Consider THIS Before You Film Your Digital Series
It's that time of year again where people from all over the world make their way to Los Angeles, Baldwin Hills proper, to get high off African diaspora. This time it's just a little sexier. Why? "BLACK&SEXY, Baby!" BLACK&SEXY TV, that is. In short, they are for the culture. They're an anomaly. They are Black owned and operated; they are progressive; they are independent with original TV shows and films. Plus, they are constantly booking black actors...AND crew, because if you know like I know, that doesn't always happen. But I digress.
Shama Davis, Kira Talise and Dennis Dortch.
On Sunday, February 10, 2019, a community of artists were able to hear first hand from the producers, writers and actors of the upcoming BLACK&SEXY TV digital series "Hello Cupid: 3.0" as they talked candidly about their new show and how BLACK&SEXY TV continues to make compelling black digital content. The panel was entitled: How to Curate, Cast and Produce a Successful Digital Series. Casting director Natasha Ward was also in attendance, as she has been very instrumental in the success of the shows because, well, she has been "riding with BSTV since she cast Brandon Scott in Proud Dad , way back in the first season of Hello Cupid and every one of our #blackandsexy series since..." according to their @BlackandSexyTV Instagram account. Multiple media outlets were in attendance as well. Panelists included: J. Christopher Hamilton- Entertainment Attorney/Executive Producer, Dennis Dortch - Director/Executive Producer, Shama Davis - Producer, Kira Talise - Writer/Co-Producer, and actors Quentin Plair -Co-Lead and Melissa L. Williams - Co-Lead of Hello Cupid 3.0.
"You don't need money to start, you need ingenuity."
Now that formalities have been taken care of, let's get to the bread and butter. There are two important things to consider before you film your web series.
1. A Good Idea
Aspiring film makers are given advice that lie solely on how much money you raise to produce a quality series and of course who you know in the higher rankings that will oblige all your demands to make it happen. This isn't so, according to founder and CEO, Dennis Dortch. You see, great opportunities and quality content lie not in money, but "good ideas" and an understanding of yourself and why other people will be interested or inspired by you before you take any other steps. He explains more in the video. Take a look here.
2. Sweat Equity and Ingenuity
"We started with no money," Dortch added. "We had sweat equity, ingenuity and we had each other. You cover all your bases when you're low budget because you're wearing a lot of hats." Executive Producer, J. Christopher Hamilton chimed in that resources are a part of that ingenuity, "Tap into all of your resources." He continued, "It's not about the dollars. Your network of relationships, friendships, professional relationships, communities, schools, wherever you can find resources with people with expertise, you can figure out a way to barter on what you need and what they may need to leverage what you're trying to do." Spoken like a true young Robert Townsend.
J. Christopher Hamilton and Dennis Dortch
If you could't make the panel, and have questions about how the business operates, check out their website or IG page for updates and the video below. Questions on how to level your own dream? I got you... you can contact J. Christopher Hamilton, @industryesq, for a consultation, as his background is in entertainment attorney and he enjoys helping young filmmakers.
Co-Leads of Hello Cupid 3.0: Melissa L. Williams & Quentin Plair
If you have any suggestions on what to consider before you film a web series. Leave a comment below.
P.S. Because you took the time to read this article, knock yourself out with something fun brought to you by the Pan African Film Festival. To “amPAFFify” PAFF’s proud history, the organization recently launched an “#IAMPAFF” Meme Generator, designed to allow festival supporters to share their own stories on social media. Festival supporters can join in the fun by creating a meme here to tell their story.