2014 was a year of progress and one of resolve for me.
It was during that calendar year I really upped my camera equipment game: camera mount, overhead light, microphone, and a new tripod. On top of all that I got some editing software as well. Even picked up some books on producing in the process.
In terms of covering films and Hollywood, I was happy for Lupita Nyong’o winning an Oscar at last year’s Academy Awards. I made proud to see another woman, and former movie of the year winner on this blog — Ava DuVernay — receive critical acclaim across the board for her film “Selma.” Not to mention Gina Prince-Bythewood and her moving film, “Beyond The Lights.”
In 2014 there was the continued rise of the web series and we can began to see web success spill over into the more traditional medium of television. Issa Rae is working on a show for HBO and the creators of BlackandSexyTV are doing a show for HBO as well. TV shows like “Blackish” and “How to Get Away With Murder” showed network TV executives (again) that shows featuring characters of color can not only succeed, but thrive, especially in the realm of social media.
Despite this progress, most films released from the major studios are still overly white and male focused. That old door however is being pushed against harder and harder every year. People want to see themselves on screen, and in 2014 people of color are making that happen through many different forums. Let’s keep this going in 2015. Let us continue to get educated.
“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”
On Sunday night my Twitter timeline was flooded with positive emotions and well wishing on behalf of Lupita Nyong’o who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Patsey in “12 Years A Slave.” It wasn’t the only award “12 Years” would win on the night however, as the film also won for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Lupita has come a long way in just a few short months. If you had asked anyone just last summer about who Lupita Nyong’o was, most people would probably give you a quizzical response. But then “12 Years A Slave” began premiering — and winning — at various film festivals picking up momentum into its eventual theatrical release in October. The film’s director, Steve McQueen, and star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, weren’t exactly household names prior to “12 Years A Slave,” but they had worked on other projects in the past. “12 Years A Slave” introduced Lupita Nyong’o to world and the Oscars were just the crescendo to her months long coming out party.
Despite all the attention, media profiles, and magazine covers, I truly do wonder what becomes of Lupita from here on out. In what was sort of a subtle reminder of just how fleeting celebrity can be (particularly for black actors in Hollywood) Gabourey Sidibe made a brief appearance at the Oscars when she presented the award for Best Original Song. It was just four years ago that she along with Monique were the talk of the town for their roles in Lee Daniels’ 2009 film “Precious.” It’s safe to say neither of their careers has had the expected trajectory of Oscar nominated actresses.
Perhaps Lupita’s career arc will be different. Unlike Monique and Gabourey, Lupita has a certain “it” factor about her right now that is simply hard to dismiss. Also, Lupita does have a small part in the current Liam Neeson thriller “Non Stop.” Hopefully “12 Years A Slave” is only the beginning to an illustrious career for Lupita Nyong’o and not just a mere footnote in Oscar history.
I came into 2013 realizing that I needed to prove myself — especially when it came to this blog. In 2012 I didn’t post frequently and by the summer of that year, between being swamped with work and a hectic schedule overall, this blog kind of fell by the wayside. There were entire months without a single post. If you want to get better at something you have to work at it on a continual basis. In 2013, I set out to do that.
Since then there have been a lot more posts on FilmSwag and I can honestly say I’ve gotten better at being more consistent. I’ve also learned from a lot of blogs and contributors alike from this thing we call the internet. Whether it was current events, movie reviews, or focusing in on particular issues, I tried to do my best in covering them and going beyond what you might see on just a typical news site. Along with that, I think it’s important to look under a variety of stones per say when it comes to topic ideas. These could be news sites, fellow blogs, twitter streams, Facebook posts, or good old fashion television.
As we step toward 2014, collaboration is a goal that I’ll be focusing on. I’m looking forward to working in conjunction with other blogs/bloggers and possibly doing some interviews as well. I’m still working out the concept of FilmSwag Features which would be short videos of people doing artistic works and talking about their passions. Don’t know when that’ll start, but I’ll keep y’all posted. Once again, as always, THANK YOU to all of you who have read this blog or shared it with someone. I definitely do appreciate it. Oh yeah, if you dig this blog, feel free to like our Facebook page which is just to the bottom right of this article. Peace & Blessings in 2014 folks.