Big Bad Boo Studios is launching a Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) workshop series, which is sponsored in part by the Canada Media Fund (CMF).
The three free BIPOC workshops will focus on creative writing, storyboarding and animation. They will be held online from February 16 to 18 and be led by industry veterans Eddie Soriano and John May, among others. The application deadline is January 16.
Big Bad Boo had gone on a search nearly three years ago to create a diverse writers’ room for the series 16 Hudson, created by Shabnam Rezaei. Rezaei approached the CMF and instructors from around Vancouver to assist in setting up the workshops. The goal of the workshops is to train new talent in order to encourage people with a diverse background in these areas.
Rezaei said: “I remember looking specifically for experienced kids’ writers that were of Indian and Chinese descent, so we could have them write for the characters of Amala and Sam, respectively, and in particular for culturally relevant episodes like Diwali and Lunar New Year. Every place we looked, we came up short.” (Story editors John May and Suzanne Bolch reached out to drama series writer Nathalie Younglai and emerging talent Jay Vaidya, who ultimately joined the 16 Hudson writers’ room.)
Rezaei added: “This need for BIPOC talent became so painfully clear through our entire pipeline at Big Bad Boo. I started to look around our other departments and we had an imbalance both in terms of gender and heritage, so I set out to change that.”