Your upcoming TV-pilot Shrader House - in a few words, what is it
television drama about troubled youth
in a Brooklyn group home facing extremely tough challenges against a corrupt
As I understand, quite a bit of Shrader House
is based on
your personal experiences as a home group worker. Would you care to
I have had over 12 years experience as a youth
councilor and supervisor. I have seen so much good but I have seen so much
bad at the same time. I have written the character Chris Bailey loosely
based on myself in the Shrader House. His character really identifies how
passionate I am with working with young people.
Other sources of inspirations for Shrader House?
I think mostly the huge generation difference in
today's youth and knowing why there has been a change in behavior. Inspired
by finding the answer to the question “WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE KIDS
Should the pilot be picked up, what will the
series have in store?
Without giving it away, I would say that you will get
to see the answer to that question “WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE KIDS TODAY”?
There is a lot of drama and eye openers to the story that has so much
truth about our society. You will at the same time be entertained.
What can you tell us about your director Jack Bank, and what's
your collaboration like? And considering this is a very personal story,
how hands-off do you manage to remain?
Jack Bank is an extremely talented individual that
saw my vision and immediately we knew he was the man for the job. He is
without question a perfectionist and will not stop grabbing “Takes”
until he has the right one. Well I’m involved throughout the entire
process being that very reason that its very personal to me, but at the
same time I let everyone have fun and do what they do. We talk back and
forth a lot on set for feedback, it’s a great chemistry.
You also play a
role in Shrader House
- so what can you tell us about your
character, and what do you draw upon to bring him to life?
I play a character by the name of “UN”, short for
Universal. UN is a gunrunner/gang leader from Bedstuy that grew up
around the Brooklyn era of heightened crime in the 90’s. He is the local
“big shot” that all the young people look to because he takes care of
their needs. The way I bring him to life is through knowing people from
that era and actual family members that actually lived that lifestyle. I
have seen a lot and experienced a lot of the drama that goes on in the
can you tell us about the rest of your key cast why exactly these people,
and how did you get them?
The casting was done by some really talented people
in the industry, Jaime Zevallos and Leila Almas. We looked for talent and
passion through experience not just only an actor or actress but people
who could actually relate to the script in some way. Andre Royo was my
personal pick because of the history that Andre and I have. I met him back
when he was shooting the 4th season of The Wire. Andre
was one of the first people to give
a shot back in
2007 and has been aboard ever since.
What can you tell us about the
actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere?
The set is filled with multiple settings and is an
awesome place to shoot. We have an extremely talented group of
individuals. We have a lot of fun, but we handle business at the same
time. My DP Karbis Sarafyan and the Director Jack Bank are perfectionists.
Any idea when
and where Shrader House will be released onto the general public?
Right now we are in
post-production and we have some
really big offers right now that I’d rather not say. But wherever it
lands it will make television history for being the first drama series
with a concept such as this one.
got you into writing, and script-writing at that, in the first place?
Writing has always been in me. My mother named me
after the great Langston Huges, so it’s in my blood. I have always been
the student in school that loved to write the essay part of the exam. But
my good friend Jaime Zevallos pushed me into pursuing it as a career. So
when he introduced me to Final Draft I wrote my first screen play called
Tulum and it got optioned by National Lampoon/Alien Nitraite
So right then I knew it was in my destiny to be a writer.
are of course also known in the hip hop world as B.A.M. - so what can you
tell us about your alter ego?
I’ve been a part of Hip hop since I was a little
kid using the television remote as a microphone. B.A.M. is another person
when I begin to record and just recently I have been growing even more as
an artist. I believe more now than ever in music with a message.
What's a typical B.A.M.
recording session like, and what can you tell us about B.A.M. on stage?
Energy, Energy, Energy - in a session and on stage. You
come to pay for a show that’s exactly what you are going to get. I come
from the school of teachers such as M.O.P., Wu-Tang Clan and KRS-1.
got you into making music to begin with?
Watching the legendary super producer Prince Paul
make beats in his home studio. My friend Mike P was my DJ, and we used to go
to Paul's house and he used to let me rap over beats he was making for LL
Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul, Queen Latifah etc. We recorded demos
on top of demos until it was right. Paul and Dave of De La Soul put me in
touch with an Executive at Def Jam and that is where I signed my first
deal with RAL (Rush Associated Labels/RPM). A year later they got me the
record deal with Columbia Records.
musicians, whatever else who inspire you?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I’m a spiritual dude so I have to say GOD is my
number one inspiration. The gift that he has put into the artists such as
Slick Rick, KRS-1 and Nas are my Hip Hop inspirations when it comes to
And since this
is first and foremost a movie site: Your favourite movies?
I am a
007 fanatic!! I have every
Bond film ever made
on Blu-ray in my private cinema at home. Star Wars Trilogy,
Grid Iron Gang,
Escape From Alcatraz, I Am Legend, MI 1, 2 and
Ghost Protocol, (wasn’t
wild about 3). The list goes on and on.
and of course, films you really deplore?
Cool, Batman & Robin,
Scary Movie (all of them).
pilot's website, Facebook, whatever else?
for the interview!