Jay Mullings on Black Screenwriting Myths, Creativity & Urgent Changes// Written Mirror

Jay Mullings on Black Screenwriting Myths, Creativity & Urgent Changes// Written Mirror


>>You’ve put her life
as a black.>>British screenwriter.
Do you think that’s more difficult
to be to be a screenwriter?>>I mean basically when it
comes to screenwriting writing creating as a black person
it is harder… That goes for other BAME
backgrounds as well and other minority groups. It’s just this idea that a lot
of people can’t naturally relate or they think
they can’t relate. When really they’re just looking
at surface level things and with writing I find that to
be the case a lot of the time. So that’s why I’ve said
that it’s very difficult. But you know as opposed
to being a brain surgeon. No of course not! At the end of the day if it
was all about just the content I would say
no it’s not hard at all. It’s not just about the content. It’s about all the other things
that go with it. And this perceived
lack of marketability which makes no sense at all. But then this is what they have
as a frame of reference.>>They only ever want to
compare you to other things and they never want
to kind of work with each piece on its merit.
And that’s why it’s hard.>>You not think times
are changing. As we’re more aware of this now? Surely you should be taking
someone because they’re good.>>Yes exactly.
But this is why I’m saying when you’re a black creative
you’re not taken on merit you’re not taken on the quality
of your work you’re taken on There are other factors. Oh we might not be able
to market this. Oh statistically you might not
be able to you know infiltrate a mainstream
audience the same way but that’s because there’s not
it’s a very tiny sample size but no of course not. I’m not for quotas
or any kind of restrictions on creativity
or quality of work. The best person
should get the job but they also need to have
a starting point for other
people to get into those careers. So it’s important that you don’t
just leave people behind and say well you know
for instance the gateway into becoming a screenwriter
really you need an agent you need a producer but an agent won’t work with you
without a producer a producer won’t work with you
if you don’t have an agent. It’s hard to get credits without
those two things in place. And who has majority
of the credits? There will be people from other
backgrounds that aren’t facing the same kind of restrictions
on the marketability or the perceived
quality of their work. So it’s harder for someone
to come through and get the same
kind of opportunities. So in that case what do you do? Well you need to restructure
you know from the ground up and make it not easier
but make it so that people who can relate
to these creatives can work with these people
and get them through a pipeline where then
they can stand on merit next to resume for a resume
it will be the same but until you can get those same
opportunities it’s harder.>>And that’s what
the problem is! Do you go and give speeches?
Do you go into schools? I mean
you’ve won 24 writing awards… 25 + and some I
weren’t even counting like that. I mean it might be something that effects all children not
just Black children. They need
to be able to express
themselves… The art of writing is being
lost.
>>You asked me two questions Do I
give talks? At the moment it’s been strictly university I’ve been
I’ve been to my old university Kingston
a few times to give talks. But I am willing to go
to schools because I do think
it’s something that
it’s just picked up in my film it’s something that’s not
encouraged from a young age and it’s not really
and it’s not really given to.>>Black children
especially as a route for their creativity Even sometimes I’m out and about filming.
Or I’m audio farming I’m just out
and about writing stuff. People are coming up to me and immediately
they’re asking me about music. It’s never, “Oh are you a
writer? And it’s strange to people
and it shouldn’t be.>>So I think I’d be willing
to go into schools definitely and speaking about the fact that
creativity shouldn’t have bounds and you should feel free
to express yourself in any which way you can and schools
should encourage that. Also parents parents
should encourage it. And I was on BBC
One extra few weeks ago and it came up about not being that motivated to go through
these creative careers because they’re not seen
as being as worthy or as straightforward
or.>>A place where you know their children
are going to be appreciated to
the max I think that needs to change
but this is why I’ve been saying about we need to kind of dream
bigger things bigger and do bigger things
and it starts with yes motivating the kids
or the next generation.>>But also you know
the the decision makers now need to wake up and realize that you know this this this
perceived myth of marketability is just that should have
went out the window years ago.>>But even with something
like the Black Panther It just kind of shows you that look you don’t know
everything you think you know what people mostly want
are brand new experiences!

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