If you hadn’t already heard writer, producer, director and creator of “Awkward Black Girl,” Issa Rae and her producing partner Deniese Davis launched ColorCreative.TV last month.
The goal of CC.TV is “to increase opportunities for women and minority TV writers to showcase and sell their work, both inside and outside the existing studio system.” During the first round, the ColorCreative team chose three half-hour comedy pilots to shoot and shop. In addition to the opportunity to have their words come to life on screen and showcased for audiences, writers get to meet with potential agents and studio and network execs.
For any indie writer this opportunity is a dream in itself. For writers of the marginalized persuasion it’s almost unreal. The entertainment industry is about access and the problem of institutional and systemic discrimination and disenfranchisement in this country doesn’t end at the gates of Hollywood.
Art creators and playmakers like Justin Simien (Dear White People), Lena Waithe (Twenties, Dear White People) and the good folks over at Black & Sexy TV are giving new meaning to the phrase “breaking into Hollywood” by creating opportunities – in very crafty ways – for marginalized folks to thrive.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say web series weren’t a thing before Rae and “Awkward Black Girl.” I would say Rae is responsible for making the web-series/digital content route a viable channel and real possibility for indie and minority writers and artists to showcase and create access for themselves and their work. This is why I stand by the claim that Issa Rae is a mogul in the digital content industry (or as others have said, “the Shonda Rhimes of the web,”) despite her surprise (and mild disbelief) when I shared that sentiment with her.
It’s one thing to create access for yourself. It’s another entirely to take that success and access and use it to create more for others. With ColorCreative.TV Issa Rae is doing exactly that.
More than that, CC.TV is – in many ways – revolutionizing the pilot process. “By producing and packaging low-cost TV pilots with an indie sensibility,” Color Creative has “developed an alternative, faster, writer-friendly and more inclusive TV pilot development process.”
CC.TV allows writers inside every part of the development process, from pre-production to post-production, training the future creatives and showrunners that will help to change the landscape of television.
This time around ColorCreative is looking for three writers and three one-hour drama pilots for cycle two of CC.TV. Spread the word.