He was flanked by a woman whose sour face suggested wanted to know as well.About an hour earlier, en route to this interrogation I spent the car ride over scrolling through twitter, pausing momentarily at mentions from users I’d never met and whose faces were absent from their avatars.
I’m certain I had already begun annoying one of the Roadside Attraction execs handling the social media about how to communicate what the film was more clearly to people on the fence about the title.
Even re-reading the now hilariously off the mark reviews of “Dear White America, congratulations, you’ve ruined the ‘Single Ladies’’ dance.”I chuckled at the IM from a close friend, a white friend, as we attempted to stave off boredom at our respective day jobs.
“I have a problem with your title, like…why do you feel the need to tell black stories for white audiences and not for your own community?
” A young black man in the front row wanted to know, his arms folded, as if he’d come to ask that question and promptly leave before my film had even started.
I idolized Kubrick for having the perseverance to make unflinching masterwork after masterwork despite audiences and critics not quite being ready for them.
They reminded me of what I wanted my work to achieve.I knew that whatever I called it, I had to break through the clutter.Like my hero Stanley Kubrick, I sought to not simply tell bold stories, but to ensure that eyes were laid upon those stories, even if that took some provocation.As I began fleshing out Sam’s voice as well as the mechanics of her controversial radio show, now the catalyst for all the drama in a more recent draft of I thought to start an anonymous twitter account in order to test out quips as well as study reactions to something called “Dear White America” and incorporate them into the script.After searching and realizing account was met positively by the dozens who noticed it.Self doubt is a constant companion for a chubby, gay, black boy born in the south.Daring to make films of any kind and thus invite the possibility of ridicule was an internal battle of mine for many years as I worked on the screenplay for what would become , beginning at the end of George W. After the q&a the same woman, I could now see she was in her mid fifties, approached me to say how much she saw herself in the character of Coco.It was a way for me to express the everyday conundrums and challenges of being a “black face” in a “mostly white space.” A way to comment on the “black experience” as I knew it to be, but rarely saw reflected in the culture.I waffled on whether or not to include a sequence where white students threw a “Nigga Night,” to dress up in black-face, drink forties and blast Ja-Rule. Months after I’d decided to cut the scene I came across an article about just such an occurrence at UC San Diego.Just as I hadn’t yet realized the constant struggle to leave my bed in the mornings was a symptom of chronic low grade depression and anxiety.I’d assumed that little personality quirk would dissolve as I “walked in my dream” of becoming a filmmaker.