Learning With Others: The Importance of Blogging While Brown

A few weeks ago I was in Harlem attending the Blogging While Brown conference for the first time and learned quite a bit. The most striking being that so many people are no longer waiting on “traditional media” to tell their stories, but instead, are using new platforms to tell their own.

Telling stories and differing perspectives have been going on for as long as humans have been able to communicate. With the ever evolving landscape of technology, blogs have been at the forefront for enabling communities (particularly those of color) that have either been ignored or forgotten about by mainstream society, to make sure their voices/brands are noticed. It is because of this, that I felt compelled to attend Blogging While Brown.

It truly was a great experience. I was fortunate enough to meet a number of bloggers who are writing about everything from hair care, to health and fitness, to career services, and media. It certainly was inspiring to see so many other bloggers of color who were making their stories and voices known throughout this space we here call the internet.

Fostering relationships in any profession is key, especially among bloggers. I myself made a few connections with people and the conference overall made me think about just what I want for FilmSwag and ways to continue to grow. I certainly would recommend the conference for bloggers of color and hope to attend next year as well. For more info, you can check out the website here.

Looking Back At Some Popular Posts in 2013

2013 was a year full of ups, downs, achievements, and controversies.  Here are some of the noted/popular articles featured on this blog over the last 12 months.

January
Slavery Makes A Comeback in Recent Films

February
As Black History Month Comes to a Close, The Education Must Continue

March
Still Thanking Black Starz 11 Years Later
Howard University Students Making A Difference in Chicago

April
Remembering Roger Ebert

May
A Shooting Breaks Out, But National Coverage Is Slow to Follow

June
A Little Girl, A Bowl of Cheerios, and A Whole Lot of Hate

July
Fannie Lou Hamer Speaks Out on Voting Rights and Police Brutality

August
Remembering Lee Thompson Young

September
Russell Simmons, Harriet Tubman, and the Continued Degradation of Black Women
Barry Jenkins on Being A Black Filmmaker

November
Andrea Lewis Debuts in “Black Actress”

December
The Importance & Significance of 12 Years A Slave 

When A Producer Has Had Enough

After 25 years of producing films, Ted Hope is moving in a new direction.

On his website, Hope outlines some of the reasons for leaving the field of producing. Chief among them is the increasingly shrinking profit margins and having to do less quality work just to stay afloat. Hope admits that he will continue to produce and develop films, but only those that lift the conversation above the fray.

Hope’s story is not that different than many people I’ve encountered in my now almost 5 years working in and out of the film industry. Many people do get disillusioned. The long hours, tight deadlines and not always knowing where your next paycheck is coming from, is not for the faint of heart. Even worse can be reformatting an idea because the ‘studio’ wants changes or wants to appeal to a larger audience.

Despite all this, people are still making films. You can continue to bang your head against the wall, or find a way to scale it. If the studio says no, find another venue. Whether it be webisodes, blogs, film festivals, or six second videos, people in 2013 are finding a way. Like Hope himself admitted, though he’s leaving the system he will continue to make films, but on his own accord. Many people work day jobs to finance their passions and in this industry, you always got to have a steady source of income from somewhere (the student loan people don’t care about your dreams, just that you pay your bill on time). I don’t find Ted Hope’s commentary deflating, but rather, inspiring. This man is quitting so that he can do what he wants to do without comprising his soul. We should all be so lucky.