Profiles

‘The Unwritten Rules’: Analyzing Race Through Humor

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Web series have become a new wave for independent filmmakers, tackling serious and light topics across the board. The Unwritten Rules, created by Kim Williams, amps up the conversation on race relations with a touch of humor. Williams, who has worked in the film industry for 16 years since her first television job in Los Angeles, says that the web series is based on her 2004 book and her desire to get people honest about the strong roles that race plays in the workplace.

Your web series “The Unwritten Rules” applies humor to the controversial subject of race in the workplace. Why did you choose to tackle such a tough topic?

Kim: When I wrote the book, “40 Hours and an Unwritten Rule: The Diary of a Nigger, Negro, Colored, Black, African-American Woman” , in 2003 I was working in a white workplace and frustrated that I was once again going through situations I experienced throughout my career at other jobs. I wanted to give an honest depiction of my journey so I decided to write the book. In late 2011, I was finding the same situations were still present so I decided to reintroduce it as a web series, “the Unwritten Rules”.

What is the main message that you want people to take away from “Unwritten Rules”?
Kim: I want people to start having honest conversations about race. I think we have ignored and glossed over the real issues because of fear. And hopefully, by adding humor in the mix, the fear will subside and we can talk about the perceptions we all have.

Creating your own web series is extremely innovative. What keeps you going?
Kim: It is extremely motivating when your audience connects to your voice. When I read comments and emails about the viewers’ connection to the series, it makes me want to do more. Which is why we want to come back for another season and currently we’re doing a fundraising campaign at indiegogo.com/theunwrittenrules to make Season 2 happen.

What is one of the biggest challenges you have had with creating a web series?
Kim: I think finding people who have the best interest of the project first before their own is hard. For the first season, we had no budget, so the cast and crew were working because they believed in the project and wanted to grow with the project and not in front it. It sometimes hard finding those people. Luckily, we now have that crew.

There are more and more web series popping up. Do you believe the internet has created more access for people to begin creating and producing their own projects?
Kim: Definitely. I think the internet has opened a door that has been closed to independent writers and producers, which has birthed a new generation of Digital Content Creators. The internet has made it possible to create and release your work, while keeping complete control of your project. And when you add in Social Media, you have a platform to get your work out there and make it accessible to your audience.

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Do you have any other projects in the works?
Kim: I’m also working on getting an extended run in New York for a play I co-wrote and produced in 2010, “Bitch” (www.bitchtheplay.com).

What is your advice to other young women who may be interested in launching their own web series?

Kim: It’s very hard work but if you have the passion, it can take you anywhere. I also think it’s so important to create your own voice and don’t worry about the chatter around you. With the saturation of web series, it’s important be original and create a quality series with a well written story and decent production value.

Haven’t gotten a taste of “The Unwritten Rules” yet? Check out the first episode below. Show your support for the project by visiting the series website. 

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