GIANTS kicked off its Atlanta press and promotional tour with a special AUC screening hosted by Morehouse College Cinema, Television, & Emerging Media Studies Program (CTEMS) in partnership with Morehouse Safe Space organization.
The evening started with a welcome delivered by Dr. Stephane Dunn, director of the Morehouse CTEMS program, before introducing GIANTS producer Takara Joseph and James Bland, creator, and star of the series, to energize the crowd of students and special guests about the show’s new season.
GIANTS debuted episode 201 during the screening event, along with a preview of the upcoming second season. Following the screening, Dr. Dunn welcomed Bland and Joseph back to the stage with special guests Ryan Davis, motivational speaker and author of “Who Are You?” and Ramon Johnson, president of Morehouse Safe Space, for a conversation on the themes and inspiration of the digital series.
When Journee’s mental illness becomes too much for her sister, she is forced to crash with her best friend Malachi, a sex worker, who has already over-stayed his welcome with Ade — his closeted gay buddy who is secretly in love with him. Can the three of them coexist in a tiny one bedroom apartment while facing their individual crises?
“The main objective for me with GIANTS is, to be honest,” responds Bland when asked if he had any hesitation on writing about many of the taboo topics shown in GIANTS. “I’m not creating this show with a censor or filter,” he continues.
GIANTS was filmed in Los Angeles in partnership with LeadersUp, an independent nonprofit and talent development accelerator that works to address the burgeoning opportunity divide and the national youth unemployment crisis.
“Anything that you can do with a big budget is a challenge for a small budget because we can’t just pay our way out of everything,” says Joseph when asked about filming on an indie budget in a big city like LA. “It’s more talking and relationships for us to get done what we need to get done,” she ends.
Empire star Jussie Smollett serves as executive producer of GIANTS, a coming of adulthood drama series streaming on Issa Rae’s (HBO’s Insecure) YouTube Channel. Created by actor, writer, director James Bland, the series follows three black millennials (Malachi, Journee and Ade) each battling their own inner giant as they approach the age 30.
“The feedback we got from YouTube played a huge role because when we started the writer’s room we knew we had some particular questions that we had to answer in season two,” replies Bland when asked about how much fan feedback influences the writing of the show. “Going into season two we sat down as a writers room and decided on the main things we wanted to make sure we get out,” he continues.
The evening ended with a few final comments from each of the panelists.
“I would like to thank GIANTS for showing our narratives in such a complex way and I believe that as storytellers we have to continue to allow the folks who have to live those lives every day to tell these personal stories,” says Johnson as he gives the final comment of the evening.
GIANTS Season 2 in now streaming on IssaRae.com and Issa Rae’s YouTube channel. New episodes will stream every Wednesday.