Issue 75 | April 2011

* Director's Notes
* Message from Mia
* Pencil Me In:

LA EVENTS

  • CLA invites Harvardwood to: Music Industry Legal and Business Workshops, next sessions are April 2, 16, & 30
  • Harvardwood Heads To...A FREE Tele-Class: 12 Ways to Sustain Your Creativity, Wed., April 6 or Thurs., April 7
  • Harvardwood Helps presents: Earth Day Fun in the Sun!, Sat., April 16
  • Harvardwood Heads To...Creative Life-Line Coaching Circle: A Group Coaching Tele-Class, begins Wed., April 20
  • Harvardwood Presents: Tour & Panel at the LA Festival of Books! Sat., April 30

NY EVENTS

  • NYIT invites Harvardwood to Admiral Robert Willard on SECURITY IN THE ASIA PACIFIC, Thurs., April 7
  • Harvardwood Seminar Series: RICHARD PEÑA on the American Avant-Garde Cinema, Fri., April 8
  • Harvardwood Heads To...Marie and Bruce (INCLUDES SPECIAL OFFER FOR HARVARDWOOD MEMBERS!), Thurs., April 14 (see listing for all dates)
  • Harvardwood Presents "A Chorus Line" Composer MARVIN HAMLISCH, Tues., April 26

BOSTON EVENTS

  • Harvardwood and OCS present: I was a Showbiz Intern (an ARTS FIRST event), Thurs., April 28

* 2011 Harvardwood Sponsorship Opportunities now available - Earn free Full Membership for leads
* 2011 Harvardwood Summer Internship Listings now available!
* Harvard in Hollywood 2010 now available on the Harvardwood Channel
* Seeking summer hosts for the Harvardwood Summer Internship Program in LA and NY
* Harvardwood partners with The Spark Program!
* Calling all filmmakers going to HOT DOCS in Toronto
* Industry Successes
* Cast your HAA vote for Patric Verrone
* Featured Member Posting: Assistant to Exec in charge of special projects at TOP talent agency (LA)
* Member Profile: Diallo Riddle '97 & Bashir Salahuddin '98

Director's Notes

The sun is beginning to shine folks, April is upon us! I don't know about you, but I'm excited to usher in the spring weather by planting some trees with Harvardwood Helps in honor of Earth Day! Join us on April 16th as Harvardwood takes part in Harvard's Global Month of Service at the breathtaking Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. And speaking of sun, summer is not too far away which means our summer interns will be joining us once again. If you have a spare room, couch, futon, or sleeping bag to lend to an intern in need for the summer or a portion thereof, let us know! Internships are often unpaid so your generosity will go a long way (and earn you a FREE year of Full Membership to boot!).

Finally, as you all know, Harvardwood has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years and with that comes the need for growth in our financial resources. To that end we are currently seeking sponsors for the 2011 fiscal year. If you know of any companies or organizations that would be interested in aligning themselves with our dynamic organization, let us know! Members that provide leads for sponsors will have the opportunity to gain free years of Full Membership. Happy Spring!

-- Kelley

Message from Mia

Yes, it's that time of year again -- spring has sprung, flowers are blossoming, and the Harvard Alumni Association ballots are in the mail. Among the crop of HAA director candidates is Harvardwood member Patric Verrone -- Patric has been a friend and mentor to our organization for many years, as well as a dedicated supporter of the Harvardwood Writers Program. I encourage you to consider voting for Patric, who will undoubtedly continue to be a passionate advocate for the arts & entertainment at ye olde Harvard!

In other news, we're totally jazzed about our new Harvardwood Helps partnership with The Spark Program, a very worthy career exploration and mentorship program for at-risk middle school students. Please read on and get involved!

-- Mia

Pencil Me In...

LA - CLA invites Harvardwood to: Music Industry Legal and Business Workshops, next sessions are April 2, 16, & 30

California Lawyers for the Arts is pleased to present Music Industry Legal and Business Workshops…The second workshop in this series, taking place on Saturday, April 2, is entitled "Trademark Law and Branding for Musicians,” and will feature Richard B. Jefferson, Esq. Trademarks and branding have become integral to many musical artists’ professional identities…we’ll discuss the basics of trademark law, the registration process, and legal strategies…Full Members of Harvardwood get a special discount through Harvardwood’s partnership with the CLA…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=152260

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...A FREE Tele-Class: 12 Ways to Sustain Your Creativity, Wed., April 6 or Thurs., April 7

Discover a series of strategies to put you in the driver’s seat of your creative process. Learn 12 amazing ways to get on track and stay there. These are strategies you can use in your artistic work and your life every day! Join this discussion of 12 Core Creative Strategies that are essential in the artistic process. It’s a chance to re-orient yourself and slide into a more effective, more creative you. And it’s FREE! To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=154456

LA - Harvardwood Helps presents: Earth Day Fun in the Sun!, Sat., April 16

Join us for some fun in the sun to celebrate EARTH DAY 2011! Harvardwood Helps is collaborating with the Los Angeles Audubon Society to plant trees at the breathtaking Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. This stunning new urban park is set on a 511 ft. peak from which visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the entire Los Angeles Basin, the Pacific Ocean and surrounding mountains. In celebration of Earth Day, we will plant native plants such as ceanothus, hummingbird sage, white sage and California fuchsia to surround a new, large oak tree….This event will be extremely FUN and SOCIAL! Bring friends, family, children, and more! To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=152781

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...Creative Life-Line Coaching Circle: A Group Coaching Tele-Class, begins Wed., April 20

Gather every Wednesday for four weeks to focus on creating balance between your creativity and your life. The format starts with a short meditation, followed by a brief check-in, a discussion of a Core Creative Strategy followed by one on one client coaching while your peers listen in. At the end – you each establish goals for the following session. This group coaching format is both productive and fun…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=154458

LA - Harvardwood Presents: Tour & Panel at the LA Festival of Books! Sat., April 30

Harvardwood is planning an informative afternoon at the Los Angeles Festival of Books on Saturday, April 30. Join us on the campus of the University of Southern California for a behind-the-scenes tour and broadcast skills educational program at Book TV, a unit of C-Span. Our group will also meet with several Harvard alumni authors who are presenting at the event, including Reza Aslan (HDS '99), to share their career expertise about today’s dynamic book publishing market…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=154492

NY - NYIT invites Harvardwood to Admiral Robert Willard on SECURITY IN THE ASIA PACIFIC, Thurs., April 7

Our friends at the New York Institute of Technology have graciously invited Harvardwood members to this opportunity to hear one of this country's highest military leaders, sponsored by NYIT's College of Arts & Sciences and by the National Committee on US-China Relations. Admiral Robert F. Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), will address the current security situation in Asia in a discussion moderated by National Committee President Stephen Orlins. The Admiral will give his views on the region as a whole, focusing on the challenges and opportunities presented by China's rise…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=152177

NY - Harvardwood Seminar Series: RICHARD PEÑA on the American Avant-Garde Cinema, Fri., April 8

What is American avant-garde cinema? How has it affected and been affected by the mainstream? What is its value in its own right? Beginning in the Twenties, individual artists--often with strong links to other media--have made their own films, works that consciously defied or subverted classic film style and practice. Although never widely seen or accepted by the general public, these films have developed a fervent cult of admirers over the years, and have influenced a range of filmmakers, from Martin Scorsese to David Lynch to Jim Jarmusch. Richard Peña '75/'76 is the Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University. Since 1988 he has organized the New York Film Festival. Richard Peña will offer a brief history of American Avant-Garde Cinema, screening short works by some of its key artists while discussing its impact and influence…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=148577

NY - Harvardwood Heads To...Marie and Bruce (INCLUDES SPECIAL OFFER FOR HARVARDWOOD MEMBERS!), Thurs., April 14 (see listing for all dates)

Relentlessly daring playwright Harvard alumnus Wallace Shawn '65 returns to The New Group to continue his vibrant collaboration with Scott Elliott (Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Fever, Threepenny Opera) as well as continue his collaboration with Tony Award winning (33 Variations) Harvard alumnus (’80) Derek McLane (Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Fever). This comedic masterpiece of marital strife recounts the day that Marie (Marisa Tomei) finally resolves to tell her charming and impossibly positive husband Bruce (Frank Whaley) that she's had enough…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=148625

NY - Harvardwood Presents "A Chorus Line" Composer MARVIN HAMLISCH, Tues., April 26

Marvin Hamlisch won the Pulitzer Prize and a Tony for A CHORUS LINE. He's won three Oscars (Best Song and Best Score for The Way We Were, Best Score Adaptation for The Sting), four Grammys (including two for work with Barbra Streisand), four Emmys (two of them for music direction of Barbra Streisand specials), and three Golden Globes. Hamlisch and Richard Rodgers are the only composers ever to have won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, a Grammy, and a Pulitzer… Hamlisch will be interviewed by Emmy-nominated conductor and vocal educator Judith Clurman…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=153705

BOSTON - Harvardwood and OCS present: I was a Showbiz Intern (an ARTS FIRST event), Thurs., April 28

Come hear from your fellow peers about what it's really like to work in the entertainment business. Get tips on how to find your first opportunity, what different jobs are like, and how to make a great first impression….To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=152783

2011 Harvardwood Sponsorship Opportunities now available - Earn free Full Membership for leads

Harvardwood is currently seeking sponsors for the 2011 fiscal year. Harvardwood members that provide leads to companies or organizations with an interest in aligning themselves with the #1 brand name in education will have the opportunity to gain free years of Full Membership for their contacts. (Length of membership awarded will be dependent on sponsorship level obtained.) Companies or organizations that sponsor Harvardwood will have the opportunity to market products and services to Harvardwood's brand-conscious and taste-maker community, as well as gain the ability to recruit talented Harvard alumni - from recent graduates to top executives. To learn more about the sponsorship opportunities available, please visit:
http://www.harvardwood.org/?page=sponsorship

2011 Harvardwood Summer Internship Listings now available!

We are happy to announce that the 2011 Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP) list of opportunities is now available! (MORE OPPORTUNITIES HAVE BEEN ADDED SINCE LAST WEEK.) To search the list of opportunities, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/?page=hsiplistings

Harvard in Hollywood 2010 now available on the Harvardwood Channel

Full Members of Harvardwood can now enjoy clips of Harvard in Hollywood 2010: The NEW New Media on the Harvardwood Channel. From YouTube to Hulu, from Twitter to Facebook, from Kindles to iPads, iPods, iPhones and everything in between, the NEW new media has revolutionized the way we interact with pop culture and entertainment. Learn about topics including the impact of new media on traditional forms of entertainment, the role of social networking in the marketing and distribution of content, the evolving ways in which entertainment is made, defined, and consumed -- and much more! Full Members of Harvardwood may view clips from this symposium and more, here: http://www.harvardwood.org/?page=Panels

Seeking Summer Hosts for the Harvardwood Summer Internship Program in LA & NY

Harvardwood seeks accommodations hosts for the 2011 Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP). The HSIP provides a list of summer internship opportunities in the arts, media, and entertainment to interested Harvard students…Because several of these internships are unpaid, many HSIP participants are in need of accommodations to help defray the costs of accepting these opportunities. If you have a spare couch, futon, sleeping bag, or room(s) you can provide to a student or students for an extended period of time this summer (most internships run from mid-June to early August) please let us know! In addition to our undying gratitude, you will receive a free year of Full Membership to Harvardwood and you will be invited to attend special HSIP activities including a thank-you event at the end of the summer. Hosts are NOT expected to provide transportation, meals, entertainment, etc. If interested, please email us at [email protected]

Harvardwood partners with The Spark Program!

Harvardwood is pleased to announce an ongoing partnership with The Spark Program through our Harvardwood Helps community service initiative! The Spark Program is the only youth empowerment program in the country that addresses the dropout crisis by re-engaging at-risk students through hands-on, individualized apprenticeships. These workplace-based apprenticeships—in professions each student has identified as a "dream job”—are complemented by a leadership curriculum, integrated in the classroom as an elective…By partnering with this innovative program, we hope to further Harvardwood's mission of strengthening ties between the arts, media, entertainment and education -- we encourage all of our members to get involved! For more information about how to become a Spark mentor (they are especially looking for folks in film production and/or animation and fashion design), please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/news/59976/Harvardwood-partners-with-The-Spark-Program.htm

Calling all filmmakers going to HOT DOCS in Toronto

The Toronto Chapter of Harvardwood is looking for Harvard alums involved in any of the films featured at Hot Docs this spring. If you know of any alums traveling to Toronto to screen at Hot Docs let us know! We would love to host an event and/or highlight the film in some way. Please contact Toronto Chapter Head, Mark Solovey at [email protected] To view the full list of films at Hot Docs, please visit: http://www.hotdocs.ca/schedule/?/schedule

Industry Successes...

Some of Michael Cusimano’s movies played in the Experimentally Ill Film Festival at the Somerville Theater and Coolidge corner cinema in March - http://www.experimentallyill.com/. Learn more about his work here: http://mcusiman.tripod.com/index.html.

The first daily Internet Horror Serial has been written and directed by Harvard alum Lucy C. Cruell! "31" is a supernatural thriller launching 3/31 at 3:31pm ET. 31 episodes. 31 seconds. 31 days. Check out the 31-second Teaser, like, follow, forward, what have you! Teaser - http://www.youtube.com/user/31webseries; Subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/user/31webseries; Like at http://www.facebook.com/31theseries;

Follow at http://twitter.com/31theseries.

Jasmine McGlade Chazelle's '07 feature film MARIA MY LOVE, starring Judy Marte and Karen Black, will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 22. Please visit the film's website, www.mariamylove.com for more information. Tickets go on sale at tribecafilm.com/festival. The filmmakers invite you to attend the premiere party at the film. MARIA MY LOVE is produced by Jennifer Glynn, Tiana Matthews ('08), Jasmine McGlade Chazelle ('07), Executive Produced by Idoni Matthews, and co-produced by Damien Chazelle ('08) and Arleen McGlade.

Jonathan Dorf '93 is pleased to announce that two of his one-act plays for teens, AFTER MATH and THANK YOU FOR FLUSHING MY HEAD IN THE TOILET AND OTHER RARELY USED EXPRESSIONS, have broken the 100-production mark. In AFTER MATH, a student disappears in the midst of math class. As those left behind try to solve his mysterious absence, they gradually discover that no one really knew him, and it's only in disappearing that he's attracted their attention. THANK YOU FOR FLUSHING... follows a pair of bullied teens as they try to survive their day and look for something better. Both plays are published by Playscripts, Inc. (www.playscripts.com), or for more information, visit http://jonathandorf.com.

Brían Wescott just booked the male lead in "The Realm of Love or Folding Laundry," a play that will perform the Edinburgh Fringe in August; the Perihelion Theatre Company in Chapel Hill, NC, is producing. As an Exec Producer, he won two production grants in the latest round from Native American Public Telecommunications, one for "Something's Moving: Legacies of the American Indian Boarding Schools" and another for "Indians: An Unexpected Story." He also Exec Produced "American Indian Actors," a video for the SAG President's Task Force for American Indians that just premiered on the SAG website. The CSA will send DVDs out to all active members. www.sag.org/american-indian-actors

August Augustus, LLC presents: J. Fitzgerald West's SUGA' FOOT BLUE – Premiere at the Dusable Museum African American History in Chicago, IL, May 20 – 22, 2011 - http://sugafootblue.eventbrite.com/. Suga’ Foot Blue is a profound and poetic drama that educates on the causes of diabetes and the consequences, loss of a limb, due to poor self-management. Dottie, the main character is a former dancer suffering from Type 2 diabetes, and has been informed that she will lose her foot to the disease. The audience is absorbed in Dottie’s, and her family’s, struggle with impending loss.

Cast your HAA vote for Patric Verrone

Don’t throw out your Harvard ballot! The Harvard Alumni Association director’s ballot is in the mail and we ask that you please consider voting for longtime Harvardwood member and supporter, Patric M. Verrone '81.

patric_miller_verrone.jpgPatric M. Verrone, an Emmy award-winning television writer and producer, moved from Florida to Los Angeles, heeding his Harvard friends’ advice to drop his legal career in favor of television writing. He has since written for programs including THE TONIGHT SHOW starring Johnny Carson and THE SIMPSONS, and is currently co-executive producer of the Fox animated series FUTURAMA.

Elected president of the Writers Guild of America, West, he led the union of 10,000 writers through a successful 100-day strike, securing Internet revenue and creative rights in new media. Afterward, he was named among Time Magazine’s "Most Influential People of 2008.”

An avid supporter of the arts, he has been a board member for the L.A. Museum of Contemporary Art and a trustee for the American Film Institute. Also active in the legal realm, he has taught at Loyola Law School and UCLA Extension, and received the 2006 Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel Labor Counsel of the Year Award.

A longtime Harvard volunteer, he co-founded the Harvard Club of Southwest Florida, is an active member of Harvardwood, and is a member of the Harvard Club of Southern California.

"Between student interviews, career advisory and mentor programs, reunion functions, and frequent campus visits just to buy stuff at the COOP, I already feel deeply entwined in the fabric of the Harvard alumni world. Serving as a director of the HAA would only encourage me further.”

He and his wife, Maiya Williams AB ’84, have three children.

Featured Member Posting: Assistant to Exec in charge of special projects at TOP talent agency - LA

In this role, the candidate would play a key role in supporting the executive responsible for special projects, touching all parts of the company and reporting to the de facto COO of the company. Typical projects will include working with the company’s international and sports groups on expansion ideas, working with the company’s best technologists on digital and social media strategy, working with marketing teams on presentations to global brands, working with the company’s pro-social foundation on cause/charity initiatives, and working with all content groups on developing new businesses. The ideal candidate will have a general interest in entertainment and media, with a focus on learning the business and strategy side of the work that the company does. Administrative duties required of the candidate (scheduling, phones, general co-ordination) will serve as a solid foundation for a future career in the business of entertainment...To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/networking/opening.asp?id=96178

Member Profile: Diallo Riddle '97 & Bashir Salahuddin '98

by D. Dona Le

"Bashir and I started off as friends, and now we barely talk,” says Diallo Riddle ‘97.

He’s joking.

Since their time together at Harvard, Diallo and Bashir Salahuddin ’98 have been close friends and artistic collaborators as writers, actors, and—most importantly—content generators. They are currently writers for LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON on NBC, but even the name of their production company, PAPER PLANES, reveals that Riddle and Salahuddin are making a name for themselves by intelligently branding their distinct comedic style.

Diallo explains, "The iconic symbol of a paper plane is kind of cool for us. Paper—as a writer, you live around paper, but paper planes are thrown in school. There’s something academic but contrarian about a paper plane being thrown, because obviously it’s a person who is in class, but if you’re throwing it, you’re a little rebellious.”

bashir_diallo_best.jpgOutwardly, Diallo and Bashir may not have seemed so rebellious as Harvard undergraduates. Both were heavily involved in the theater scene, and Bashir was also a member of the Hasty Pudding, while Diallo was politically focused, contributing to various student publications including the Harvard Political Review.

"We always felt artistic and creative,” says Bashir, "and so it really was just a matter of going to Harvard, but it was harder to make that decision [to write and act afterward]. Harvard students tend to dabble in the arts, but to [work in the arts full-time]—they don’t tend to go.”

Foregoing the more common routes taken by Harvard graduates, such as Wall Street or medical school, Bashir and Diallo immediately pursued their goal of working in the entertainment industry.

Bashir returned to his hometown of Chicago during the summer after graduation to save enough money as a paralegal to move to Los Angeles. There, Bashir took up odd jobs as a waiter, a temp, and a substitute teacher in order to stay afloat while seeking work as an actor.

"Teaching would finish at 3 p.m.,” he explains, "so frequently, I was able to go to auditions after school got out.”

Diallo entered Hollywood on the executive track, but then chose to switch to the creative track instead, a decision he admits was "hard to make, but one I dove right into.” To support himself, he began working as a DJ and remains, in Bashir’s words, "a very in-demand DJ” requested at big clubs, big events, and big parties.

Their official collaboration as writers began during this time.

According to Diallo, "One day, we were over at my mother’s place in L.A. I was an executive assistant at Paramount, Bashir was already doing some acting, and we were complaining about the dearth of what we consider to be quality black comedy. So my mom said, ‘Hey, why don’t you guys try writing something instead of sitting here complaining?’”

In 2004, the writing duo created their first comedy for CLEO'S APARTMENT, a comedy troupe they established with other up-and-coming artists in Los Angeles. This first project was "the result of years and years of built-up ideas, and we finally had the opportunity to put together everything we claimed we were about for people.”

CLEO'S APARTMENT was a hit, and another measure of its success was that Diallo and Bashir collaborated with people who have since garnered success in television and film, such as Wyatt Cenac of THE DAILY SHOW.

"Not only did we get lucky in that we were working together,” comments Bashir, "but we were working with people we really like.”

Lucky they are indeed. Diallo and Bashir’s warmth, camaraderie, and effortless humor are apparent in their back-and-forth banter. Their collaborative process as writers, actors and producers grows organically from this deep-rooted friendship.

"We’re still the type to say to each other, ‘Are you watching this on TV? This is ridiculous!’ Bashir and I, we don’t search for ideas. Sometimes we’ll be hanging out and then we’ll think, ‘Remember that time we had that idea… ?’”

Creative conflict occurs rarely, perhaps because Diallo and Bashir share the belief that effective comedy comes naturally without excessive labor.

"Either people are laughing, chuckling or quiet—one of those three things. If you get them laughing more often than not, then you’re probably doing something right,” Bashir says simply.

To achieve what they have to date, Bashir and Diallo did something right—on Youtube. The writing duo created a spoof of HBO’s Hookers at the Point and uploaded it to YouTube, where it caught the attention of former classmate Keith Bernard ’99, who was working at HBO at the time. Through this connection, Bashir and Diallo landed their first writing gig.

More recently, and with yet another former classmate Felicia Gordon ’98 as executive producer, Diallo and Bashir have co-written, starred in and produced ALL ACCESS (2010). The short comedy humorously reflects the conflicts that arise when a struggling Public Access television station hires a new director Ray, played by Bashir. Ray immediately begins making unwelcome changes to the network by brutally canceling shows and firing employees. The only show he chooses not to cancel belongs to Pep, played by Diallo, who launches a fundraising campaign to preserve the network’s integrity.

ALL ACCESS was filmed in New York and depicts the tension borne out of the city’s transformation from a creative haven to a corporate stronghold.

"Once we decided on public access,” Diallo explains, "the next question was, how do we tell a fast-paced narrative with tons of funny scenes or jokes and still have social relevance? This is our calling card of sorts. We wanted something that felt so distinctly us—it’s not even the kind of material that we can do on Jimmy’s show. It’s 100% ours, our chance to do it in a super-tight fifteen to twenty-minute format. Something that felt instinctual but that we could pile tons of jokes into.”

Bashir adds, "And also stand behind. Something that we can do and be proud of.”

And Bashir emphasizes this point, particularly when explaining why he and Diallo consider themselves content generators and decided to start Paper Planes. "We needed a production company so that even if we aren’t the ones writing or directing, there’ll be projects we do different duties on. If it’s our production company, it can still have our brand and our stamp and allow us to work until we’re old men.”

Diallo and Bashir aren’t necessarily exclusive content generators, either. They are eager to work with like-minded passionate artists and producers. What separates them from others are the close ties they have maintained with good friends and connections made at Harvard and beyond. In addition to valuing these relationships on a personal level, the two recognize the potential to generate meaningful work and quality comedy with these individuals.

"One good thing about the Harvard connection is there’s a very fortunate position of being around people who are also very hungry to do what they want to do in their careers. That allows us to help them out, them to help us out. Make sure the work people see you do is always good, and everything else will come.”

Their future plans, Diallo reveals, are to continue building their reputation through LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON, working on screenplays and ongoing ideas, and tackling a feature-length film for the next Paper Planes project.

However, their work goes beyond simply producing content. Bashir and Diallo are seeking to popularize a new genre of urban comedy. Acknowledging Tyler Perry for his success in the industry, Bashir says, "We respect his game. We respect his hustle. But we thought, ‘What if we could follow that example, be self-sufficient, make our own stuff, but be more reflective?’”

"As comedians, we see ourselves as next generation, hopefully revolutionary. But in the end, Bashir and I just want to be funny.”

So how do they determine which ideas and jokes are actually funny?

"Usually we’re both in the room laughing out loud at something,” says Bashir.

And thanks to their ability to capture that personal moment of humor and translate it to the screen, audiences are laughing too.

Bashir and Diallo will be screening their film ALL ACCESS at the Harvard Club of New York on Wednesday, May 18th. They will also host a discussion about the creative and production process. Click here to register!

ddonale_page.jpgD. Dona Le is a freelance editor and writer currently residing in Chicago, IL.

 


 

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