Hollywood We Have A Problem
LEWISVILLE, TX, UNITED STATES, January 24, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — Filmmaker Pierre Bagley Faces Setbacks in Hollywood While Taking The Bluford High Series to TV
Nationwide — Pierre Bagley, an independent filmmaker who has directed the likes of Taraji P. Henson and whose films have aired on Netflix, Bounce TV, TNT, and more, is now set to adapt and produce a film series based on the popular Bluford books series written by multiracial authors (U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson is an avid fan). To date, the books in that series have sold more than 12 million copies. The Bluford books series has caught the industry off guard because of its massive and avid fan base. In 2001, an indie publisher disrupted the Young Adult market by rejecting the cynical, baseless notion that “black kids don’t read,” by publishing a 7-book YA series, set in an urban American high school. All the main characters were Black and Brown — unheard of at the time — and they were complex and multifaceted, their stories realistic and edgy but also uplifting. The Bluford Series was born.
“When (Hollywood) executives are looking for Black content, they’re looking for Wakanda or poverty, with no in between. By ignoring the systemic racial inequities that plague the film and television business, Hollywood is leaving $10 billion annually on the table. ” McKinsey & Company Study (2021). “So if the market tells us that this is not a value proposition for studios … it might be a value proposition for another entity.” Filmmaker Ava Duvernay on securing non-studio financing($38M) of her latest film “Origins.” “It was like you were never here…” said Blitz Bazawule, the director of “The Color Purple” in a recent television interview, referring to the studio’s requirement that (Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe Award winner) Taraji P. Henson audition for her role in the movie. Taraji later expressed other deeply troubling concerns including compensation and working conditions. The irony is Oprah Winfrey, the film’s producer and the most influential Black woman in film/tv was hamstrung in assisting Taraji by the same system. The cruelest irony… The movie is about a young Black Woman, struggling to overcome oppression, while seeking fulfillment.
This might be a value proposition for another entity, indeed! The old tired mantra, “black content doesn’t travel overseas” is bull*hit according to filmmaker Pierre Bagley who directed Taraji P. Henson, over 10 years ago, in what many considered some of her best work, in her portrayal of legendary coach Catana Starks in the film “From The Rough.” The movie is based on the true story of Catana Starks, the first woman to coach a division I Men’s Golf team to a PGA tournament win. This true story happened at the HBCU (Historically Black College & University), Tennessee State University. The irony is that Coach Starks did this by recruiting internationally, bringing players from all over the world into an environment very culturally different from their own. The film also starred (the late) Michael Clarke Duncan, Tom Felton (Harry Potter) and Justin Chon (Twilight).
Black Americans have a profound and disproportionate impact on every segment of American culture from social justice, cuisine, art and fashion, to literature and music but does Hollywood still view Black America as a “market niche” despite vast, multifaceted contributions now woven into the fabric of America and the world. It’s a question that continues to be ask more today.
Pierre Bagley, a respected writer, producer/director– now teamed with David Dinerstein, an Academy Award winning producer (Summer of Soul)– with a Y/A (young adult) book series “Bluford High”, voraciously read for over 20 years, by 10s of millions of fans will now bring these stories to film and television.
Taraji P. Henson has recently made headlines about the inequality in pay, about who’s in control of the stories and voices of people of color, and who gets to decide on how people of color are portrayed. It seems now that the powers that be in Hollywood are about to answer question with a book series that has millions of readers and has proven to be a valuable entertainment property…. Bluford is coming.
Both Mr. Bagley and Mr. Dinerstein have been developing this project for over 6 years and has bluntly asked Hollywood the simple question: Why?… Why can’t this bright, passionate audience of millions have a TV/film series based on the books they read growing up? Why won’t you recognize the sustained, historically successful performance of urban focused content? These questions and more are being posed to Bluford’s loyal, engaged social media base, to a passionate, and increasingly expanding response. Mr. Bagley and Mr. Dinerstein are making plans for alternative funding apart from the traditional methods.
“It is counterproductive and very frustrating to continue investing our creative and entrepreneurial energies trying to reform an industry that seems incapable of change. Time better spent, creating the next hit TV series or movie franchise with alternate methods of financing and distribution,” said Mr. Bagley. Now it seems that Bluford the TV Series will be one of those projects taking advantage of an alternate entrance into Hollywood.
LISTEN UP HOLLYWOOD!
U.S. “Urban Campaign” Promo
For more information on this project , contact Roy Brannon at [email protected] or 214-724-6892.