Launching “How I Made It”

Yesterday I launched a new series for my job (job? yes–I have a job! more on it later—I’m too busy working). It is called “How I Made It” and it profiles Black women who have made it in the fashion and beauty industry. Our first episode features Mikki Taylor, former Beauty & Cover Editor for ESSENCE Magazine. Mikki is a pretty awesome lady. Shooting this was the first time I have experienced her in the flesh, and I enjoyed every minute of it!

This is the third series I’ve launched for the job so far. Each project is special to me for one reason or another, and every new series is my new favorite. I am pretty proud of this piece, which is saying a lot–I am hardly ever proud of my work for longer than 10 seconds immediately following launching. The team I put together to pull all of this off was amazing. From the makeup artist to the motion graphics team to the director, editor and DP, to the producer, the musician who created the music and of course our regular staff who had lots of input. I think this may have been the first piece we’ve done that I couldn’t stop watching over and over again. I think my favorite part of this whole thing is I got it done right under budget, ha!

I really enjoy producing video content for the web. It’s happening for me really quickly, but being able to tell visual stories that you can’t find in mainstream media–especially those about and for Black people is kinda….cool. I am loving the opportunity to be able to do this.

Watch the video below. Continue reading “Launching “How I Made It””

Remembering Steve Jobs


In case you didn’t know, I am a big nerd. I am also a big sap. So when I heard the news that Steve Jobs had passed away today, I kinda broke down in tears. In public. Ugly crying, everywhere.

First, let me rewind. Six weeks ago Steve stepped down from his position at Apple, and I guess I knew then that it was a wrap. Steve had always said when his health got so bad that he could no longer lead Apple, he would step down. And when that day had come, I knew things had to be dire, because Steve struck me as the kinda guy who would try to work until his dying day. I shed some tears that day, knowing his time had to be soon.

I came home crying this evening (finally home where I could really break down) and my roommate thought I was a bit crazy for crying over the passing of a man I had never met. But, much like Michael Jackson, Steve was a cultural game changer for the majority of my life.

My first interaction with a (cool) personal computer was some early model Macintosh. Sure, I’d played Oregon Trail on some sort of early model IBM. But I remember loving computers and thinking they were awesome in 7th grade when my Journalism teacher taught us how to lay out our school newspaper on a Macintosh. It was way more interactive, it made cute, cool sounds and it was easy to work with. In High School, we did our art projects on Macs in Art class. At home, our very first computer was an Apple laptop. My first interactions with the Internet was through an Apple computer, and today I make my living on the Internet. The first computer my parents bought for me in college was a graphite iMac. Every computer I’ve ever purchased as an adult has been a Mac. My first (and last! lol) boyfriend was an Apple Genius. I remember the day I bought my first iPod, convinced that me and 50 Cent had to be the only Black people on the planet who owned iPods…and that was cool. I remember the day I bought my first iPhone. And as a budding entrepreneur and someone trying to mold her career, I’ve admired Steve’s passion, business acumen, and innovation.

In some way shape or form, Steve Jobs has influenced the way I consume and produce media, the way I think, and he’s had a hand in how I communicate with the world. I know we all have a limited time on this earth, but I think one can only hope that they will leave behind a legacy as impactful as Steve’s.

Rest in peace.

Producing “She’s The Boss”

I’ve been super busy lately because I have been in the throws of producing  an original web series for a client. I’ve reached a milestone (the series debuted!), so I figured I would weigh in with some thoughts and an update.

Have I produced a web series before? No. Since high school, I’ve made small video projects over the years but nothing with a budget, an idea, and a team of people to work with to make it happen.  After a longtime client asked me to help oversee his production studio, this web series landed on my desk and I did my best to make it work.

I like challenges.

Enter She’s The Boss

The overall concept of the series She’s The Boss was semi-packaged by the time I stepped on the scene: it would be a series profiling NYC’s Black businesswomen and industry leaders. 20 women, 20 episodes,  5-7 minutes each and sponsored by General Mills. There were some big challenges though: we did not have any guests confirmed, the creative aspects of the series hadn’t been finalized, the client had just bought the show and it needed to go up ASAP. It would be a hustle to get this project up and going. We could do this, right?

Right.

The series debuted last week, and it’s been an exciting few weeks to say the least. We’re still booking guests, but the guest list and shoots have been awesome. We shoot almost every week and every shoot day is different, with its own set of challenges and personalities. The other day I was on set tearing up a bit by just how inspiring and awesome our guest for Episode 3 was. I did a walk through on location with the guest for Episode 5 today and she had the best energy. It’s an exciting time to be working on projects like this.

Episode 1: Ericka Dotson, Indique Hair

This was our first shoot–ever–and Ericka Dotson was great. She has awesome energy and her team is very well put together and fun to work with. I was nervous about the shoot but it went well. It’s not 100% perfect, so you know my inner perfectionist is uncomfortable, but overall I am happy. I look forward to our other episodes building on top of this one. Check out Episode 2 over here, featuring my soror Michelle James.

Being A Boss Lady

She’s The Boss is an aptly named series for my first project in this role as I get comfortable with being “the boss” of a team of folks.  I’ve worked for myself for the last 3 years, so it’s been a while since I worked with a team, let alone worked in a leadership capacity. I’m still growing, learning how to lead, getting my stride together, etc, so being on set with these phenomenal ladies has been a a great “learning on the job” experience. These interviews keep me grounded and reinforce to me what it means to a woman and a leader. It’s okay to be confident, it’s okay to be “aggressive,” it’s okay to be a perfectionist, and it’s okay to delegate.

I can’t wait to finish shooting this series! For now, you can catch a new episode every Thursday on MadameNoire.com/ShesTheBoss.

Heads Up: HelloBeautiful.com Says You Need To Know Me

HelloBeautiful 25 Black Women to Know: Liz Burr
Thank you HelloBeautiful!

 

Over at VerySmartBrothas, we get lots of e-mail–many of which are press releases. This morning I opened our inbox to find a press release announcing Hello Beautiful.com’s 25 Black Women You Should Know About, a list that includes yours truly!

Obviously you’re already ahead of the game, because you know (of) me (since you’re here on my site;)), but read  the writeup on me and check out the other 24 (AWESOME!) women. I don’t know why I was chosen to be in such great company, but I am very inspired by these ladies!