By Taroue Brooks
What inspired you to become a producer?
My initial inspiration for being a producer was reading an article in Ebony magazine about Gordon Parks. Something about his story resonated with me and I was probably five or six years old at the time. Once I read about Gordon’s life, I knew I wanted to do something connected to entertainment. I’ve been a poet, actor, and writer but once I found my passion and purpose that became my singular focus. I learned it’s okay not to know exactly what you want to do; you just have to get on the path and keep moving.
Tell us about your latest project, “What About Me “.
What About Me is an introspective examination of the thoughts, history and perception of Black men here in America. The goal was to create a project that was different then anything else that I had seen in terms of the diversity of perspective and depth. We wanted this to be a project that anyone can watch regardless of ethnicity, gender, or age and walk away from it with a deeper understanding of the journey.
What was your experience like working on such a timely and sensitive documentary like “What About Me “?
The experience of What About Me as a producer/director was like getting a 10,000 piece puzzle with no picture or instructions to guide you. The direction and story was something I had to think and rethink on many times.
What are some of the challenges of being an entrepreneur?
The biggest challenge of being an entrepreneur is generally financing, followed by resources, and those resources are not always directly tied to money. For example, there is access to data, corporations, and even longstanding banking relationships that many times you don’t have as an entrepreneur. All of these are essential in the development and growth as an entrepreneur.
What does success look like for you?
Success for me is being comfortable with who I am and having passion and purpose for how I’m living. If you merely define success monetarily then when you perceive you don’t have enough you will panic and give up.
What would you like for your legacy to be?
My desire for legacy is to have my work and presence be a positive impact on the world. I want to see the type of work I do carried on for the next 100 years. I have created unique culturally relevant content and for that I am proud but there’s so much more to be done.
What advice would you give someone who seeks to become a producer?
My advice to anyone that wants to be a producer is to find a subject you’re interested in and a community that shares that interest. I would then examine the resources I had creatively and financially to determine what I elements I could put together to get the project started. Issa Rae said something I found very profound, “people are always looking to network up instead of across”. Find people that are hungry or at least accessible to work with you.
What can people look forward to seeing from you in the future?
My future will be producing at least one movie and several documentaries every year from this point forward. My mindset over the past few years have been around developing an organization that can sustain this kind of output, working smarter.
About Darryl Pitts
Producer/Director Darryl Pitts is an innovator who has created a wide variety of programming featuring such celebrated talent as Halle Berry, Nia Long, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Chris Paul, and Lionel Richie to name a few. He is created with over 100 hours of programming in his career.
Seizing an opportunity to produce programming outside of BET Darryl created a 30-minute television special on the Negro Baseball Leagues, The Playing Field. The Playing Field aired on CBS affiliates in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. Darryl was nominated for a regional Emmy.
Riding on the heels of the heels of successful national television programming Chrysler sponsored Darryl’s next program, Dramatic Moments In Black Sports History. This one-hour program profiled seven athletes who impacted American society and created new possibilities in spite of the obstacles facing them. Dramatic Moments initial airings were on TNT after two highly rated NBA games. After the success on TNT, Dramatic Moments went into syndication and was distributed by New Line Television.
Darryl has produced a wide variety of content since those years including Back To School Summer Jam, which became a pilot program for Warner Brother Television and for Toyota/NBA a one-hour special titled Urban Life And Style.
In 2016, Darryl and several industry professionals came together to create a television distribution company and has syndicated at least one documentary per quarter since its launch including a documentary on Eminem and a holiday gospel special.
Since 2018 Darryl has been an Executive Producer of a national television quarterly television series titled Women On The Move (wotmtv.com) This quarterly series heads into Season 4 in February 2021 and airs on a combination of ABC, NBC, Fox, and CBS stations across the country. Darryl also produced a one- hour documentary titled What About Me which features the thoughts and perspectives of Black Men in AmErica. This documentary will be released in February 2021.
In addition to the extensive television work, Darryl has created branded content for Toyota/NBA, Allstate Insurance, and Chrysler. With a sponsor line-up of Chrysler, McDonald’s. Alllstate, State Farm, Proctor and Gamble, Toyota, and Ford, and a track record of successful programming, Darryl continues finding new ways to bring the voices, history, and legacy of the American experience to the screen.