Interview with Tra Verdejo and Silk White

The hand I was Dealt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, Baltimore has experienced the riots. The Hand I was Dealt is based in Baltimore. Explain why you chose to set the web series in Baltimore and what makes Baltimore a unique city?

Silk White

We chose to shoot the web series in Baltimore because it’s a strong city and people there are always so alive. While shooting the final episode the riots began to break out and we actually got some footage of a few of the protest. Baltimore always shows us love so it’s only right that we show the same love back.

 

Tra Verdejo

Baltimore, because Silk and I have done a lot of business in the Baltimore, we have owned bookstores and we also filmed Black Barbie in Baltimore as well. We’re both from NY but our heart belongs to the city of Baltimore. We know the city, so it’s easier for us to find the right locations. Also, throughout the show you will see a different side of Baltimore, we filmed everything in the city but you won’t see the row houses and dirty alleys, it’s more to see in Baltimore besides what everyone saw in “The Wire” & “The Corner”

It just so happens while we were shooting the very last scene of episode 10, we ran into the protesters, so we filmed a little bit of it and we will show that, not the riots but the peaceful protest. The world scene enough of the looting. 

 

After years of writing, selling and publishing books, what made you venture into film?

Silk White

Well we always wanted to do films and bring our stories to the big screen but some times its all about timing and i think now was the perfect time for The Hand I Was Dealt

Tra Verdejo

Prior to filming this Web-series, Silk and I wrote and Directed 2 films (No Way Out and Black Barbie) and I wrote and directed a short film (The Naked Monster). The filming itch was there. My fans always told me they could envision my words. Lately the book industry has not been as lucrative as it was in the pass, so we are trying to put more energy into the film industry   

How did the web series “The Hand I was Dealt” come about?

Silk White

I had the script already done went and talked to my partner Tra Verdejo and we worked out all the details and a month later we had a finished product. We put in a lot of hours behind the scenes to make this project come to life.

Tra Verdejo

Silk called and told me about the project, we were trying to figure out our next moves. We both have our own companies and projects but our work chemistry is straight magic so when he called me I was like I’m all in, let’s do it. Real talk when we were filming Black Barbie back in 2011, Silk had an idea about a web-series, the timing was right

 

How did you come to the decision to act in the web series as well as direct?

Silk White

We felt that we needed to be the directors because no one knew the story line better than us and we knew exactly how things needed to play out and be shown on the screen. As far as acting it’s just something that we love to do and continue to get better at.

Tra Verdejo

We are Bosses, so unless a big time Director comes along, we would handle it ourselves. No one knows your vision better than yourself.  It’s the same attitude we had in the book game. We are independent with the mentality of a major company.  The acting part is fun, but like Silk said we are getting better at it.

Is the web series an original script or based on any previous books? Characters?

Silk White

This web series is an original script. Just wanted to give the people something fresh and new.

Tra Verdejo

Silk wrote it as a web-series. We didn’t want people to compare it to anything or say the book is always better than the movie / web-series.

What was the biggest challenge getting the web series completed?

Silk White

The biggest challenge in getting the web series done for me was getting everyone on the same schedule. With everyone being so busy everyone has to work on each other’s schedule and some times that can a hassle. Also finding these locations was a challenge

Tra Verdejo

I agree with Silk, getting everything and everyone scheduled was crazy because we had people from NY, DE, MD, DC & VA.  Also the promoting of the casting call making sure the right agencies knew about it so we could find the right actors.

 

What was your favorite scene shooting in episode 1 of the series? Why?

Silk White

My favorite scene in episode 1 would have to be the opening scene with Macho and Missy that’s the scene that gets everything started.

Tra Verdejo

My favorite part from Episode 1 was the whole Big Time scene, when he pulled up in the red car looking for Zoe. It just reminded me of the good old hustling days in the hood.

 

When will the second episode be released? How frequent and how many episodes in the series?

Silk White

The second episode will air Tuesday 5/12/15 and an episode will be aired every Tuesday at 8PM

 

Watch episode 1.  Additional Episodes will be shown here

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