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Going UNDERGROUND

In Communication, Movies, Networking, Self Improvement, TV Shows on March 14, 2017 at 7:29 am

bokeem-woodbine-undergroundI’m going UNDERGROUND again. Are you coming with?
Bokeem Woodbine has joined the awesome casting list.

Season 2 has insight and good music comes with —
I believe I heard a little Beyoncé and Lamar, Kendrick.

The underscore is deep and references are thick
UNDERGROUND brandishes history and that “slave trade” shick.

I’m down with it – Season 2.
I’m trying to see what Noah ‘nem ‘gone do.

I see that Rosalee‘s mom, Ernestine (house slave queen) is in a reality bind.
Post her fling with the late master she left him hanging from the porch by a vine.

His demise split up the plantation and she lost her “golden ticket” lover.
Now she’s on another slave plantation shacking with a field brother.

Noah is in ‘fate limbo’ and Rosalee is on his heels.
She’s down to free her man; resistant blood will spill.

Talk about a woman that’s down to “ride or die…”
This series would get Harriet Tubman high.

rosalee-noah-undergroundSpeaking of “getting high,” Ernestine is doing it.
A handkerchief to the nose… Ernestine isn’t new to this.

Whatever she’s inhaling in the hankie yields a mind-altering haze.
It allows Ernestine to carry on in the lows that are the life of a slave.

Sad stuff.
America’s History is rough.

However, last season when she was living high on the hill
She offed Pearlie Mae. She delivered ‘the kill.’

Any thrill was short lived and death is nothing at which to squawk
On his wedding day, on the courthouse steps death took John Hawkes.

Now I feel like Esther Rolle, I’m saying “damn, damn, damn!”
We needed him and his protections – human decency is on the lam.

Hot damn! This plants a big arse stick deep in the mud
And retrieving a win with Noah, looks like a distant thud.

By the end of Episode one Rosalee was in progress to free him from a scheduled hang
When they were chased and had to face an even more hungrier gang…

They wanted Noah and while Rosalee and the crew fought –
It was John Hawkes CIVIL RIGHTS assistance that invoked his death be brought.

There was a single gunshot wound to his head as he did arrive
from the doors of the county courthouse with his new bride.

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Real stuff.
Our country’s mirrored history is tough.

However, this show is back in the chamber and Thursday nights are looking up.
I’m Qui
Going UNDERGROUND with thee. This production could use our supportive love.

UNDERGROUND

In Communication, Griot, Networking, TV Shows on April 15, 2016 at 9:07 am

WGN-underground8:15am — Good morning, Good morning! Let us do go down
to that WGN “Harriet Tubman spin“; the new series UNDERGROUND.

Have you been checking it out? It’s fresh and in its first season.
It’s the beginnings of our country. Framing history – is my viewing reason.

Sure I saw the mini-series:ROOTS. It’s a commitment to watch.
Underground puts it all in the round on a 60-min clock.

Weekly. I believe it broadcasts primetime on every Hump Day.
I DVR because the writing is sharp – history-piecing is at play.

The cast is exciting and they are quite on fire,
there was even a cameo by Jussie Smollett from Empire.

The main cast members are a mixed bag with great flow,
but lets go deeper, UNDERGROUND past the headline photo:

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Click the pictures to enlarge

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The actors are phenomenal, wading swamp waters and running barefoot on stones and grass…
Talk about “all terrain!” I blame the above the line creative cast:

Click the picture to enlarge.

Click the picture to enlarge.

This show is by no means a race to the finish but a slow and steady sprint.
This is ‘foundational worthy’ stuff – it has the potential to rehabilitate ‘the fringe.’

What ‘fringe?’ You may ask? What in the world am I talking about today?
I think this show is perfect to put into perspective our issue with RACE.

It’s something about the melanin in a black mans face that let’s all who look upon him save:
It is the look that history took and for centuries, reigned over and regarded him [them] as slaves.

It’s the beginnings of why your black neighbor may not smile, or be so quick to trust.
But if we look deeper at UNDERGROUND we may find the healing ingredients we need to thrust

us onto the next level. The ingredients look like understanding and human relation.
I’m Qui
Happy Friday to thee, I’m digging UNDERGROUND – it’s an early look at the foundation of our nation.

Are you looking? Drop in on the story of my kin,
UNDERGROUND airs on Wednesdays – primetime on WGN.

WHAT MEN WANT

In Comedy, Communication, Griot, Movies, Networking, News, Video on February 15, 2019 at 12:22 pm


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Sometimes I sit and wonder to myself
how men think and operate within themselves.

I admit on the subject that I don’t commit to thinking too long,
and after seeing Taraji’s new film I need an Erykah Badu song

and a bag of that magical herbal tea
that she pushed on her patrons and Taraji P.

Erykah’s character also sold weed
in the back of a salon that installed weaves.

This film was easy going and fun to see.
In addition to my patronage, I brought an additional three

and we all enjoyed the theater haunt
that entertained us for 2-hours on WHAT MEN WANT.

So what do they want? You may ask.
Child, you’ll have to see the film to truly bask

in why women should not be privy to men’s passing thoughts.
None were too lewd; I’ve heard many through a faux cough

in my own life.
Though yesterday was about Tina Gordon‘s write

and co-written with Peter Hyuck and Alex Gregory too.
Taraji P. and 8 others executed the films produce.

Taraji was like Paula Patton in the way that she walked the project through.
No shade to Proud Mary, but the WHAT MEN WANT film had more juice.

Okay – the last say may contain a wee bit of shade for Proud Mary. 
It’s just that the project was strong before its final cut was miscarried.

WHAT MEN WANT
delivered on many fronts:

The storyline was good and the situations were fresh.
Did the composition and cast yield a comedic gas? Yes!

I laughed out loud often as did my plus-3 party of friends.
We laughed and nudged in the dark from beginning to end.

aldis-hodge_b-e-t.jpgEspecially at what some of the men were thinking – I’ll divvy no spoilers here.
But I will say that Taraji’s co-star Aldis Hodge is a talent our audience held dear.

I heard a few gasps when he came onto the screen.
I remember Aldis as Noah from the UNDERGROUND scene.

My, my, my, it was good to see him cast in a single father’s role
and the chemistry between him and Taraji P was relative gold.

Yes. I really liked it. erykah-badu_what-men-want.JPG
Again big ups to SISTER, the weed selling psychic.

Big ups to Tracy Morgan  who played the dad that held it down
when it was time for his son to be NBA draft-bound.
He was the no-nonsense Dad who’s prone to clown.

I saw a little bit of a Levar Ball ingredient as his storyline did unfold.
Tracy’s character had merchandise to promote his son, including a trademarked logo.

Tracy held his weight and added cohesiveness to the script.
Every element of this film was well placed – none shot from the hip.

I’m sure I laughed through a few quips; this film is a winner and at the conclusion, I felt refreshed.
I’m Qui
and it was good to see Taraji P. Henson continue to shine and look her best.

I say as much because – we all know her as Cookie from Empire.
Empire is no comedy, therefore Taraji’s talent is just fire.

He made me say UGHHH!

In Communication, Griot, Music, Networking, News, Self Improvement, TV Shows on September 2, 2015 at 10:24 am

romeo-masterp-vh1He made me say “Uhhhh! Nah-nah-nah-nah.”

Have you ever said that before? Say it. Did your lip curl when you said it?

It was crazy to hear those words come out of my own mouth and furthermore, I was shocked that I was relatively jamming to it. I remember the very first time I heard of Master P it was via 2 purchases: a double CD compilation called DOWN SOUTH HUSTLERS and an album CD called ICE CREAM MAN. We bought them at a local neighborhood store. Now that I think about it, we may have even bought it at a car wash in Arlington, TX. The cd’s had a lot of hardcore southern rappers – some of them I knew of and some I didn’t so I thought I’d give it a try. Well actually, my guy bought the cd’s and I just agreed to give it a try. Once in the car and blasting the tracks I found myself feeling slightly annoyed with one of the branding chorus lines of the up and coming, young Master P. It was this line in particular: Make ’em say Uhhh! Nah-nah-nah-nah.”

I remember my guy driving down the street bobbing his head. I had my lipped turned up. “Why the curled lip,” he asked, I explained that Master P’s little “chorus branding” is either going to propel him big or shoot him to country hell. Well, history has revealed that Master P mastered that hook and it propelled him to heights that I couldn’t have ever foreseen– and am so glad to witness and behold. I’m giddy that we opted to #SupportTheArtists and purchase those CD’s. They were so underground that BEST BUY hadn’t had a chance to stock them. Now they are collector items.

I’m into collecting artifacts poised for historical value – sure, but there’s nothing that I like to collect more than knowledge. So imagine the twinkle at the base of my cerebellum to find out that Master P has a master’s degree and that his son, Romeo is in hot pursuit of his own. My lip is forever uncurled. That’s another reason to say “Ughhh! Nah-nah-nah-nah.” #KnowledgeRules.

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Ughhh. Who knew that sound would be synonymous with successful heights that a lot of Percy Millers earlier peers would never know. But Master P wasn’t selfish with his art, he quickly expanded out of the music studio into the movie studio. I’ve not ever thought of him to be much of an actor, though. I’m convinced that his intellect, talent, and comprehension of business is what has gotten him into the film productions he’s been associated with it, but I wouldn’t say “acting” is his forte. Master P is a producer and seems like the family acting gene will have to go to his son, Romeo.

Did you see Lil Romeo a few episodes ago in SURVIVORS REMORSE?

Nah-nah-nah-nah: Please tell me that you have been watching Tichina Arnold and Mike Epps head up this series that is based on circumstances that propel you from poor to rich – in an instance? Lucky for you – if you are a STARZ subscriber – the first season is not too far gone that you can’t catch up, laugh and learn a little more about folks who win the lottery, (via a sports contract, inventive propriety or scratch offs). It’s an awesome show. The writers are real with the script content which is exactly where Lil Romeo’s performance came in. He was the childhood friend of the recently rich athlete and he was looking for a handout. At first, the writers made it appear that Lil Romeo’s character was ISO an opportunity to perhaps ‘try out and make a professional team.’ However, after given the opportunity to try out and the childhood friend overslept from a previous night of partying — it was clear that he was more interested in a handout. Romeo Miller is anything but a moocher, but he certainly played that part to the letter. It’s clear that his early NICKELODEON acting days have ripened and are ready to pay off. Catch S1 – Episode 5: Out of The Past and then refrain from being “that guy,” — the slacker.

Master P uses his education to encourage Romeo and propel ICDC:

icdc-slacker-successful

Percy and Romeo are spokespersons for ICDC college. Click pic to see video.

Master P has mastered quite a few banging tracks, television shows, film projects, business deals, and now he’s mastering being DAD. I am so glad Romeo recognizes his fathers accomplishments and is in hot pursuit to meet and even surpass them. God speed.

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Now– when I look back on it, I yield more of a smile & less lip blah.
I’m a jovial singer of “Ughhh! Nah-nah-nah-nah.”

It obviously is not a word or phrase, but my goodness does it have meaning.
When it comes to wrinkling the lobes, Master P adds a hustlers seasoning.

And I like it.
He writes, produces and mic’s it.

He’s a knowledge holder and a productive creative barter.
I’m Qui
an observant she – jamming the hustlers chorus of Romeo’s father.

If you plan your life and point-for-point you slay it –
respect will manifest without request & folks will just say it:

Ughhh!”
XO!!

Reel Talk

In Communication, Griot, Movies, Networking, Technology, TV Shows on December 11, 2013 at 8:37 am

ReelTalk3If you make a good film product but no one ever sees it, did you really ever make it at all? Wait. That’s the questionable pose for the tree in the forest falling with no one around to see it –well it just so happens this analogy fits well in context to filmmaking too.

I’m a lover of art films, art house films, underground documentaries, hip hop documentaries, cultural pieces, music videos and the distribution outlets that broadcast them.

No matter how creative the writer is in scripting and casting a production, if he does not have the proper venue to broadcast, he may as well be performing in his series in his parents living room. Talk about limited exposure.

A hefty [number] following is crucial if you are trying to advance your video project and YouTube knows that rule best.  A good web series will need a good home with adequate marketing and traffic.

First thing’s first, let’s talk about creating a web series, while searching for an edge on the process I came across Tom Cruises wisdom (via ReelSeo.com) on this very subject and couldn’t resist reblogging.  Take heed and try your hand at webisode creation:

Web series are the equivalent of self-published novels for many aspiring video creators.  They have complete control over what the final product looks like, although they may not have the money to pull off their ultimate vision.  They are a way to showcase your talents and possibly move on to something bigger in the future, but for many, web series is where it’s at.  It’s a unique way to tell a story, and basically these shows’ entire seasons can be told in the span of an episode or two of regular TV series.

1. Start With A Story

The first point that I’d like to talk about from the Tom Cruise blog post is starting with a story.  What is the story, how do you want to tell it, and basically, each of these episodes should contain a three-act structure even if it only lasts 5-6 minutes.  For easy examples of this, take a look at web series wonder The Guild, which manages to make a season that lasts around or little over an hour into something that seems much grander in scale.  It’s all because each episode is packed with content and very quickly moves its story forward.

It clearly outlines the stakes at the very beginning.  By the first 20 seconds, you know that something (racy) has occurred and it could affect the relationship with her friends.  Boom.

2. FIND AN AUDIENCE

We talk about this all the time, about finding the audience for your channel and directing content towards them. You have to figure out who is going to watch your creation, because it certainly isn’t going to be everybody. It’s going to be a select group, even if it proves popular. So, your science fiction web series should be shared with blogs and sites that are dedicated to science fiction. Maybe you share it with everyone you know who likes science fiction. Maybe you ask those people to share it with other people. Whatever the case may be, you’ll want to find your genre, who enjoys that type of thing, and find those people on the Internet.
TomCruise.com quotes Felicia Day’s own blog post, “Web Series: Four Things To Ask Yourself Before Starting.” Of course, that post is amazingly good advice in its own right, right there from a person who is considered the queen of web series. I’ve expanded their own quote to include the entire first paragraph of her third step:

I think a key to web series, that builds upon points #1 and #2, is that trying to please everyone will never work on the web. The Guild is popular because we started in a niche and grew out from there. The internet isn’t TV: It’s 20 million channels rather than 200. If you can’t sit down and easily identify what kind of person will like your show and name 5 places that person might go to on the internet, you will have a hard time getting the word out, no matter how good it is.

So if your series has even limited amount of appeal, you’ll have to do the homework to find out who would watch your show, and find the places those people go to advertise/share your content.

 3. The Money Problem/Dedication

 The Tom Cruise blog calls this, “Show Me The Money,” which is the only thing remotely Tom Cruise in this post.  I’ve seen a lot of web series, no matter how successful, get absolutely lost and apparently have no ability to produce a constant stream of episodes, mainly because of the money issue.  Let’s face it, you aren’t likely to get rich doing a web series, and where there is no money, there is also a lack of time, because you’re likely working a job to get the little money you can put into a series.

Still, a successful one requires dedication.  An episode a week or every two weeks is the way to go, which is why I would suggest before even publishing your first video, you create a backlog of episodes so that you can supply content every week while you produce more.  Figure out how long it takes to create an episode, and have a corresponding amount of episodes ready to publish while you create others.

In fact, later in the post, Hitman 101 web series creator Scott Staven makes this very point when talking about how he released a constant stream of content:

ReelTalk3 Quote

With a web series this is possible because it’s not going to require up-to-date information to produce content.  You aren’t making a Philip DeFranco-style of web videos here, where the day’s news supplies content.  You have a script to follow.

I think a lot of web series that I’ve followed and had interrupted over the last year or so could have benefited by not publishing until they were ready to publish a whole season, or at least most of it.

The Tom Cruise blog mentions that some web series have been successful in various ways, but most of the ones they cover are the ones that have had celebrities backing them, like Tom Hanks’ Electric City or Lisa Kudrow’s Web Therapy.  If you’ve got access to celebrities, your chances obviously are higher to get money, but I’ve seen a lot of celebrity-backed web series get less views than average, everyday videos on YouTube.

Here’s the first episode of Web Therapy, with guest star Meryl Streep:

4. Using Available Resources

 Skipping ahead in their post, I found this interesting section where they talk to LAWEBFEST founder Mike Ajakwe, Jr.  After hitting on some points already discussed in the article, he mentions something about “using the resources around you.”  This is finding people who are eager to help and just want the experience.  Here’s a great quote:

If you live in a filmmaking hub, but even if you don’t, you can find talented people will often work for free for the experience or to bolster their resume. “There are so many people around you that can help. There are sound people, hair and make-up people, wardrobe experts,” he says. “If you put an ad on Craigslist in the area of production, the people who will respond are amazing.”

Now, this is still the kind of thought process that makes web series and web-based entertainment lower than TV series in many people’s eyes, because web series are still considered “starting points” or “a place to get experience.”  But remember, web series and the like are still in their infancy compared to any other form of entertainment, and you can’t let the perception get you down.  Web series are just like any other form of entertainment, and you can’t expect to get rich doing it right away.

The key is to keep grinding and doing what you love, and one day the series might become a hit, or you might get discovered.  But the important thing is that you’re not doing it for the money, even though you should do everything in your power to get it seen.

5. Have A Plan

 Ajakwe also says to have a plan.  And what that means is that you’re the boss and people want to follow you, and you should be a decisive leader.  It reminds me of some tips Ryan Connolly laid out in this episode of Film Riot concerning his experience on his short film Losses:


6. The Quality

 As always, it’s not that you look like a slickly produced Hollywood movie, but you should at least look like you know what you’re doing, and sound and lighting are key.  Almost every bad video is upended by bad sound, and in many cases, bad lighting.  People should be able to see and hear you clearly, and if you can create even the slightest of a mood with your lighting, even more points to you.  This is something else that Hitman 101 creator Staven talks about in his interview with TomCruise.com.  I highly suggest you take a look at that discussion because it has a wealth of information.

 7. Use Resources

There are a number of places you can find information on how to find success. Check out the YouTube Creator Playbook, and for awesome film/video tricks on the cheap, Revision3’s Film Riot.  Also, Freddie Wong wrote this excellent post about how his channel got popular.  Another good resource is TubeFilter.tv, a great blog to stay up to date with information regarding web series.  These, in addition to the other links already posted here, should give you a really good start.

[BIG UPS to the Reference Source: ReelSeo.com]

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Starting a web series is a great way to go
for any new producer with an up and coming show.

An audience is needed to prove content worthiness on a grand scale,
I’m Qui
and Exposure is Key if any production intends to mass sale.

5-4-3-2-1 Lights! Camera Action!
No scene is a get rich quick thing –
Viva la Film because it is fun!

#ReelTalk
#ExposureIsKey
#ConsiderationIsKey

Other Sources: Web Series Channel, Define Web Series Success

Todays: Reel Shop Talk

In Communication, Griot, Movies, Music, Networking on April 2, 2013 at 10:26 am

conversation-is-qui

I love movies. I love writing them, shooting them, editing them and most of all, I absolutely love watching them. My favorite film writers vary between a colorful, intellectual and goofy array of genres and styles.

HORROR films? I absolutely dig them. I’m a fan of the ol’ Wes Craven – big time. I grew up on Elm Street, but that takes no love away from my appreciation of Sam Raimi’s EVIL DEAD or Stephen Kings CARRIE or William Peter Blatty THE EXORCIST [1973]. I even have love for Alfred Hitchcocks THE BIRDS. I mean there are so many horror films I didn’t list that (to you) may be way more horrific and even stellar in genre — and I likely would not disagree with you. I like variety. Listening to your short list, I could  mess around and learn something new. I like learning – so I’m wide open.

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You have to appreciate differences.
Differences of genre, style, technique, writing and vision are key.
_______________________

I like Tyler Perry. I’m a relatively new fan of his. I was no fan of the Madea series at all. I was fortunate to see Mr. Perry live and on stage in Dallas, TX before his rise to television and film and the style wasn’t for my taste. I respected his right, but cared not for his staged writes. Naturally our “first introduction” led me to not be in a rush to see his films or other play works. Though after reading article after article on the attack of Mr. Perry’s writes, his style and even his ‘bafoonery’ and mockery of quality black film entertainment, I began to reconsider. Even with my own theatrical reservations – I strongly disagreed that Mr. Perry should be condemned for his vision, his style or his genre choices, after all, so many others are entertained by him. I respect that. We all should.

In the name of respect and second chances, I set out to be reintroduced to Tyler Perrys work at WHY DID I GET MARRIED 2, (and no – I did not see WHY DID I GET MARRIED prior to seeing part 2 because I still wasn’t in the mood). Why did I get married 2 was not a brilliant film, but it was a relative film. Black culture was Tyler’ly tailored and oozing in every scene. It felt like I was watching family. Some dignified, some degreed, some lacking and in need, some funny and on the go and others living life like ‘I don’t know.’  They were all right there. So at the conclusion of the film, there was no standing applause, or a sitting one for that matter but there was a lot of comfortable  laughing in the dark throughout the broadcast. I left the theater satisfied. It was as if I paid $8 to hang out with a few relative folk and had a good time. Tyler mixed a whole bunch of drama, a little suspense and easy going pockets of comedy into Why Did I Get Married 2 that the cast was able to convey. Speaking of cast, I do believe Tyler Perry is considered to be a major employer when it comes to hiring black actors. 🙂 Another reason why this brother gets my vote. SUPPORT is crucial.

Ice Cube isn’t Tyler Perry and Tyler Perry isn’t Spike Lee.
John Singleton isn’t Shonda Rhimesshe’s all over the TV.

American Pie is a jewish dish and God knows I love Matzo!
Film variety should be accepted as easily as diversely shaped pasta.

It’s all made the same way & entertainment flavors the pallet.
If it’s good, we eat more – if not we yield Ghallagers mallet.

Big ups to Queen Latifah for her reel underground efforts in broad day light.
Queen Latifah not only raps and sings, but she film produces, directs and writes.

I love movies, I love people – I thank God for the field that I am in.
I’m Qui
Kicking Reel Shop Talk with thee – DIVERSITY is my topic of spin