Scripting A Ghetto Crime Web Series

While researching ghetto crime web shows for an upcoming project, I noticed several stereotypes that I hope we’ll be able to avoid.

New York City

So a good friend of mine pitched me an idea for a ghetto crime web series which I’ll probably edit and also co-write with him and whomever else he selects to make this project happen.

I think he has a great idea for a fresh take on the genre, so I’m excited about and interested in the project.

While researching ghetto crime web shows, I’ve noticed a few stereotypes that I hope we’ll be able to avoid.

The Classic Shows

The quintessential ghetto crime movies are obviously “Boyz n the Hood” and “Menace II Society”.

Both of these stories are told from the outside in, meaning that the writers were aware of life outside of the fishbowl of the ghetto while still telling compelling, immersive stories about the ghetto.

Another film I really enjoyed was “Deep Cover”, which is another outside->in film.

For quite a few reasons, ghetto crime web shows are written from the inside out.

I give the content creators MUCH MUCH CREDIT because they’ll admit in interviews that they had no skills in acting, directing, editing, videography, lighting, scripting, *NOTHING*, and they still made interesting shows that have thousands if not tens of thousands of followers on the edges of their seats waiting for the next episode to be released. 😀

I think the current frontrunner in the genre is “Money & Violence”, although when I went to their site, all of Season 01 has been marked Private, so maybe they’re making some kind of deal with Hulu or Netflix or something.. Dunno.. Anyway, the Season 02 episodes are visible but they wouldn’t make any sense to you at all if you didn’t watch all of Season 01.

The reason why I say I’ve noticed stereotypes is that there’s obviously no Union for creating these shows, but whether they’re filmed in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Chicago, Atlanta, or any random impoverished location in the sticks, you see the same storylines and the same mechanisms.

It’s really pretty interesting how uniform these shows are with no governing umbrella group dictating how the content is written. I think it gives a lot of insight into how people who live under a very low glass ceiling think that real life works, and then they turn around and call the life they’re portraying… “real”.

Here are some of the current fundamentals of ghetto crime web shows:

They Dehumanize Each Other As Often As Possible, Preferably At Least Once Per Sentence

Your language is extremely important. TO YOU.

If you regard yourself as a piece of shit and reinforce that all day through how you refer to yourself and people that you consider to be the same as you and even people that you consider to be better than you, you’re stunting your own mental growth and killing off your personal potential.

In order to get soldiers to kill other human beings, the armed forces dehumanize the opposition by calling them “Insurgents”. Do you know what an Insurgent is? o_O

Insurgent:
noun
1. a person who rises in forcible opposition to lawful authority, especially a person who engages in armed resistance to a government or to the execution of its laws; rebel.
2. a member of a section of a political party that revolts against the methods or policies of the party.

An Insurgent is a person. A human being just like you are. Psychologically, it isn’t as easy to kill a human being as it is to kill a subhuman. People don’t have any problems with killing roaches or spiders because they’re not humans. So the way to get people to kill humans efficiently is to dehumanize them.

Listen to what this war veteran, “Lonnie” has to say about killing people:

“Silhouettes… They’re not real people. They’re just targets. That was what we were taught to do. I just thought, I I that just came out. I didn’t. That’s what we were sent.. You know, these.. Those aren’t people.. Those are… Silhouettes.

The kills aren’t… No.. It’s just that, you’re.. Later.. After you get home… He.. He was a young man just like I was, only he was in his country trying to keep me, the son of a bitch that’s trying to take HIS country from taking his country… It.. It… I didn’t try to make it wrong. It just WAS wrong.

I was.. I was trying to… I didn’t give a fuck WHO HE WAS. I was trying to keep ME alive… I wasn’t.. It, it wasn’t me and a Vietnamese… It was me and anybody that’s gotta g… Any… It.. I was… Aw man this is hard.”

So when you refuse to refer to yourself and the people you interact with as human beings, you perpetuate the cycle of dehumanization that made you believe you were a subhuman to begin with.

What’s worse is that you’re doing this to yourself, not only every day, but every time you have a thought, you include “I’m a subhuman and 2+2=4”. “I’m a subhuman and I think I want turkey and cheese for lunch.” You’re mentally bringing your own oppression with you in a form of self-subjugation.

Strangely, this is the only group of people that does this to themselves.

I watch a ton of HK Cinema (Hong Kong) and even the lowest of the low criminals don’t bother to attempt to low-rate each other.

American films are the same way. You didn’t see Sons of Anarchy or The Sopranos or Scarface or anybody else continuously demeaning themselves throughout their time on screen. Who has time for that?.. Who MAKES time for that?

Who even wants to be AROUND that?

Imagine that you had a girlfriend and she was cute and had a nice ass and all that but all she ever talked about was how fucked up she felt her life is. You wouldn’t be too interested in anything she has to say, assuming you didn’t excommunicate her for being a sad sack because the cons outweighed the pros.

So hopefully when we sit down to script this series, we’ll be able to avoid the dehumanizing stereotype.

If you can’t respect yourself, nobody else will either. You’re leading the charge towards your own nothingness.

I mean yeah.. There are pieces of shit in the ghetto, but they’re easily distinguished from the decent people there and they’re clearly an extremely small percentage of that overall population, although the media would have you believe otherwise.

Nobody Has A Job

The economy, across the board, in ghetto web shows is simply that someone receives something from someone and attempts to hold on to it until they can give it to someone else for more money than they paid for it.

The concept of a meritocracy just plain doesn’t exist.

Meritocracy (merit, from Latin mereō “I earn” and -cracy, from Ancient Greek κράτος kratos “strength, power”) is a political philosophy holding that power should be vested in individuals almost exclusively based on ability and talent.[1] Advancement in such a system is based on performance measured through examination and/or demonstrated achievement in the field where it is implemented.

The United States is a meritocracy.

You go to school to prove that you’re better than other people.

The better people get better job offers and better business deals.

If you went through your educational years and ended up due to your own fault as someone who doesn’t have any earning potential, that’s just your lousy luck.

As of last year, 2015, the unemployment rate in Kings County, New York (Brooklyn) was 6%:

That means that for every 6 people that don’t have a job, 94 people DO have a job.

This says nothing about the unintentionally unemployed, because I know there are quite a few people that don’t have jobs that would like to and that are searching every week and some have been searching, literally, for years.

I’m saying that if you don’t have a job in Brooklyn (location of some of these web shows), you’re in line behind 94 other people out of every 100 people to enjoy whatever you enjoy from income.

I’m also saying that to create a show where everyone in it is a criminal is entirely unrealistic.

The only time you see people with jobs is when the criminals have to buy something, such as a sandwich, liquor, clothes, or sneakers.

None of the characters are ever unavailable for a crime due to the fact that they needed to be at work at that particular time.

Nobody Has A Home

The characters in the ghetto web shows take pride in being “outcheah” (out here), meaning “in the street”.

In fact, they’re in the street because they’re homeless.

The excuse they have for being outside is that they’re supposedly selling drugs, except the writers never bother to script DRUG ADDICTS into their scenes so what you actually see is a bunch of guys standing around in the street for no reason, getting no money, having no fun, and claiming that this is the best life possible.

If the characters are ever indoors, they’re at their girlfriend’s house (We’ll get to that part later), or their mother’s or grandmother’s house. It’s never THEIR house/apartment. Never.

One of the reasons for this is that having a criminal record is grounds for you to get rejected from low-income housing:

homeguides.sfgate.com/criminal-history-policy-low-income-housing-8476.html

By the mid-1990s, criminal activity in public housing complexes became a national issue that was highlighted in President Clinton’s 1996 State of the Union address, during which he stated that a “one strike and you’re out” rule should apply to low-income housing. Congress responded to the president’s statement by enacting laws giving HUD the authority to adopt stricter regulations to address criminal activity, including alcohol and drug abuse, regarding the Section 8 housing voucher program. These regulations would have to be adopted by all public housing agencies participating in the program.

All public housing agencies are required to perform a criminal history background check as part of the application screening process for all individuals applying for housing vouchers. Any individual whose criminal history includes a lifetime registered sex offender status or a conviction for producing methamphetamine in federally subsidized housing is barred for life from participating in the housing voucher program. If an applicant has a criminal history that does not fall within these two categories, HUD permits each public housing authority to evaluate applicants on a case-by-case basis.

Not only can an applicant be denied participation in the voucher program because of an adverse criminal history, but also an applicant who has a family member with a criminal background can be denied. The SFHA will deny applicants whose family member has been evicted from public housing within the past five years because of the manufacturing or selling of illegal drugs. An applicant may also be denied if a family member has been involved in illegal drug use.

So most of the time, the scenes are filmed outside in the street, in front of a building or store.

If the characters are seen indoors, they’re crowded onto a couch and a love seat in a living room playing Playstation and drinking cough medicine.

They Make Money For No Reason

So without having jobs, they partake in the ghetto economy (holding on to things and passing them to other people for a profit) and always complain that they don’t have enough money, yet their station in life never ever improves throughout the series.

The characters in the show get weatherbeaten, beaten up by people, shot, stabbed, threatened, run around afraid for their lives, hide from police, and endure all other kinds of unnecessary tomfoolery and then at the end of the day, they have as many wins OR FEWER than that person who went to school, made themselves useful, got a job, and is enjoying their lives hassle-free from day to day.

One of the things I find odd about all of these shows is that the concept of people making a lot of money selling drugs dried up around 20 years ago.

Like literally two decades ago, and this is still the focus of every single current ghetto crime series.

That isn’t to say that it doesn’t still happen but that most of the people involved are “Frontin’ For Tha Gram”. (Instagram)

What they do is that in between the time that they receive the money for the drugs they handed to someone else and the time that they have to hand that money to their bosses, they take pictures with it and post them online.

So let’s say you have people named A, B, C, D, and E. The flow of the drugs goes A->B->C->D->E. The flow of the money goes E->D->C->B->A with each layer extracting a small percentage of the profits.

What happens is that each of those 5 people take pictures with the exact same money before they have to hand it down the line, making it look like all levels are rich.

Do yourself a favor and watch this video posted almost 10 years ago in 2007 which discusses a study done with a drug-selling gang in Chicago:

Basically, the lowest-level people are making minimum wage or less, so they may as well have actual jobs and skip all the street stuff.

Having said that.. Even the people higher up in the food chain never change their lifestyles at all regardless of how much money they claim to make.

They still live in low-income housing. They never bag any better-looking, more intelligent, or better-acting girls. They never upgrade their wardrobe. They never get in better shape (which makes sense because you never see any of the characters work out). They never become more intelligent. They never start any legitimate businesses. They never stop going in and out of jail (until they get murdered or finally get stuck permanently in jail). They never travel anywhere. They’re almost never spotted anywhere other than the ghetto and usually on their own block. They never have any fun… I mean other than Playstation and rolling dice. They never seek higher education. They never do *ANYTHING* different by the season finale than they were doing when the season first started.

The strangest part about this is that there are myriad people that can’t get a business loan from a bank for $3,000 and would work insanely hard to be successful if they could get their hands on that much money, and when these ghetto criminal characters have $3,000, they either keep it in their pockets or in their grandmother’s house inside a shoe box from Michael Jordan sneakers.

I don’t understand how these people have no bills, no lives, and no aspirations and are always concerned about getting more money that they never use to improve their lives one iota.

No matter how rich they get, they end up at the Chinese spot ordering chicken wings with french fries.

They Don’t Like Women

Parthenogenesis (/ˌpɑːrθᵻnoʊˈdʒɛnᵻsᵻs, -θᵻnə-/;[1][2] from the Greek παρθένος parthenos, “virgin”, + γένεσις genesis, “creation”[3] ) is a natural form of asexual reproduction in which growth and development of embryos occur without fertilization.

Somehow… The ghetto crime web series cast members are NEVER filmed in scenes with females, yet they already have kids.

This doesn’t make any sense. If you could get a chick to spread her legs for you 6 years ago (thus, you have a 5-year old son or daughter), you can get chicks to spread their legs now.

However, the characters go out of their way to say as often as possible that they don’t like women at all. They don’t want to spend time with women. They aren’t interested in women. Even if a chick wants to screw them, they only want head. Blah Blah Blah all they want to do is “Get To The Money”.

The same money that they never use to improve their lives at all.

I understand why this happens, as the filmmakers are untrained and have no concept of story arc and character development.

They reverse-engineer situations. It’s like “Why would this guy be out in the street getting shot at, beaten up, and arrested?….. hmm…. Oh.. I know.. Because he has a kid that he’s trying to get money for. :D”

So most of the women in these shows are merely mechanisms for setting up problems that the criminals need to solve.

The chick is in the show because she’s so ill-behaved because of a lack of home training that she runs her mouth to other dudes, causing the criminal to have to shoot those dudes and go to jail.

The chick is in the show because the criminal pillow-talked to her about where he keeps his money, which she told to some other criminal who arrived to rob and or shoot the first criminal. I know this sounds like a contradiction but it illustrates my point. The chick isn’t in the show because the guy felt like getting laid. She’s in the show as the excuse/mechanism to set up the robbery scene. Without the need for the first criminal to get robbed, they wouldn’t have scripted the chick in at all.

The chick is in the show because she always has her hand out for money even though she has no job herself.

The chick is in the show because she’s such a crabby entitled-feeling asshole that she makes the guy agitated enough to do something stupid = mechanism for a different scene.

The chick is in the show because the guy has to have somewhere to stash his drugs and money because he doesn’t have his own place because he needs to spend all of his money on jeans, sneakers, gold chains, and t-shirts.

Sometimes, the chick isn’t even *IN* the show. They’ll imply that the criminal has a room in his grandmother’s house but you never see the grandmother. They didn’t bother to script her in.

The chick is in the show because two dudes want to screw the same chick and physically attack each other over which one of them gets to territorially piss on her.

Very Very Very Extremely Rarely, The chick is in the show because she’s an actual criminal herself and she’s a respected member of the crew. She might be a shooter. She might be a booster (thief). She might be the setup/line-up chick who’s in charge of seducing guys that her friends want to rob and letting them know where she’s going to meet up with the mark (victim).

But yeah, most of the time there’s a chick in the show at all, you can easily figure out what event she’s supposed to be the catalyst for. It’s never because the main characters actually like women. In fact, they brag about how they PRETEND to like women to get them to do what they want them to do.

When they *are* around women, they barely touch them at all, even if the script has already indicated that they already screwed this chick in the past and/or have kids with them. This is a throwback to rap music videos where they hire chicks to model in the videos that they don’t actually know so there’s no physical contact between the rappers and the girls. In fact, a lot of times, they aren’t even in the same scene. There will be one scene of the rapper and all of his homeboys and then another scene with the model girl and a car.

They Injure Each Other Without Killing Each Other

One of, in my opinion, the greatest crime series ever was The Sopranos. The first season was insanely good because they didn’t know whether they were going to get picked up for a second season, so EVERYBODY was getting whacked left and right. 😀

Once they got renewed, the killing had to slow down because they were portraying a mob family in New Jersey and they don’t procreate quickly enough over there to have endless supplies of associates that want to move up in the organization.

Brooklyn would have been different. They could have kept up the killing spree all the way through by just transferring members from one family to another.

So in the ghetto web shows, they need to have the characters have conflicts WITHOUT the characters actually dying. These aren’t actually actors. They aren’t going to leave “Married With Children” and arrive on “Sons of Anarchy”. Once they’re out of *this* show, their acting career is over because they just so happened to be blessed to meet whomever’s responsible for putting this series together, and after this run, it’s all over.

So you see a lot of weird situations like people that have the absolute drop on somebody and then they decide to start shooting 95,000 feet away from their target instead of walking up on them and letting them have it.

Or nobody uses revolvers, which means that whenever it’s convenient for the script, that automatic or semi-automatic weapon will jam, and of course this common criminal has no idea how to clear gun malfunctions so the criminal on the ground gets to live to see the next episode.

There are quite a few grazes (flesh wounds) and in-and-outs in non-vital areas which don’t even require the characters to go to the hospital. They just go to their girlfriend’s house, put on some ace bandages or whatever, maybe put their arm in a sling for a couple of episodes, and then they’re fully healed back to 100% functionality.

This is all well & good for the common viewer, but the sophisticated viewer is going to be like GTFO and turn off to whatever other formats of violence they attempt to portray because we know that it will only be as violent as the script calls for. There’s no chance that this main character is actually going to get killed off like Sean Bean in Game of Thrones.

Released Criminals Return To Crime

In this fishbowl view of reality, the characters believe they were arrested by some accident.. A fluke.. An unfortunate turn of events.. Just plain bad luck.

In fact, all they’re doing is trying to get into jail every day. It’s only a matter of when they succeed in getting in.

When they do get out, instead of selecting a path that would probably lead them to a regular life in a meritocracy, which is making yourself useful to someone so they’re willing to trade you money for your time, the first thing they do is find out whether they can get their position back in the criminal “organization” they were a part of which caused them to land in jail in the first place.

It’s as if going to jail was a setback instead of a foregone conclusion.

It’s like they were bowling and somehow mysteriously happened to throw one ball in the alley and they’re just going to keep on bowling.

To their credit, I’ve seen a couple of shows where the current criminals have directed and sometimes even begged returning criminals to stay away from crime altogether so they don’t violate parole and get sent back for the remainder of their term on the first crime as well as the time they have to serve for the new crime they’re going to be caught for in the near future. Congratulations to those writers for being forward-thinking and scripting something that might help people who are actually caught up in this cycle in real life to rethink what they’re doing to themselves and their families.

You Only Have One Shot At This

The only way returning criminals can get back in the game is if the people they were doing the crimes with are still doing them. This is because there are intense rivalries between groups of people that want to commit the same crimes in the same areas.

By affiliating yourself with one crew, you’re automatically an enemy of the other crews.

This means that if you and your entire team get busted simultaneously, you’re entirely out of business because you can’t return from jail and apply to become a member of one of the other criminal teams.

Also, since the only ghetto economy is holding on to something someone else handed to you, you have to have a connection to “the plug”, who is the person that gets whatever the product is from whomever transported it from the country it came from to this show’s local environment.

This causes a situation where whomever’s getting the product from the plug doesn’t want to tell anybody else WHO that person is who’s supplying their team. This makes sense because if someone else knew, they would try to strike up their own deal with that person and potentially even kill the person who told them who it was.

Even worse, they might try to rob or kill the plug and then everybody in that crew starves to death.

The problem with this setup is that if the one person with the connection gets killed, the entire crew starves to death because nobody else knows who to get the product from. They can’t all defect to some other crew who’s still being supplied and apply for jobs.

They All Say They Want To Get Out Of The Hood And Then None Of Them Ever Do It

One of the lies that are told for these characters’ behavior is that they’re committing crimes so they can get their family out of the hood, whether it’s their family above them or their kids that they never see but we hear about because the chick they had the kid with always has her hand out for money and is acting crabby like anybody gives a damn what she thinks.

In fact, they can’t get out of the hood.

They have no credit history. They have no employment history. They probably have lengthy criminal records. They have no history of ever having their names on a lease for a house, apartment, or car. They have no savings (other than what’s in the Michael Jordan sneaker boxes in their rooms in their grandmothers’ houses). They have no friends. They don’t know anybody that doesn’t live on their block. They don’t know who their blood relatives are. They have no marketable skills.

They can’t leave the hood because it’s the only place where they can make money at all, until whomever they know who gets the product from the plug gets whacked, and then they’re just SOL.

In fact, their best chance of getting out would be to do right by their girlfriends, which they not only refuse to do but BRAG ABOUT NOT DOING, because as non-criminals, their girlfriends have jobs, credit histories, ability to be approved for apartments, cars, savings… Basically, everything the dudes are in the street risking their lives for, the girls already have without even trying.

They’re Sperm Donors, Not Fathers

Other than maybe two instances that I’ve seen since I started researching these shows, you never see these so-called kids that the characters had X years ago with the chicks they’re no longer screwing but who are still requesting money from them for child support.

Yes, sometimes, this is blamed on the female, as it’s another mechanism for a problem that the criminal has, which is that he has a consistent drain on his funds and pain in his neck in the format of some chick he “accidentally” had a kid with because he wasn’t smart enough to utilize a condom.

Most of the time, however, the characters go out of their way to brag to their homeboys about how little they care about chicks in general and the one(s) they got pregnant in particular.

I understand why kids are left out of the story arc, which is because they don’t have anything directly to do with crime. You can’t advance the narrative during those family scenes. If they could figure out a way to use kids as mechanisms the same way they use women, they would.

Meanwhile, since the girls know the guys are getting money they didn’t work for, they have no problem requesting hundreds of dollars from the guys, whether it’s under the pretense of spending that money on his kid (I mean he hopes it’s his kid) or just that she saw a bag she wanted to buy.

This begs the question who exactly is it that you’re trying to get out of the hood? 😀 Yourself? It’s certainly not your kid(s) because you don’t even live with them now.

Cops Only Exist As Sanctioned Criminals

There are never any beat cops in uniform walking around in the street.

Now and then, you see a b-roll cutaway of a cop car going by or parked somewhere, but other than that, actual cops don’t exist at all in their world.

This is one of the reasons they think it’s odd when they get caught and thrown in jail. They don’t realize that there’s a society that they’re a subculture of that includes POLICE who are watching and waiting for them to do something stupid so they can arrest them.

The only cops they have, and I understand that they might not want to spend the wardrobe money on beat cop outfits, are undercover cops. These people look exactly the same as the criminals but they have a chain around their neck with a badge on it.

In fact, the cops in these shows are merely sanctioned criminals.

Actually.. They look and act exactly like the undercover cops in this real-life incident that happened here just one week ago:

Brooklyn Cops Arrest Mailman After He Criticizes Their Driving

Police arrested an on-duty mailman last week in Crown Heights after he objected to their driving, according to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. Adams held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to decry the arrest of Glenn Grays, which took place on the afternoon of March 17th.

Adams recounted that Grays, 27, stepped out of his mail truck on President Street at around 4 p.m. as officers in an unmarked car drove by and nearly clipped him. The plainclothes officers later recounted Grays being “loud and boisterous” and cursing at them. A video of the incident purportedly picks up at this point.

The cellphone footage shows the four undercover cops, one of whom Adams says is a lieutenant, surround Grays and demand to see his identification. When he doesn’t immediately run back to the mail truck to retrieve it, two officers close in on him, over the objections of gathered bystanders.

“Stop resisting!” one officer repeats as Grays appears to hold his arms stiff while the cop tries to cuff him.

“You’re going to get hurt if you don’t give me your fucking hands,” the other officer says.

After a tense moment, the four officers get Grays in cuffs and march him to their car. Adams said that from there, they drove him to the 71st Precinct station house, leaving his truck unsecured.

Grays has no criminal history, and was released with a ticket for resisting arrest. Adams called that a way of the NYPD “sweeping the incident under the rug.” He is demanding that the officers be reprimanded for what he said is a bogus arrest emblematic of how they deal with predominately African-American and Caribbean residents of Crown Heights.

“It is not against the law to voice outrage after almost being struck by a vehicle,” Adams told reporters. “This could have been another Eric Garner situation if Glenn hadn’t responded as calmly as he did. And if they would do that to Glenn in his uniform, they would do that to any person of color in that neighborhood.”

So these guys harassed a mailman who was CURRENTLY WORKING and obviously not committing any crimes at all, arrested him, left his truck unsecured, and issued him a ticket for resisting arrest from NO CHARGE AT ALL and then went about their business.

These are the only types of cops the web series writers know about.

The only time cops arrive in the shows is to try to steal money and drugs from the criminals so they can hand the drugs to other criminals to sell for them.

Meanwhile, they’re either planting evidence on the characters or threatening to do so in order to coerce them into giving up information about any crimes they know about in the neighborhood… Not to make any arrests, of course, but to figure out who they need to rob next.

This is one of the reasons why the characters are surprised or think it’s some kind of fluke when they’re actually arrested. The cops they know aren’t trying to arrest anybody anyway. They’re just trying to get paid like all the other criminals.

No Concept Of Crime Scenes

Since they see cops as merely another gang of criminals, the writers have no understanding of ongoing police investigations.

If someone gets killed in front of a building, there’s probably one scene later that evening where someone exclaims that “the block is hot” (a lot of cops are around and nobody can make any money via crime), and then by the next morning, everything’s back to normal.

I realize the technical reasons for this.. Not wanting to pay for cop uniforms.. Not wanting to put up police tape since they don’t actually have permits to film any of this anyway.. The problem, however, is that when the block gets hot, it STAYS hot.

Not only does police tape go up around the crime scene and STAY THERE, but cameras go up, extra patrols are stationed there, floodlights may be installed there, people getting stopped and frisked increases…

This is one of the reasons the characters are surprised when they get caught and jailed.

I guess they supposed the body decomposed overnight and blew away like dust in the wind.

No Concept Of Gunshot Sounds, Blood Spatter, Or Bullet Trajectories

This has a little less to do with the writing and much more to do with the videography/directing.

Certain elements of the background belie what these shows are trying to sell us in the foreground.

I just watched an episode where one criminal shot another criminal in his back three times, except the soon-to-be-dead criminal was speaking face-to-face with a crimey (fellow criminal on the same team) of the shooter…. By aiming at the target dude, he was also aiming at his teammate and would have shot both of them. Fortunately, the target’s body absorbed all the bullets, he fell dead, and the perps left the scene.

Another problem is when you’re filming in front of people in the background who don’t know you’re filming a movie. When the gunshots go off and people fall to the ground, nobody in the background flinches because the gun never went off, there was never a bang, and never a spark. The calmness of the people in the background, some of whom are ignoring you COMPLETELY, indicates that you’re faking this situation with special effects.

In fact, I’ve seen people stop and watch staged robberies, meaning that they happen to be in the camera shot while one person is robbing another one, and they look for a few seconds, wondering if they should call the cops, decide that it’s being filmed for a show, and then go about their business. This is when you need to film that scene over again without the people in the background giving your situation away.

I saw a girl shoot at a guy inside an apartment. The guy dove to the floor and she put two or three bullets into a wall without a) making any holes, or b) disturbing the mirrors that were on the wall that she shot.

I can’t count how many people I’ve seen get shot inside people’s personal cars and then the body is dragged out of the car and left on the side of the road. Not a drop of blood inside the car. No bullets shattering windows. No shooters going deaf for discharging weapons at close range in an enclosed environment without hearing protection.

Again, I’m aware that none of these people have actually studied filmmaking, but C’Mon, Sunnnn.

Sitting Ducks

Again.. I realize this is partially a limitation of the resources available to the filmmakers and I applaud how much they’ve been able to accomplish with so little technical knowledge.. Definitely impressive! 😀

However.. The people committing the crimes always do them in the exact same areas and they always hang out in the exact same areas.

They sit on one bench in front of one building all day, go shoot or rob someone that lives within 5-10 blocks of that bench and knows their faces and knows their names and then they go back and chill on that same bench some more and they never get wasted.

It doesn’t make any sense.

Just from the information that I see on their episodes, I know states, cities, neighborhoods, street names, and building addresses of exactly where they’re filming.

I could Google Map them and launch one of those Dubai Racing Drones off of my own roof and have it travel right to their bench and destroy them without ever setting foot in Brooklyn at all:

So how tough would it be for local teams of criminals to shoot each other like fish in a barrel?

It can’t happen because of the scripting reasons I mentioned earlier about not having any replacement characters to continue the series with, but it would have been a better idea to have the characters seem to be continuously aware of how much danger they’re in.

Epilogue

So we’ll see what happens when we get around to brainstorming this show.

I’ll probably be involved whether or not these ridiculous stereotypes are included.

I’m going to support my friend’s initiative, regardless.

The only question is whether I’ll put my name on the episodes or not.

4 thoughts on “Scripting A Ghetto Crime Web Series”

  1. one problem has always been (and will probably continue to be) that these people are either complete outsiders OR live in proximity but arent a part of that “culture”. The boring, mundane lives that are depicted (front of building, PlayStation, etc) tend to be true BUT its in the asking/interviewing where the grandiose tales of wealth are exaggerated by the primary players themselves. No one wants to admit that they live 1st to the 15th as they need the addicts to get their benefits in order to make enough money to re-up which in turn lets them make that pizza money on the off benefits weeks. Many wont admit that the flashy lifestyle they lead is because A. they live at home and dont pay any bills or B. they live with (but cant be legally married) with someone who is on public assistance therefore all major bills are payed (rent, medical) allowing them to horde that pizza money for the next release of Jordans OR C. many of them guys are homeless! When these hood stars tell their stories they conveniently leave out the part about all them cold nights where they didnt make any money, the part about having to run and dump the product to avoid arrest only to have to pawn off the jewelry for the re-up (most of which isnt as solid/heavy and worth as much as it appears in the pics)… you hit it right on the head, its told from the outside in. Even when documenting and “following” real “hustlers” they believe what they are told because they dont know about the reality they only know the myth!

    1. Excellent insights, Frank. 🙂 Thank you for sharing them.

      I never thought for a single second about that NWA lyric until just now as I was considering what you wrote..

      He’s knockin’ out teeth
      Clockin’ much dollaz
      On the first and fifteenth

      Wowzers! 😀 hahahaha

  2. These folk have decided is that the threat of death or incarceration is worth minimum wages. People envy or are fascinated by, is the APPEARANCE of the leisure (Waking up late, hanging out with “friends” all day, getting high,partying). Not realizing that no matter what you do, you don’t have to work hard, you have to work smart. Street drug dealing is not smart work.
    I am sharing this post. You peeled back some layers.

    1. Hey Edie! 😀 Thanks for the comment.

      Yes. The entire mentality is strange, yet it’s replicated in places that have no communication with each other.

      Some people allow their desire to have things that they don’t deserve put them in bad positions where they spend more time paying for their decisions than they spent enjoying what those decisions got them.

      I watch a lot of documentaries. There are exactly *ZERO* stories of anyone living a long, happy life via constantly threatening themselves with death and/or incarceration.

      The only ones that used to get away with it were *ALL* paying off the cops, and when their ability to do that ended, so did their fun and sometimes their lives.

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