In 2016, I was notified by a friend of a new partnership between Google and The Black List to give grants to screenplays promoting diversity and challenging nerd stereotypes in film. There were articles about it referencing the Computer Science Education in Media program run by Julie Ann Crommett at Google.
So I spent a month writing up something I was excited about. Makers is a family-friendly sitcom that follows the Glasper’s, a family comprised of two geeky, parents who work as software developers. Nef, a mother of African American descent, telecommutes on various IT contracts from her highly-unprofitable makerspace/gaming shop that has been in the red for so long the IRS has made her downgrade it from a business to a hobby. Zack, the father, works in Laboratory Information Management systems, and is a heavy gamer off-hours. They have two young children, Sagan and Ada, named for Carl Sagan and Ada Lovelace. The episodes were to center around modern first-world nerd problems: torrenting, gamer trolls, H1B1 ethics, generational conflicts over technology, code-switching, and gaming addiction.
I was taken aback to find Black List charging me membership and evaluation fees to enter the contest. But okay. I spent a month on this and didn’t want the work to go to waste. A year later, I inquired about the contest and was only told I didn’t win.
I don’t mind not winning. But who did win? I don’t know. Winners were never announced. I found others on twitter who were also wondering if winners would ever be announced, but nothing. It’s now been nearly two years since the contest and no update was ever posted on it.
So it was a scam.
That’s okay though because I’m a Creative Commons writer, so I’m posting the sitcom pitch here. If you like it, take it and make it your own. I wrote this because it’s a show I would love to see. There’s something comforting about seeing families like one’s own while also appreciating the differences. Much of what’s here is pulled directly from my own life and given different perspectives with life stories others have related to me.