In The Valley
In the "Concrete Jungle", also known as New York City, struggles and uncertainty can easily become the new normal. Let the extraordinary lives from this docu-series "In The Valley" provide the courage and confirmation that through faith in God you can do all things and always break the norm.
Keep it Colorful
Inclusion StatementThe purpose of the docuseries "In the Valley" is to spotlight the resilience in people of color, including women, the LGBTQ community and the mentally & physically challenged to increase fraternity and equality. The creator is a 46 year-old African-American mother of 4 children aged 9,11,15 & 25.
About The Project
“IN THE VALLEY”
Using the biblical term which means to be in the midst of facing life’s trials, suffering and uncertainty, “In The Valley” is a new docu-series that captures the ups and downs of real everyday people. In each new documentary episode, we will witness the ‘peaks and valleys’ traveled in these seemingly ordinary lives, as they push forward to achieve and simply, survive.
Unlike many other types of film or television programming that aims to capture the human experience by focusing on heroism or a major upward socio-economic change that proves someone has "made it”, "In The Valley” aims only to capture its characters’ universal commonalities and perseverance. With so much glorification given to those adorned with the label of "celebrity" or "wealthy", we often forget to turn to the “unknown” or those of similar socio-economic status to gain hope and inspiration and to gasp, “I’m not the only one!”
Historically, and today in 2018, race, a man-made construct not created by a person of color and designed to highlight difference, is used many times to prevent connectivity or unified efforts through multiculturalism. For, if we were to truly see ourselves in each other and had enough courage to live this way consistently, humanity could move toward a collective greater good and individuals could feel validated without resorting to discrimination to hurt people they deem as simply unhuman or an "other".
Therefore, reminding us that "united we will stand and divided we will fall".
SEASON 1 - NEW YORK
SEASON 1: EPISODE ONE | L. JONES | “JUST ANOTHER GIRL ON THE I.R.T. DEUX”
If you have ever seen the 1992 original movie “Just Another Girl On the IRT” then you would have a glimpse of the great aspirations Lori held for herself as a teenager raised in the New York City borough of Queens, while navigating her way through the big city. You would also get a glimpse of how another smart and ambitious girl, can make one wrong decision that will change her life forever; setting her on an unchartered course.
In this pilot episode for “In The Valley”, we get to know the docu-series’ creator, and current doctoral student, Lori Nicole. We will learn how everything in her life has led to this very "woke" sense of now. We witness her coming of age in hip-hop culture and weaving her way through a tapestry of relationships; overcoming socio-economic issues, life-threatening events and personal betrayals along her way toward achievements. From marriage, divorce, foreclosure, natural disaster, being comatose and even temporarily blind to her higher education, community work, entrepreneurship, and the miraculous near death and birth of her first born son, we can start to take notice of some things very common to us and some that are not.
It was during one of those moments revealed in this episode, that Lori felt a calling to use a different storytelling platform, filmmaking, to share the human experience beyond the public speaking and writing she had previously done. Still, nevertheless, in her moments of uncertainty, disappointment and anger, she always remembered that her experiences were not her own. Rather, they were happening so that they could be used, just like they are now, to empower.
SEASON 1: EPISODE TWO | ALIAS: “ESTHER” | “REDEMPTION ISLAND”
Episode Two Synopsis
Esther is no stranger to beautiful things, bright lights or stardom personified. She knows it all too well. For when you are with someone in the music industry for several years there can come to be a grave understanding shackled to the perks and grandeur.
So, what then happens when that same celebrity musician who you’ve shared many years with, way before the red carpets and cameras, severs the romantic relationship with the greatest sacrifice, your children? Anger, depression, suicide, or revenge? The desire to immediately jump into a new relationship with a new celebrity? Thus, remaining in the spotlight and the scrutiny of the public eye a bit longer.
Well, sometimes, instead of what some may think would be the obvious, we majestically pick ourselves up, rise above the fray, and propel forward in a direction far away from what was. We move on by creating a new vision in the abrupt push to independence. Hence, the redemption is not the replacement of people, possessions or monetary restitution. Rather, it is three very different and distinctive elements that brings Esther into recovery.
Yes, it is during the journey in the valley that we can discover these great blessings. And it is here, in another country, far from New York City, we find Esther birthed into a recluse, experiencing this rapture of redemption. But, how? How is it possible that in the aftermath of so much public humilation, pain, allegations, and the most detrimental, loss, can this redemption be found?
SEASON 1: EPISODE THREE | ALIAS: “MATT”| “A SOLDIER’S WAR WITHIN”
Episode Three Synopsis
A son, a brother, a father, an uncle and a friend… this is Matt, many things to many people. But, it doesn’t stop there, he is also something to the nation and to complete strangers, domestic and international, that he will never meet. He is a United States veteran; a soldier from the Gulf War’s Operation Desert Storm. This was a military operation set off in 1991 by then President George H.W. Bush to expel occupying Iraqi forces in Kuwait. This was a coalition of two dozen nations, which included nearly a million troops.
So yes, Matt is tough and not just in the since of how one may visualize or anticipate a military man to be, but in the depths of his manhood and what that means with regard to his responsibilities. Those responsibilities are not only to those he loves, but those he holds to himself. He reveres exercise and the maintenance of his body. He takes great pride in being financially independent and providing for his own needs without failure. Matt is the epitome of a ‘man’s man’ and it is this persona that encases his loving spirit, relationship with God and his secret that only a very few have come to know. A secret that his body seems to be paying the price for; due to all the fast and furious nights of his younger years back in Harlem.
So how long can a secret be kept ‘under wraps’ when an originally strong encasement, i.e. his body, starts to not ‘hold up’ as it normally has? Or, what happens when we must face a diagnosis for one of the most devastatingly life altering and threatening diseases of our times? As the valley can teach us, and teaches Matt, it is not only our greatest strength we can find in our darkest hours. But, our true self.
SEASON 1: EPISODE FOUR | ALIAS: “ASHLEY”| “A MIND NOT YOUR OWN”
Episode Four Synopsis
She speaks in ebonics and knows the music; in this, she feels at home. She is comfortable within the black culture; making it melt into the one she was born into. She is from a culture that is very different and a difference that her parents value. But, they dropped her into the black community, so what did they expect.
Ashely manages both worlds just fine or so she thinks. For conformity has a funny way of sneaking up on the most revolutionary of minds that have turned away from what is sanctioned to be a norm. Ashley has dated interracially for some time, and while doing so, she has come to feel at ease in her use of recreational drugs. Besides, that only seemed like what any good girlfriend was supposed to do. Playing jeopardy with your job though isn’t what any good professional should do, especially when she works with inner-city at-risk youth.
Until one night, Ashley finds herself standing outside on the streets of New York City not realizing that something was about to happen to change her whole being and who she thought she was. Coming out of her last relationship, she decided that when she let him go, her other appointed companion would go too. She just didn’t realize that this drug companion was all along "medicating” her unknown diagnosis.
So, through cultural clatter and parental expectancies, how can Ashley, a young NYC socialite, make sense of her newly found mind? Amazingly, while in the valley, if we can adapt to our unplanned changes, we can then also radiant the greatest hope to others walking on the same path of uncertainty.
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About This Team
I am a writer without a "professional" visual team. A primary goal is to assemble a team immediately after completing this film rally; minimally a cinematographer and art director.
Besides working in nonprofit youth development, as a social entrepreneur and an educator for a combined 20 years, I have been writing creatively since age 10. During high school, I majored in Broadcast Journalism and then throughout my time in college, I performed poetry and spoken word accompanied by live musicians in the late 1990's after writing for my alma mater's newsletter.
On Blogger, I share excerpts from my up and coming memoir "She Believed She Could, So She Did. The Tales of When Babymamas Become Wives, The Good, Bad & The Ugly", poetry and short essays. Visit: https://wordsandmomentsintime.blogspot.com/
Under my indie publishing press and print, I published my first book titled “A Pocket of Hope" in 2014. Visit: http://www.achieversofnewyorkinc.com/
Amazingly, my 9 year-old son, Logan, aka "My Little Wolverine", inspired by my life, the love for his 25-year-old autistic and nonverbal brother and his own passion for art, designed my pitch video for this campaign and a creative video about the pilot episode...
CHECK IT OUT ON THE "MEDIA" PAGE!
In the creative video Logan highlights one of my life-threatening moments. It shows when I was being rushed into emergency surgery, because I had lost enormous amounts of blood due to a rupturing tube. If I had not had that immediate surgery, I would have died in a few moments. For sure this was more than frightening. Well, my eldest son and I did survive, but sadly his fraternal twin in that tube did not. In the final frames of the video we learn about a real life example of someone in the news recently that felt hopeless. It is a man from Washington state who worked at an airport. He stole an airplane back in August 2018 and then flew it around; doing unbelievable spins and low flying. Finally, he committed suicide by crashing the airplane onto an island. Very sad!
So, as I look forward, faith, passion and creative storytelling already resides here within me and around me through my children... the team, industry professionals and technological resources I know will come!
Thank YOU for being here too!