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Meet Philip Johnson: Founder Of Philaye Films, Inc | The Future Of Black Gay Media!

Founded by Philip Johnson, Philaye Films, Inc. is a black-owned film production company. Philip is a 23-year-old black man, originally from Detroit and living in New York City. From his dramatic sense of humor to his unique perspective on the world as a proudly gay black male, Philaye's films inspire and entertain all at once.

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Philaye Films creates meaningful black media, striving to bring light to dynamic sides of essential topics in our 21st-century black communities.

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Make sure you check out bothSeason 1 and Season 2 of Black Sex & The City.

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What influenced you to create black gay web series and films?

My moment of inspiration was not logical nor complex. It was simply a feeling sent to me by God in the summer of 2017. I suddenly felt that creating black; gay television was my calling. I didn’t understand it nor act on it at that moment, but over time I have been able to help fill a gap in representation of our people on screens.

Tell us more about this new LGBTQ web series you have created [Black Sex & The City] and what inspired you to create this show?

Black Sex & The City was created to be a fun way to discuss real & relatable topics related to 21st century dating in the black community. My lunch dates with my friend, Rochelle, inspired the show. We would share our hilarious dating stories and originally planned on a talk show format. Things quickly took a turn to a fictional, scripted series, and it has just grown ever since.

What other LGBTQ web-series would you consider your favorite and why?

My favorite at the moment is Reality Check by Christopher Rules. Christopher Hill has an incredibly creative way of serving his messages on a relatable platter for us. His portrayal of his mind’s different layers on screen is very fresh and fun.

Amazing! Do you feel like as a black gay content creator that most people have misconceptions of your art form? Based on other black gay web series which are more so raunchy and sexually explicit to sell [story lines]. Do you feel like most viewers automatically expect for your content to play up to what's trending, which I would call soft porn?

I believe that because of the name of the show, there may be some who assume before watching that my series will be similar to soft porn series. Because I am not the most sexual person in real life, though, I work very hard on the writing of my series, to ensure that any 3-second kissing scene takes the backseat to the plot’s comedy, twists and messages. It is my biggest fear to become irrelevant & not succeed on a large scale because sex sold and not my talent.

Do you ever feel sometimes pressured to present that image in your shows? Being that gay men are highly sexually driven and more than likely to support [black gay web-series] if sex is highly promoted.

The first time I ever had a kissing scene, it lasted 3 seconds and was in Episode 7 of Season 1. I was incredibly uncomfortable releasing this because I am a reserved person, but I was also conscious of the fact that on television, sex does sell and most big shows utilize it in some way. I knew I needed to begin to leave my comfort zone in order to make the show more TV & less YouTube, without comprising my values. It’s all about setting boundaries and censoring those few scenes as much as possible.

What's your advice to new content creators or even those who dream of starting a web-series, but because of the lack of support or fear of not gaining enough support for not including all the soft porn buffoonery? What would you tell those individuals because so many black gay men felt stuck between following the popular trends and doing what's morally right for them?

My advice to those new content creators is to find their unique artistic value, and not to quit even when you really don’t want to continue. I have had countless moments where I wanted to quit because I felt uncomfortable about the whole experience of creating and releasing. You have to remember what makes you and your art special, though, so that you remember why the public will when benefit from consuming your one-of-a-kind art. Make sure that any sex scene takes the backseat to the countless other dynamic aspects of your work.

What do you see for black gay content series? How far will our images, our stories, our truths go soon? We've had a majority of films like Moonlight and the iconic series Noah’s Arc and POSE.

I see the future for black gay content being its normalization. What I personally strive for is creating a show so compelling and entertaining that people of all sexualities consume it and consume its messages simply because the art is undeniably entertaining and relatable. I believe we have to continue to embrace our artistic depths rather than solely the sexual ones so that we can create content that the masses can simply laugh at and enjoy.

I believe that the next big thing is a black, gay show that is as objectively funny as something like a Modern Family. I believe in some ways I have already accomplished that in these eight months. However, I am only 23 years old and am excited to see what I can do with more funding, resources, and experience as time progresses.

What's next for Philaye Films, Inc?

Next is Episode 6 of Black Sex & The City’s Season 2. This season of the show's theme is technology’s impact on 21st-century dating. With Julian’s new social media fame from the scandal in episode 5, we’ve got some big discussions planned for this episode, and of course some hilarious laughs. Stay tuned!

How would you describe this second season compared to the first one? Also, what were some significant changes you’ve made and some clear errors you may not have caught during the first season?

I would describe the second season as higher quality and more dynamic. The first season is a compilation of unrelated topics (while each episode is still compelling). I started off shooting on my iPhone for the first two episodes of Season 1. I have made major strides to improve the show's production value with Season 2. From the angles to the audio, to the lighting and editing, I have really focused on legitimizing the business through higher quality work. Also, working with other small black businesses has been great this season.

I still have improvements to make, but my focus with each episode is on improving from the last, and I feel happy to be growing and perfecting my craft. The second season offers the dynamics of character development as well with its ongoing plot.

As a filmmaker what are some of your biggest fears for your craft and creativity? As you know, many times when you reach a higher platform you lose minor parts of your creativity when working with bigger companies.

My biggest fear is losing the power to fine-tune the details of my work in the ways that make my episodes pop. My art has a unique flair to it, and I hope always to be able to bring my individuality to the table as I break into the industry.

Where do you see yourself in the next ten years as a filmmaker and hopefully an executive on television?

I see myself as the creator of hit shows and involved in multiple people’s creative visions. I truly value that creative freedom of being the creator of my own series and have too much to bring to the table to ever not create my own. I also enjoy working for others’ visions because it is less stressful and thus more fun at times. I plan to continue to balance these two on a larger scale so that I can always balance impact with fun.

I appreciate you doing this interview with me. I know MANY of my readers will read up more about you and your amazing film Company [Philaye Films, Inc.]. Where can we find more information and news about Black Sex & The City?

https://philayefilms.com/

Thank you so much, man. I appreciate the opportunity! The site for Philaye Films, Inc.

Site: PhilayeFilms.com Instagram: @Philaye Facebook: Philaye Films Twitter: @PhilayeFilms

Thank you again for doing this interview. Is there anything you would like to say before we close out this incredible interview?

Please tune into Black Sex & The City on YouTube and help me spread the word about it! I am grateful for all of the love and support.