***The Thursday Interview is a showcase for creators, innovators, troublemakers, small business owners to share news and insight about the creative impetus and inspirations behind their latest project, launch or business.
When Hollywood content disappoints, I know how to seek out a web series that entertains and enlightens. You’re So Talented is a definite add to the yes list. Because I was hooked from the first episode, I knew I had to feature filmmaker Sam Bailey on the blog. Enjoy and support, people.
Name: Sam Bailey, Filmmaker
Company: Our Names Are Sam
Launch Date: 2015
Motto: Better an asshole than a chickenshit (words of advice from a mentor)
I heart Bea. Even when she frustrates me. How did you develop the character and what do you have planned for her?
Bea came from a really low place in my life. I was going through a lot of uncertainty-both professionally and personally. Because of that, I think she personifies all of my insecurities as an artist and as a young black woman. I would write these little sketches based off real, awkward moments in my life and then build from there. She totally frustrates me too, but I think what saves her is that she always has really good intentions. In the second season, Bea is a lot more focused on her career and her friends-trying not to get distracted by boys this year. Sometimes she’s successful. But without those distractions, she’s forced to deal with herself in a very real way. You’ve gotta watch to see what happens.
How did you connect with your creative partner Sam Lee?
Sam Lee and I were kinda traveling in the same social circle for awhile. When I knew I wanted to start filming You’re So Talented, I reached out to her because she has an extensive background in editing and filmmaking. She ended up making original music for the series with my cousin, Alistair Slaughter. Through that process we realized we worked really together and had the same values when it comes to storytelling so it was just a natural progression to make our partnership official. She’s an incredibly intelligent, competent and genuine artist-I’m hella lucky to work beside her.
Watching You’re So Talented introduced me to Open TV, “a platform for indie arts and artists and believes television must be open to diverse identities and their experiences.” Did they approach you or did you pitch the show to them?
I initially approached Aymar (creator of OpenTV) to do a write up on the series once our 1st season trailer was released. We ended up getting coffee and talking about this new platform he was working in which became Open TV. Once again, our values just really aligned so when he asked to premiere YST it was a no-brainer. He’s been really essential to us gaining a larger audience and helping us with resources we wouldn’t have without him.
What do you love, like and hate about what you do?
I love pre-production: creating a world that these characters get to play within is the best. I really like being on set and working with the same group of dope artists. I hate figuring out budgets. 🙂
When can we hope to see Our Names Are Sam short Raina’s Not Here?
We are planning to enter the festival circuit so it should start popping up around fall/winter of this year.
Shout out time. This is an opportunity to salute your collaborators and supporters.
I work a lot with Vincent Martell and the talented folks at VAM Magazine, The Goodnight Ladies , Alistair Slaughter. Senyo Ador is our producer for Raina’s Not Here and he’s been amazing to work with-he’s a gem. Mateo Gonzales has been my cinematographer from the beginning and I’ve grown so much as a filmmaker because of our work together. In general, I think Chicago has been such a support system for me so I’m always trying to give back that love.