As you may or may not know, I co-Executive Produced the “Hustle In Brooklyn” series on BET back in 2018. To this day, I still say that this was one of my favorite shows to work on. July marks the two year anniversary that we started filming this show. First season shows are better to produce because you really have the opportunity to put your footprint on the creative. In “the field” (as it is called in production–hey, I did not make that up), a lot occurs before the footage makes it through the edit and turns into what you see on TV. Throughout my career, I am constantly asked, what happened to this show and why it did not return for a second season. My answer varies from “I don’t know” to “maybe politics.” The one thing that is consistent, however, is that people truly enjoyed this show, from the stories we told about these up and coming artists/personalities from Brooklyn, to the cinematic feel of a BET show that I felt was ahead of its time (stories told only in verite and no cheesy ass green screen interviews).
While in quarantine, I asked the cast, some of who I still speak to, to participate in a ‘reunion’ of sorts, because I was 1. learning how to use zoom and 2. curious to see where they all were and how the experience of reality TV had affected them and their relationship with each other. Needless to say, I got more than what I expected. I chose to wait to post this because, not long after we recorded this, the world was rocked by police brutality and it seemed the wrong time.
Still, I did not want the time put into this (some of the cast refused to call in…while others simply forgot) to go unnoticed. Reality television stirs emotions, even two years later. What is it about a camera and revealing your truth that gets so complicated. What is it about our interaction with each other that changes when the camera light is on?