Not long ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brandon Kyle & Pentené Monique Woolen, a talented married couple behind the amazing web series Dating Savannah Love. Brandon is an actor, writer, producer and director born and raised in Dallas, TX. Brandon’s talent for being an actor after starring in many theatre productions drove him to relocate to Los Angeles following those dreams of being on screen. Brandon spent several years of intense acting training as well as attending Liberal Arts and Film School. While in Los Angeles, Brandon began studying numerous Hollywood scripts and screenwriters to further his skills. In 2011, Brandon formed Name Brand Films, an independent production company devoted to various forms of entertainment from film, television, and web based series.
Pentené is a producer, actress and singer who, after years of being a trained singer, discovered that her love for acting and producing was just as much of a passion in her life. In 2002, she relocated to Los Angeles from her hometown, San Diego, CA to attend California State University of Northridge. She graduated in 2005, earning a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and began to explore her niche in the entertainment industry by taking acting classes, being on various television and film productions to gain the experience and acted in various TV projects. She eventually began developing her own TV, reality and film production projects with her husband, Brandon. On top of that, Pentené is also a master bridal stylist and owner of Beauty Within Image Consulting.
Dating Savannah Love chronicles the love life of Los Angeles bound Savannah Banks, an editor for a bridal magazine, who enters her 30’s and decides to take a swim in the online dating pool. The show is currently in its second season and Brandon & Pentené continue to keep fans coming back each week with more twists & turns than expected. Check out my interview with Brandon & Pentené where they discuss web series Dating Savannah Love & Not By Choice, their dream film projects, what’s next for them, and more below!
- Growing up, did you both know you wanted to do something in the entertainment/film world?
Brandon: Growing up, I’ve always had a thing for entertainment. I actually wrote my first script in 5th grade using my teacher’s computer. I then tried sending it to Warner Brothers not knowing how this thing works. Throughout my childhood I always studied scripts, Film and TV which developed into a passion for wanting to pursue it. That led me to LA where I began this journey.
Pentené: I was always interested in the world of entertainment growing up as well. However, my love for music was stronger because I loved singing. My dad was a talented singer so that’s where my foundation of music began. I ended up being a part of two singing groups and studied classical music. I almost had an interest in being an opera singer, but decided to not continue to pursue a singing career. As I got older I begin to transition into film, developing a deeper connection to it.
- How did you come up with Dating Savannah Love?
Pentené: The derivation of Dating Savannah Love came from the desire to cover a story about the many challenges of dating for a successful and career driven African-American woman. With the popularity and phenomenon of online dating, we thought it would be interesting to show her on this journey of finding her soul mate on the online social platform.
- Brandon, why do you believe Dating Savannah Love has been a hit with fans/viewers?
I believe that the content on the show is very relatable and resonates with a lot of people which makes it a hit for me. We have not reached the fan based we are aiming for and we are working with people now to help get us there. We have though definitely received some great feedback from fans that have come across the show, which is always a great feeling.
- Pentené, you acted in some of the season two episodes and it was amazing! Do you plan on doing some more acting?
Thank you so much! Yes I do plan on doing some more acting. Acting is fun, but can be challenging because there’s so many elements to it. It’s definitely a craft you have to be passionate about it.
- What can we further expect from season two of Dating Savannah Love?
Brandon: Season 2 shows how far the show has come from a developmental standpoint. Season 1 was an introduction into Savannah’s world and the journey of finding your soul mate. Season 2 takes us on a ride and digs into everyone’s personal life to bring more depth and stories across the board. To show how different relationship experiences are both good and bad. It’s definitely a step up from season 1 and I wrote it this time around to keep people tuning in and guessing to see what’s going to happen next, which so far is working.
Pentené: Season 2 of Dating Savannah Love is bananas! You can’t help, but wonder what’s to come next. The fans are deeply invested into what’s going on in the lives of each character and that’s exactly what we wanted. I think as the season progresses it gets even more heated. Kudos to Brandon for writing an exceptionally entertaining season.
- Even though it might be early, could there be a season three? If so, where do you see Savannah & company going as far as their storylines is concerned?
Brandon: Season 3 is up in the air. We are working to bring more viewership and subscribers to the series and see how the demand goes. I feel that when the show reaches the masses it’s going to be a want for more. We would be interested into continuing for a season 3 and the way season 2 will end I’m sure will leave an open opportunity for that. Only time will tell. Who knows…maybe a spin-off…you have to see the final three episodes to see if that’s a possibility.
Pentené: If that happens (the demand) I’m actually interested in turning the series into a film if that’s a possibility. I think Dating Savannah Love as a film would be a very great move.
- You both were also part of another hit web series–Not By Choice. Will there be a new season? If so, what can fans expect?
Pentené: Yes we were. Not By Choice created a launching pad for us to continue to create web series since that was our very first web show. Although that show continues to grow an audience, unfortunately it won’t be back for another season. We’ve been thinking about possibly creating a spin-off for the fans of Not By Choice, but only time will tell.
- If you both had the chance, what would be your dream film to work on?(example: a biopic on President Obama, an action film, etc.)
Brandon: Great question. I’m an actor as well and I would love to play Stevie Wonder in his biopic or even write and direct a film based on his life. That would be a dream.
Pentené: Working with the very talented and amazing actress Taraji P Henson on a project would be a dream come true…also, putting together a documentary on a socially conscious driven topic.
- What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into directing/producing/etc?
Brandon: You have to be passionate about it. Without passion you can’t move forward. It’s a tough industry to work in and you need tough skin to be able to stick it out through the struggles, trials and tribulations. I always say once you make it you make it. I stand by that because I feel that in the end it all pays off as long as you stay persistent and determined and keep a strong mind.
Pentené: Learn the craft, make sure that you are truly passionate about it and be up for the challenges that follow. Don’t do it for the money and fame because it’s certainly not glitz and glamour. Never be afraid of opening up your own doors.
- What is NEXT for both Brandon Kyle & Pentené Monique Woolen?
Brandon: I’m currently working on some short films I’ve been writing for quite sometime. Shooting 15 episodes of DSL this season is like making 15 short films so I definitely want to pursue that next to expand my work and creativity. As far as web series go, we’re currently developing several series with the next upcoming entitled “Married People Problems” which we look to go into production before the year is up. I’m going to be starring in that one and we will be casting soon.
Pentené: To piggy back off of Brandon, definitely looking forward to putting out more web series content…also looking to produce a documentary and films (action, comedy, drama). I’ll be making my next acting debut in the near future.
Photo Credit: Name Brand Films YOUTUBE/Twitter(Brandon Kyle)/Instagram(Pentene Woolen)