Portland Dark: Lower Boom’s Diversity and Inclusion Writing Initiative project is focused on giving diverse and historically disenfranchised writers an opportunity to write for TV.

People of color and women have historically been underrepresented in the entertainment industry, both on screen and behind the scenes. With that in mind, Lower Boom created this project to not only create opportunities for writers from underrepresented populations to work in the industry, but to engage them in being part of the creation of the stories being told on the show, so that diversity is being represented both in the writer’s room, and ultimately on the screen.

Through the Hollywood Theatre we can now accept tax-deducible donations online at the attached link. 6% of your donation will go to the Hollywood Theatre, so you are helping that iconic Portland institution as well.

Support the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative!

More info on phase 1 of the project is below. Our writer’s room successfully wrote the pilot script for Portland Dark and a script for a short film set in the world of Portland Dark. Phase 1 next steps is to launch a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo to shoot that short film! You can make a tax-deductible donation at the Support link above, or…stay tuned for May 1st when we launch the crowdfunding campaign!

Sign up  for an email to get notified when that goes live

Phase 2 of the project we will be selecting a story from applicants to develop into a series in partnership with Lower Boom

Pitch us  your project or story!

 

Synopsis

This neo-noir drama, set in the present day, looks at the gritty side of Portland’s blue collar, port town roots. For those familiar only with Portland’s ‘brand’ of quirky and cute, these stories will be shocking and revelatory.
The stories revolve around the character of Chloe, owner of a bar in Portland’s Chinatown that is the last old-school survivor of the money that cleared out the old to make way for the condos, craft coffee and tourist attraction donut shops.
Chloe struggles with the issues that Portland struggles with behind its facade of hip smirks and tech utopianism: Racism, sexism, white supremacists, a heroin and meth epidemic, the sex trade…Chloe sees it all as she fights against the latest condo developers who blow through with the promise of an easy money sell-out.

On August 1st, Lower Boom launched a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative to create opportunities for Television and Film Writers.

 

We asked writers to submit samples throughout the month of August with special consideration being given to writers of color, LGBTQ, women writers, and candidates from socio-economically diverse backgrounds.

 

The response was overwhelming! We received 86 fantastic applications.

 

From those 86 applicants, we selected 6 talented writers to work with us on an 8 episode series Lower Boom is producing entitled Portland Dark.

 

Starting Friday, September 21st, we will be holding a weekly Writer’s Room with the selected writers. In addition, at each meeting an industry expert or mentor will give short presentations or Q+A sessions to further enhance the education of our selected writers. We have a stellar group of mentors for the writers: Producers Janice Williams (Queen America, The Magicians), Alice Mathias (Portlandia, Documentary Now!) and David Cress (Portlandia, Paranoid Park), writer Jon Raymond (Old Joy, Meek’s Crossing, Mildred Pierce), and producer Lizzy Harris (Iconoclasts) with more in the pipeline.

 

Sponsors include Comcast / NBC Universal and The Oregon Made Creative Foundation. WeWork has generously donated space for our writer’s meetings

 

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Meet our writers:

 

Jon Ayon Alonso – Jon is a Film Editor and Instructor from Los Angeles, currently based out of Portland, OR. As a filmmaker, his work has earned him awards and recognition from organizations like The Annenberg Foundation, The SF Emmys, and American Zoetrope. Most of Ayon’s films investigate issues of race, class, sex, immigration, Indigeneity, and generational trauma.

Annika Donaldson – Annika is a Portland native and a Sociology graduate from Portland State University. She has two children and raises them as a single mother. She has written a feature film titled Nostalgia and works as an actress, model and photographer among other things.

Malcolm Shabazz Hoover – Malcolm is an Afro Surrealist and Futurist, poet, storyteller and activist. He is the author of “144 Poems and Essays for God, Love, Truth, Justice, Peace and Hip Hop”. He enjoys growing plants.

Matthew Miller – Matthew is a screenwriter/playwright. He lives in Southwest Portland with his partner, Chris, their dog, Paca, and their cat, Mashed Potatoes.

Anya Pearson – Anya Pearson is an award-winning actress, playwright, poet, producer, and activist. The World Premiere of her play, Made to Dance in Burning Buildings, will open in February 2019 at Shaking the Tree Theatre in Portland, Oregon.

Titania Tran – Titania is a creative at Wieden + Kennedy, writing for brands like Coca-Cola and Samsung. Before this, she was—and in some ways will always be — an elementary school teacher, a Life Coach, and an elephant poop scooper.