via Interview: Writer/Producer Lena Waithe Talks New Series 'Twenties' + Watch Pilot Presentation, by Masha Dowell, Shadow and Act.
Shadow and Act: What is a pilot presentation? Why did you opt for this route?
LW: A lot of networks read the script and loved it, but they either thought there wasn’t an audience for it or that it already existed. Of course I became extremely frustrated because I knew neither of those things were true. So I realized I had to show these network executives that TWENTIES was one of a kind and that there was nothing on TV like it. And I figured the best way to do that was to shoot a pilot presentation, which meant we would shoot a few pivotal scenes from the script, edit them together, and give people a sense of how the show would look and feel. Lucky for me, Justin Simien (writer/director DEAR WHITE PEOPLE) offered to direct it and Flavor Unit was willing to pay for it. Now I had the opportunity to show people what I was going for instead of trying to explain it to them. My plan wasn’t just to show it to executives, but to show it to the world so that the people could have a voice in this as well. And just so we’re clear: this is not a web series! I repeat this is not a web series. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing a web series. I’ve done one. My goal is to partner with a network that understands what I’m going for.
Shadow and Act: What do you want us to do after we’ve watched it?
LW: The good news is I don’t want your money. There’s no Kickstarter or IndieGoGo attached to this project. All we want you to do is commit to sharing TWENTIES with twenty of your friends. The more you spread the word the better chance we have of getting it on TV. We’ll keep pitching. You keep sharing. Let’s do this!
I don't know if there is a network that is going to understand and agree with what Lena is going for. There's a reason there aren't many scripted shows from the US with a lead character that is
- an L, G, B, or T person
- a black woman
- a lesbian woman
- a person talking to multiple black people
- a black lesbian woman talking to a bunch of other black people