Welcome to Script Magazine's new video series: Script Talk with WOCUnite #StartWith8Hollywood Mentorship Program
In this new video series, host Cherry Davis will speak with mentees and mentors from WOCUnite and #StartWith8Hollywood, about their writing journeys, how they got involved with the mentorship program and so much more!
Women of Color Unite (WOCU) is a social action organization focusing on fair access, fair treatment and fair pay for women of color in all aspects of the entertainment and media industries.
In an industry that hides behind the myth of “meritocracy” but in reality functions on personal connections, the #Startwith8™ initiative connects well-established industry mentors to eight Women of Color working in the entertainment industry each. Together, they formulate a plan of action based on what each mentee desires and what is achievable by the mentor to create tangible progress in the mentee’s career. The end goal: no more excuses. By fostering organic diversity, the indefensible precept “I don’t know any Women of Color who I can hire,” will never be heard again.
Nanea Taylor knew from an early age that she loved to write. She has hundreds of notebooks filled with stories from the power of imagination. Her inspiration included her favorite authors Octavia Butler, Stephen King and James Patterson and for years she compared herself to them so she never thought of herself as an author. But she continued to be inspired by her favorite books and TV so continued to write stories where characters that looked like her got time to be the star and sit in the captain’s chair. That epitomizes her love for Uhura on Star Trek that she would watch as a child on tv where everyone got a chance to be a captain but not her favorite communications officer. So Nanea started to write stories.
As she grew older one day she had an epiphany that she didn’t need to compare herself to authors. As she continued to write she met a co-writer and they wrote a script together. It didn’t end up being picked up but it inspired her to continue and start to enter competitions. Her pilot ‘Mantis’ was a Semi-Finalist for the San Francisco International Screenwriting Competition and was Number 2 on the 2020 Coverfly’s Redlist for Action Television (one hour) and 2nd round for the 2020 Austin Film Festival.
She continues to write with collaborators and has ventured into horror for her next script. Nanea realized that to follow her writing dreams that she had to block out the naysayers especially the one in the mirror. She invests in her creativity with self-care, appreciates her gift of prose, and the confidence to put her work out in competitions. She believes that you have to appreciate it, love it and believe that someone will buy it!
Watch the full video interview!
‘I deeply value the privilege of boosting emerging and under-represented talent, but I don't always have the reach to find those who might benefit from what I have to give. #StartWith8 has made it possible for me to get to know a large number of writers with whom I might not have otherwise crossed paths, and it has been an exceptional learning experience for me as both a writer and as a human being’, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Emmy award-winning producer and writer