connick’s engaging interview style and a rich showcase of talented musical guests. Continue reading “Harry Connick Jr. Show features makeup tutorial for ebony-skinned women”

Adventures in Multi-Camera Televsion Part XIV: My experience working in Asian American Television at LA18/KSCI-TV

As a member of the studio production team of LA18–or as one might call it, the Asian Univision–I’ve had the unique experience of working in a cross-cultural, multi-lingual environment right here within the United States. As part of a cross-trained crew, I worked as Floor Manger, Camera Operator, Audio Technician, CG person and, most recently, Senior Technical Director. I also edited video, prepared graphics for the shows and other important functions that helped make our 4 to 5-per-day shooting schedule run.

20170628_122740_Film3
Producer, Crew and Co-Hosts for LA18 Midday Buzz

According to Los Angeles Magazine article The Unique Challenges of Being the Only TV Station That Caters to L.A.’s Asian Communities: “Like Univision, LA18 draws from a potential viewer base that, despite a tough media climate, is actually expanding…The Greater L.A. area contains the largest number of ethnic Koreans living outside of Korea and the largest number of ethnic Filipinos living outside of the Philippines. More than a half million Chinese live here, too; in the United States only New York and the Bay Area have more.”

The main question I get about my experience at LA18 is,  How does the crew, not being bilingual, communicate with the talent? Interestingly enough, the process is very efficient. Though the shows are not conducted in English, the on-air talent and producers were bilingual, and they communicated with crew regarding when to insert videos and when to wrap segments the communication was very efficient. Continue reading “Adventures in Multi-Camera Televsion Part XIV: My experience working in Asian American Television at LA18/KSCI-TV”

“Choices” to Screen in Links WADFF Film Festival

Screening of CHOICES web series Webisodes 5 and 6

Image

 CHOICES will be showcased during the 2:45 pm Narrative Shorts: New Visions program block of the The Brooklyn Chapter of the Links, Inc. annual Women of African Descent Film Festival (WADFF) at LIU Brooklyn, at Flatbush & DeKalb Aves. The Festival runs all day on Sat, May 3 2014 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Link at http://tinyurl.com/lvum75e

The Festival is in its 13th year, and features a wonderful array of documetnary, narrative and animated films by African American women, and a special Youth Film Festival.

The event is free and open to the public; no RSVP required.

Choices – The Series (Webisdes 5 and 6) CHOICES (choicestheseries.com) is an award-winning web soap opera, told in the form of short dramas with intertwined story lines. In these two webisodes, manicurist Cathy and long-time customer Shanelle wrestle with ethical questions surrounding their pregnancies. Meanwhile at a fancy boutique, Shervonne, a nanny’s daughter, reconnects with Regan, the woman her mother took care of as a child, and find out they have very different ideas about this woman who was “the help”. We also meet business magnate Chapman and social activist Motulsky, two old prep school buddies who reconnect on the cusp of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Starring: Kristen Hung as Cathy, Danyel Fulton as Shanelle, Kianne Muschett as Shervonne, Elisa Pupko as Regan, Scott T. Miller as Chapman and Joshua Feinberg as Motulsky.

“Choices” to Screen in AAWIC Film Festival

AAWIC_2013Choices Webisode 1: A Special Night for Us” will screen in the African American Women in Cinema film festival on
Thursday, November 21st, 2013 at ImageNation’s RAW SPACE, 2031 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd (7th Avenue Between 121st & 122nd), 12:00noon-1:30pm. It will be featured in the Webisode Competition hosted by Al Thompson of “Lenox Avenue.”
http://aawic.org/Home_Page.html

Lions Gate finds sucess targeting Latino audiences

“A lot of people will say this film came out of nowhere, but we spent a lot of time and energy marketing the film to our core audience.”
-Paul Presburger, Pantelion CEO

http://variety.com/2013/film/news/hollywood-gets-instructions-from-latino-audiences-1200665085/

“Instructions Not Included” recently surpised the box office and became the #1 movie in America and highest grossing Spanish language film in the U.S. to date. Pantelion the Lions Gate-backed distributor targeting Latino audiences, marketed the film. The approach in releasing the film was a brilliant move on Lions Gate’s part to woo Latino audiences in a way that attracts families and women to the box office — not unlike their approach to marketing African American fims vis-a-vis Tyler Perry. 

Instructions Not Included vs Tyler Perry

Films geared to audiences of color with an interest in family — with the right balance of humor, culture, and compelling themes — can be a recipe  for success!

-O.G.

Product Demo Videos for premiere hair product company Ruth’s Beauty

Oh Gee Productions has teamed up with Ruth’s Beauty, leading maker of high quality lacefront wigs, to create Ruth’s Beauty TV, a series of videos that showcase their premiere product lines. Ruth’s Beauty stands out for their specialty human hair wigs that are hand tied and realistic, with a variety of textures and colors for all ethnicities.

The videos — shot in high definition video in a state-of-the- art New York City production studio — allow those new to the line, as well as Ruth’s Beauty’s loyal following of customers, to connect with their products and find out more about them.

See Ruth’s Beauty TV and also be sure to ‘Like’ the Ruth’s Beauty Facebook Page!

-O.G.