This week’s Writing Wisdom Blog comes from Issa Rae (creator: Insecure, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl) & Larry Wilmore (Insecure, The Bernie Mac Show). Listen to their On Story® Conversation here.
Issa Rae – Collaboration
“It’s hard to explain. And I’d be way more considerate. I would gift myself, yes, consideration. Because even in a journey like in terms of working with other people, um, I’ve learned this over the years, like, you have to think about why people are helping you. And especially when you’re working with a team, sometimes, if it’s your project, they’re helping to forward your vision. And I think it’s important to realize, like, what their visions are too, so like, your DP: What does he ultimately wanna do? Your writers: what do they wanna do, and how can you help them get their goal, to their goal, so there’s like, um you know, you guys are still jointly rising to the top together.”
“When you have it mapped out and planned out. I think that’s another thing I would gift myself. Like, I would make an actual plan, because working every day of the year to, to produce a season of something was insane. So to have um, a social plan, a production plan, um, a marketing plan, like I would want to have those. You don’t, they don’t have to be detailed, but, just to have an idea of where I wanted that to go, that would’ve been extremely helpful.”
Making a Web Series
“I think it didn’t before, but it matters now, just because there is so much content, and there’s so much great content, and so, when you asked me where I’d put money, I would definitely say like, make sure that it, in addition to being good that it does look good. I think that there’s just, it’s more competitive at this point. Though I will say that if you really just have something that’s an authentic story, and that’s different and, and stands out then people will still be forgiving because it’s the internet. But yeah I think that the better it looks the more people want it to feel like, “oh, I’m watching real television. I’m watching something tangible, and I wanna see more of it.” And, then they may be more inclined to contribute, to contribute to it financially.”
Larry Wilmore – The Writer’s Room
“In the case of sketch writing, you kind of get the feedback from how funny something is, how funny an idea is, that kind of thing. So, some and each room is different. The dynamics in rooms can be different. It’s part of learning how to be a professional writer, how to behave in a room. Like when you’re a young writer, you know, no one’s gonna hear you all the time you know when you’re speaking up.”
“In the case of The Bernie Mac Show, I really wanted to be true to the spirit of Bernie, but as a writer, I’m writing my own experience, I’m not writing his experience. So those kids in those shows represented my life, the son, that’s my son was going through some sick stuff and he was kinda the weak thing. My daughter had that kinda energy of Brianna, and the girl was kinda my sister, who was very contrary and was like them. And uh… It was only the situation that I picked from Bernie’s life, but everything else was called out of my own life. So I’m using his voice to really tell my story, which is really kinda what you wanna do as a writer. You can really tell your story, you can’t tell someone else’s story, you can tell your story with their clothes on it maybe. Maybe that’s a good way to put it, but I think as a writer you’re always telling your story, whatever shade of that story is, whether its part if the emotional life of it, whether it’s the circumstance of it or whatever it is.”
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