From Girls to Everybody Hates Chris, Brooklyn has been the location for some of today’s most popular projects and another one to be added to the list is Brooklyn. Blue. Sky. Written and directed by Rhavynn Drummer & Dui Jarrod, Brooklyn. Blue. Sky. is a new web series about two distant exes, Skylar and Blue, who reluctantly decide to come together to create a pilot for a “Netflix and Chill” TV show competition. Before they submit, they have to untie the binds that held them captive to their youthful. One thing, however, is for sure: SHADE is indeed in the forecast.
Alongside Patrick Ryan Morris as the Director of Photography, Brooklyn. Blue. Sky. stars Jenelle Simone Valle, Michael Oloyede, La Rivers, Shannon Wallace, Adiagha Faizah, Roland Lane, Nicolette Ellis, and Maggie Belle Caplis. Recently, Brooklyn. Blue. Sky. won the BEST WEB ORIGINAL award at the 2017 American Black Film Festival! Both Drummer & Jarrod, as well as some of the cast, were in attendance to accept the award.
Check out my interview with Rhavynn Drummer & Dui Jarrod where they discuss what viewers can expect from Brooklyn. Blue. Sky., how they felt about their win, what’s next for them, and more below.
1-Growing up, did you both know you wanted to have a career in the filmmaking business?
Dui: Not at all. I always had an affinity for writing, so I thought I would be a playwright or an actor. It’s wasn’t until saying “Action” on my first short film that I truly realized this was the medium in which I was destined to create my art.
Rhavynn: Growing up, I was certain that I would become a doctor and would be delivering babies. I always LOVED theater and performed a lot but I never thought I would make a career of it. In college, I failed Chemistry…twice…and that was when I switched gears and began to look at a career in filmmaking.
2-Rhavynn, you’ve worked on a slew of amazing projects by Tyler Perry that include If Loving You Is Wrong & The Family That Preys. Which has been your favorite project to work on?
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work in casting at Tyler Perry Studios for 10 years and we’ve done some amazing things but my FAVORITE project, outside of Brooklyn. Blue. Sky, is actually Good Girls. It’s a web series I wrote and created in 2014. It’s my favorite because it was my first big step into putting my money where my mouth is and creating.
3-Dui, your project, Lesson before Love, received great buzz among viewers and even accolades at festivals. What’s one thing about the film that you believe is the reason that viewers praised it?
I think people really connected with the journey of the four characters. Sometimes we’re a little shitty, sometimes we’re the best version of ourselves—these characters represented all of that. Even when I take the time to re-watch the production, I don’t see the flaws, but the heart of the actors that portrayed my work. It still satisfies me in an honest way.
4-How did you both come up with Brooklyn. Blue. Sky.?
Dui: Rhavynn and I celebrate young creatives. We love the light that shines from Issa Rae and Donald Glover and we wanted to reflect that truth in our work. So, we decided to write a story about two young dreamers whose dreams had gotten derailed by a series of choices. When we were constructing the back stories of the two main characters, we had so much of our own struggles to highlight—and chose to dig deeper to find a richer story.
Rhavynn: Exactly! I had been directing a play that Dui wrote called Unholy War and Dui said, “We need to create a web series.” After the play wrapped, we took a break for about a week and started getting to work on Brooklyn. Blue. Sky.
5-What would you both say makes Brooklyn. Blue. Sky. different than any other web series about exes/lovers?
Dui: The internal drama. We knew what’s largely in the market are romantic comedies, so we wanted to approach the entire series from a deeper, more visceral place. We didn’t want two characters wandering around Brooklyn, blaming one another for their lack of creative output. What we did instead was create two people who had gotten really settled in uncomfortable places and needed each other to get outside of themselves. There’s a beautiful creative relationship between the two, but the way they love is quite destructive.
Rhavynn: I think Brooklyn. Blue. Sky. isn’t about exes and lovers and that inherently makes it different. I think the fact that we heavily focused on the people, not just the relationships, makes this web series different.
6-What do you both hope viewers will take away from the web series?
Dui: I would love for viewers to be like “Damn, that shit was beautiful.” I really do. We were extremely progressive with the lens and tone of the series. I think the acting is pristine and we captured some beautiful shots of some beautiful people.
Rhavynn: I hope viewers take away how beautiful black people are…especially on screen! We had a moment where Dui and were selecting our cast and we looked at our cast board and were like…”Wow, they’re beautiful!” With every combination of actor and role, we just had to acknowledge how beautiful we are as people. In addition, our cast was so dope and worked together SO well! I would love for the audience to see the MANY forms of love we have in this series. Love for friends, lovers, exes, game nights, snow filled parks, BROOKLYN…there’s a lot of love in this!
7-How would you both describe Brooklyn. Blue. Sky. in three words?
Dui: Smart, forward, and beautiful.
Rhavynn: Poetic, Endearing, Alluring
8-Brooklyn. Blue. Sky. was a finalist for the BEST WEB ORIGINALS award at the American Black Film Festival and WON! How does that feel?
Dui: It’s the SHIT! It really is. As a creative, you find yourself bouncing from failure to failure and struggle to struggle. The acceptance to ABFF was a breath of fresh air because it fortifies the belief that all the failures and struggles are worth it. Someone saw our work and felt it belonged. It’s a dope ass feeling.
Rhavynn: Incredible! And then to WIN takes us over the moon! We knew this project was special from day one and to see that the blessings keep flowing into this project is AMAZING!
9-What advice would you both give to someone who wants to be a filmmaker and/or actor?
Dui: Eat first. Period. We falsely buy into this narrative that to create is to suffer. It’s bullshit. You can eat and live and laugh and create. I think Rhavynn and I are witnesses of this being so.
Rhavynn: For Filmmakers—keep creating! Continue to throw your beautiful gift back into the world! For Actors—acting is your first job! Treat it as such. Don’t allow your 9-5 to let you treat your career like it’s a hobby.
10-What is NEXT for Rhavynn Drummer & Dui Jarod?
Dui: I’m celebrating Rhavynn and her new pilot she’s working on solo and working on a new web series that I’ve been wanting to create for a while. I hope to drink wine daily and dance whenever music comes on.
Rhavynn: Dui is incredibly kind and I am celebrating him as well! I’m still casting and creating!
Photo Credit: Dui Jarrod/Rhavynn Drummer/Instagram(Brooklyn. Blue. Sky.)