If you haven’t you can now watch the series, “Sixteen Unsweetened” in a YearSoul Productions playlist.
Also my second production company, For Art’s Sake 125, has decided to release shorts from our 10 short films collaborative movie, “Drinking From Cups Not Meant For Us”. The first short is a mini poetic film directed and produced by me. – Simone Kali
Find both projects below and Subscribe:
“Sixteen Unsweetened” – a coming of age drama about black teenage girl in NYC.
Things are not entirely as they first seemed when Jada settles on hanging out with Shawn. She reflects on a conversation she had with her Aunt Kim. A friendship may be lost. Something will change forever.
First episode of YearSoul produced series, “Sixteen Unsweetened”.
Episode 1: Happy Birthday
Jada wake up on her sixteenth birthday to not much fanfare. A group interaction makes her uneasy about her personality. Jada is angered and confronts her cousin Tyreek amongst his friends.
“Sixteen Unsweetened” is a dramatic series about a 16 year old girl who feels invisible and lost trying to be seen in her urban setting as a young woman. When Jada finally turns sweet sixteen and doesn’t feel a big difference in her life, she seeks to what and who she knows. Her assumptions and naivete make her miss the larger picture and leads her to everything she always knew to avoid.
“Sixteen Unsweetened” was born out of a story I wanted to tell of a girl who did not fit in with the expectations of an inner city teen, feeling pressure to be in a relationship as well as be more invested into urban life. I began writing it as a story in 2005 to share with a network of online peers who created original fiction and fanfiction to share it with others. I was a freshman at Purchase College studying film in the university’s conservatory of the arts. It never crossed my mind to write it as something to be filmed.
Years passed and I had written a few feature films while a student at Brooklyn College. I came across an interesting television writing contest. I didn’t have any television scripts written or ideas for television scripts. I thought of adapting one of my feature screenplays, but decided against condensing them to fit episode lengths. I thought of other works I had written and “Sixteen Unsweetened” came to mind. I had posted it online in chapters, so it was already episodic in a sense. I started writing an hour long pilot. After time I realized that it was something I should film myself and the best way to exhibit it was as a webseries. I rewrote the pilot into smaller episodes. I kept adapting more of the story into episodes. Finally I reached the point where I had run out of story for episodes. A full outline of the story arc was written but I never actually finished the story. I sat on it for a while, writer’s block. Then I started having conversations about it. The more I told my friends and family about my webseries plan the more I could see the story and the more I felt pressured to complete it. It was out of my head and off of my pages, and now real for other people. It was like speaking it into existence. This led me to several conversations with my casting director/ assistant director who spoke in terms of dates of deadlines. I started writing the episodes, starting casting, started production and ended production before I had the chance to think and fortunately, before I had the chance to self doubt…to overanalyze….to quit. With limited resources, a short filming schedule and a skeleton crew I completed production of my first original webseries, “Sixteen Unsweetened”