What is Project Blaq and what prompted you to start it?Project Blaq is a web platform designed to stream independent film and video content. I got the idea after talking to an independent filmmaker about online distribution options. I had always wanted to start a TV network, so I saw this as a perfect opportunity to combine the two.
What is your ultimate goal with Project Blaq?
My ultimate goal with Project Blaq is for it to become a top online destination for black film & video content.
Have you thought about how HUGE this could be for black films?As we talk to more and more people, it starts to set in. Although I like big picture thinking, I have to make sure I stay focused on the supporting details. I don't want to be so blinded by the bigger picture that nothing gets done.
What do you believe will be Project Blaq's biggest and smallest advantages? Why?Every advantage is a big advantage! We have established relationships with key industry influences. This will be critical for getting the word out about submitting to the site
What inspires you to make this project big?
The scale of the project didn't hit me until we started to really uncover great content. As we stumbled upon across these films, we felt we had to work harder to bring these films to light. It was no longer just a business idea, is a way for filmmakers to push their content to audiences.
Who all is involved with this project? What was the discussion like pulling it all together?
I'm fortunate to have built my team with my CAU alumni family. After deciding to move forward with the project, I brought on Renay Nailon as my VP of Production & Content Acquisition. This was a major move because of Renay's creativity, passion and excitement about not only the project, but film making as well. She can literally watch indie films all day!
To support our business model, I brought on Oshanda Kittles as the VP of Sales & Marketing. She's a CAU alumna with an MBA in Marketing and years of corporate sales experience. She can monetize almost anything! I'm blessed to have this team because we have the perfect blend of creativity and business savvy.
Do you think actually going to college and studying film helps in the long run. Oppose to just jumping in head first and learning?
As an instructor, this is a question I get often. I will first say there is absolutely nothing wrong with jumping in head first. However, you must be willing to overcome a few challenges. The first is mentorship. By attending a film program you have an excellent way to interact with experienced professionals (your professors). They can guide you and offer you critical feedback on your work. By jumping in head first, you may or may not be able to find that mentor as quickly in such a tough industry.
From an educator's perspective, a college degree is priceless (although Sallie Mae tries very hard to put a dollar amount on it, lol). The skills you learn while in college are vital. Outside of your major courses, college enhances your ability to think critically and analytically. My problem solving, research and reasoning skills were all sharply developed throughout my matriculation.
What are some misconceptions about black indie films and how does Project Blaq plan to conquer those misconceptions?From my experience, people have a tendency to think that black indie films are always the extremely low-budget hood flicks that perpetuate violence and drug abuse within our community. This is so far from the truth! Our goal is not only showcase the very best in film & video by black media makers, but also to connect them with a commercial audience. We want the younger generations to see black faces in media like we saw while growing up. And if by chance we feature a film that has the violent and drug abuse themes, please believe it will be done in a way to provoke thought and conversation.
What separates Project Blaq from the other companies that support or promote black indie films?Based on our research, there is currently no platform streaming solely quality indie black content.
There is a void when it comes to supporting & promoting black indie films. Where will Project Blaq fit into filling this void?Project Blaq will be the online hub for all black indie films & video. The #1 way to support any indie filmmaker (black or otherwise) is financially. As site traffic grows, media makers will have opportunities to monetize their content and distribute DVDs and merchandise through the e-store.
Where do you see Project Blaq in 10 years from now?Ten years from now, Project Blaq will be proactively developing film & video projects. Indie producers and directors will have the chance to pitch concepts to our development team to secure funding and resources. We want to continue to support those who like to "color outside of the lines" so to speak. We will continue to embrace creativity and diversity of thought.
For more information on Project Blaq or to submitt quality work
Project Blaq is also looking for a film & TV blogger ASAP