Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Eddie Murphy on Creativity and Art

"It's not the public that inspired an artist to create. An artist feels the need to create even if there is no public. If there were no one on the planet I'd still do funny things. I'd just be laughing by myself."

                                                                    - Eddie Murphy, Playboy, February 1990

Monday, October 21, 2013

Grantland Looks at the Portland vs. Seattle Rivalry

Basketball is big just about everywhere nowadays with the NBA, FIBA, NCAA Tournament and even AAU leagues popping up across the country. With that expansion has come some intense rivalries. In this video from Grantland we see just how intense those rivalries between cities can be when we get an introduction to the Portland vs. Seattle I-5 tussle.

In this short video we see reps from both cities speak on the ballers from their hoods and local tournaments over the years between the two northwestern neighbors. Definitely worth a look.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Actors Discuss Legacy of Roots

With the film "12 Years A Slave" debuting this week, I figured it was a good time to revisit a panel discussion I shot earlier this year revolving around one of the most prominent depictions of slavery in media.

From left to right: Levar Burton, Louis Gosset Jr., Leslie Uggams, and Ben Vereeen

The panel featured actors who played pivotal roles in the TV mini-series "Roots" that premiered in 1977 and was shown on BET last winter. "Roots" was really the first program to explore the challenges, horrors, and triumphs within the realm of American slavery. It was an eye opening experience for millions of people and really helped shed a light on America's 'original sin.' Actors Lou Gosset Jr., Ben Vereen, Leslie Uggams and Levar Burton, spoke on the significance of "Roots," their roles in it, and how "Roots" continues to educate more than 30 years later.

The panel was a part of a larger series called 'Changing the Picture' at the Museum of the Moving Image this past February, which highlighted the works of people of color in the film and television industry.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"Cuz He's Black" - By Javon L. Johnson, Ph.D.

A very moving spoken word piece by Javon L. Johnson on a conversation he had with his 4-year-old nephew in regards to being a black man and dealing with the police. For more on the poem, check out this article from The Root.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Actress Tired of Hollywood's Stereotypes Decides To Do Something About It

Iyin Landre is an actress. She's determined. She also happens to be Asian.

Iyin points out how she believes her race may be a hindrance in Hollywood when it comes to getting cast in films. As she demonstrates through her video, it seems casting directors only view her through a stereotypical lens. Whether it's been the woman who provides manicures at the nail salon, or the buttoned up scientist in a lab, Iyin believes she's more than just an ancillary character in somebody's picture. She aspires to be the leading lady one day.

Thanks to KickStarter, that day has come sooner then she probably realized. Iyin successfully raised more than $75K for her independent feature entitled "Me + You." Instead of lamenting the fact that she wasn't getting consistent work and sitting by the phone, Iyin took action and is now making the films and characters that she wants to see. Gotta respect the hustle. Here's the Kickstarter link.