the mod does a thing

Creating Diversity from Generic White Script

So, I’m taking a screenwriting class, where we’re writing a short film script. I’m writing basically a story about an RA who’s struggling through the stress of like, cyclical catching students misbehaving, writing them up, school etc. My issue is, it’s a script, and something our prof has talked about is how it’s important to actively build diversity into the story to avoid the hollywood ‘Best (white person) For The Role’ which makes a lot of sense, but on the other hand, my story idea is currently… entirely generic, i.e. 

I’m at that point where I have to make a decision about whether it would be fruitful to specify the race/ethnicities of certain characters. But my problem is, some of the characters speak very little, and most of them say things basically any student would say in the same situation. Even my main character speaks mostly in a professional context using basic RA lines like ‘hand over your IDs.’ 

Because it’s a script, it seems really weird to me to say, okay this character is asian, but then there’s no real reason for them to be or not to be, say, black, or latina, or mixed, etc.? At this point, I have to decide moving forward whether to build my characters to incorporate some indicators of specific racial/ethnic background (linguistic quirks, etc.), but I don’t know a) whether I should or not because it seems necessary only because of trying to subvert an all white cast, and b) how I might even go about this, again, seemingly arbitrary process. 

So how can I build diversity into a script that’s relatively generic without it feeling arbitrary or canned? Or without specifically indicating race/ethnicity in a context in which it wouldn’t really be addressed outwardly?

[Redacted for readability]

Your professor is correct. It’s time to normalize People of Color in scripts, stories, in all forms of media. White is still very much the default for Hollywood and clearly your script as you struggle to place us just existing without it feeling unnatural or obtrusive.  You question whether it is fruitful to specify race where race won’t be addressed. I say it is. This is exactly what many of us want, just a story where we’re included and treated as human beings doing things, with agency, and not table settings and decorations for white characters to interact with.

It seems unnatural or unnecessary to specify race to you because you’re used to the default being white people who don’t need an introduction of race. It’s time to just stop feeling the need to have to explain our existence and just let us be there. Let us exist.

At this point, I have to decide moving forward whether to build my characters to incorporate some indicators of specific racial/ethnic background (linguistic quirks, etc.), but I don’t know a) whether I should or not because it seems necessary only because of trying to subvert an all white cast, and b) how I might even go about this, again, seemingly arbitrary process.

Why not add cultural and personal details, though? Even in the small ways? Honestly, if people are only speaking in professional terms and doing generic actions void of much emotion and personality, your story may come off as bland and the characters undeveloped and unmemorable. Perhaps I don’t have a full understanding of what you’re doing with this script, though.

The way people speak and the words they say, the way they react to things, it’s all informed by where we come from and who we are. You could show culture with a name, from the lunch they eat, the words they mumble in their native tongue in frustration…and those things come off as much more engaging to me than just White/Generic/Everyman does generic/ professional things.

~Mod Colette

I agree. We’d love stories where we’re the protags, but there isn’t a lot of hullaballoo about our identity. But that doesn’t mean wiping the slate completely.

(I’m thinking of a recent video featuring Martellus Bennett of the NE Patriots and how he actually has a book series with a Black protag going on adventures, and how he talked about the importance of having Black characters having their own stories that weren’t just about their identities.)

-Mod Jess

How to solve your problem: backstory.

Any generic script can be modified to PoC, depending on your definition of “generic.” If by “generic” you mean “ethnically uncoded"— well, you’re wrong. Generic is very ethnically coded. It’s white coded. You just don’t notice it because it’s the same markers in your life. If you watch something like Black-ish or Fresh Off the Boat, you’ll see the differences in ethnic coding in a family suburban sitcom.

If by “generic” you mean “uses archetypes familiar to the genre”, then you’re dealing with a situation where there really genuinely isn’t any race marker. As I mentioned— Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat are family suburban sitcoms. These are generic plots, made different by asking: what would this ethnic group experience in this context?

You don’t seem to know enough about diverse ethnic groups in order to insert them into the narrative. Black people, for example, tend to dress more professionally than is required. This is because the markers of “casual and cool” for a white person (jeans, t-shirt, sneakers) are seen as “slob and inexperienced” for a black person. There are hundreds of examples like this, if you start looking.

As Colette said: you’re used to the default being white people. All of us are! This is something you have to actively unlearn. But the way to unlearn it is to ask the same questions you do in general character building. 

Things like:

- How does this character’s background impact their behaviour?

- How do others see them? (Note- cultural markers like the above dressing professionally example heavily influence this)

- How did their parents push them?

- How do they want to be seen?

In order to build race into your characters, you have to get out of your all-white box and start to understand our perspectives. Just like you learn to write a whole bunch of different white people in writing, learn to write a whole bunch of Black, or Latinx, or East Asian, or South Asian people. We’re all still people, but our experiences have shaped us for who we are— just like white people.
When building characters, you have to ask yourself all of the questions about who they are and how they’re seen in order to write anything good. These are the steps for any character building, so if you’re thinking there’s too much work involved… well, sorry, no, there really isn’t. Not in this industry. 

You live and die by your ability to create relatable characters, and in order to do that, you have to build backstory. And in order to build diversity in, you have to learn how to craft a PoC backstories that have just as much nuance and variety as white backstories.

~Mod Lesya

ya’ll assholes tryin say Asexuality don’t exist? I know the hell you did not just say that. Yo, what the actual fuck, ya’ll wanna fuckin preach about how you’re being hurt or injured about how society treats your dumb ass and then you go around hurting other people like the society y’all live in do to you. Fuckin what the fuck is wrong with you! So many goddamn people are trying to fuckin figure their shit out and then when they do y’all wanna be like ‘oooh that doesn’t exist, you should have sex, you should want sex, you’re fucking not a human if you don’t have sex’ fuck y’all. y’all preach about acceptance and fuckin helping those who are not represented or understood but decide on your own terms who is allowed n who isn’t like society. Fuckin the goddamn community is suppose to accept those who don’t fit into the boxes society put them into!! You don’t need sex to live!! that shit is dangerous and some people aren’t interested!! don’t fucking be a asshole!!! Aces are amazing and wonderful, and it’s a real fuckin piece of shit move to fuckin invalidate them cause they don’t like what you like or you don’t understand. that’s the same shit society be doin to you, ya shits. Fuck this, Aces are real and here and amazing. And this goes for those in the Grey spectrum too, y’all are beautiful!

hello!! i felt my shadings been super bland lately, so if i could maybe get a critique that would mean a lot 2 me!! thank u in advance (also be as harsh as u like its ok!)

Okay so I think I can see what you’re trying to do here, but there’s a lack of direction and some rules that need to be adhered to with this kind of colouring. So what I can see you’re trying to do is add colour as a secondary light source, and generally switching the hues when going to a lighter or darker colour, which is good. However, one of the things you need to do is make sure that it’s consistent. If this isn’t the case I apologise, however it might be worthwhile addressing it anyways. This is pretty long so under the cut we go my dudes.

Keep reading

The mun’s issue

I REGRET NOTHING!!! >:D

Heh. Yeah, I don’t know what happened here either- I just get a little anxious when I don’t publish many (decent) things in a while, I start to feel guilty ;w;

And yeah! That’s my pokesona! A weird alolan Marowak!- yes, the bone’s flame is alive and is my inner voice and they’re a dick all the time, because why not :^)

Don’t worry, I’ll publish the drawing correctly after this, without all that mun/mod stuff (?)

  • sasha: armiiiin help me write my essaaaayyysss
  • armin: ...weren't your essays due like two weeks ago?
  • sasha: well, yes, but the teacher's really lenient about deadlines. pleaaaase you only have to do two of them; i'll buy you ice cream!
  • armin: *sighs and snatches essay prompts away from sasha* i can't believe you sometimes.

anonymous asked:

Great, now I have to ufollow a blog I really liked because one of the mods is an anti. I hope you enjoy knowing one of yours tried to blackmail the Voltron staff with leaked images, and that the staff likes and shows more support for Sheith than it ever has for Klance.

First, put slashes in your asks, second I don’t ship K/ance that much I’m not into it and who in their right mind thinks that I agree with every K/lance shipper? I don’t give two shits about shipping because it’s pretty stupid how everyone gets so worked up over it. So bye I guess?

- Mod Keith

Hey, I’m 14 and aspiring to become a cartoonist, but I’ve also taken up painting. I’m a big fan of your blog and I was wondering if you’d like to critique my art.

Thanks!

As you should probably know, age is basically irrelevant here. Everyone gets the same critiquing. If anything, because you aren’t even in highschool, you should actually have more time to improve because school kids generally have more structure in their lifestyle and time to put towards art.

Okay so… my very, very first comment is please, Please before you set yourself on a style, actually draw from life. Do not focus on style or simplification of that style until you have a strong enough understanding of the body, proportion and how it all works. There is next to nothing about this which seems to even have a basis in real life. The legs are longer than the body by far - they should make up roughly half the height of a person. What are the feet? They look more like Hotwheels track pieces than actual feet. They are also far too long. Feel should roughly be the same length as your elbow to wrist. But considering he has Adventure-time style noodle arms, that’s probably hard to gauge. But that’s the other issue. If you’re going for that kind of style, you still need to be aware of the body. Even if they curve, it’s still generally around where the elbow is meant to be.

And then there’s the face. It’s distinctly ‘Muppet’ without any of the charm. It almost seems like you’re afraid of having any space between any of the features - which, by the way, is going to be a pain in the ass for trying to create this character in any other expression but ‘listless’, because you do in fact need the other areas of the face to show emotion. How can you show a wide smile without there being any room for the cheeks? Anger, when you can’t even see the eyebrows because the eyes disappear into the hairline. 

Alright so above is a quick example of how the character with similar stylistic traits would look with reasonable anatomy. With the addition of eyebrows and A bottom lip, as well as enough space to add details around the mouth and eyes in general, you’re already able to easily show more personality. There’s alright more life, and less of a soulless sock puppet feel. You don’t even have to add a highlight to the eyes. I also added a measure to the side - as you can see, the body is essentially split in half height-wise between the top of the head to the groin, and then the legs. You still get the long-legged, lanky feel, but it’s far less excessive. It checks most of the boxes in regards to proportion as well. The arms only go down as far as the crotch, the arms are still curvy but bend in the middle with the elbow, and the feet are roughly the same size as the forearm. The only thing I’ve taken a liberty with is the size of the head and hands, however it’s not as dramatic that his head is the widest part of his body, rather being the same size as his shoulders and hips. 

Back to the critique - the colouring is all the same as well. Hair should not have the same texture as a cotton shirt. A couch should not have the same texture as the hair. The skin should not look the same as the carpet. You also really need to up your values because it actually took me a minute to figure out what the character is doing and what the scene is because there’s not enough depth being created by the shadows. If you use Paint Tool SAI, play with Filters>Brightness and Contrast. If you’re in Photoshop or CSP/MS5 - Mess with the Levels. 

One of the other mods indicated that you’re looking for feedback from other bad art blogs as well - so I’m not too sure if you’re going to take their advice, this advice, or take both into consideration. Or maybe none. Up to you, dude.

Originally posted by eric-wareheimer


- Mod Bunny

  • Shungiku Nakamura, Author of Junjou Romantica and Sekaiichi Hatsukoi: You know what trope I enjoy a lot? Unrequited love.
  • Usami, Hiroki, Sumi, Ijuin, Yuu, and Yokozawa: We know.