Tracy Oliver
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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking Alum Tracy Oliver Launches ‘First Wives Club’ Series

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    First Wives Club, the new adaptation of the hit 1996 film developed for television by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking alum Tracy Oliver, premieres this week.

    Oliver attended the New York Film Academy 4-Week Filmmaking workshop at our Los Angeles campus in 2005. In that workshop she met fellow classmate and NYFA alum Issa Rae, forming a friendship and working relationship that continues to this day. Oliver wrote an episode of Rae’s career-launching webseries, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, as well as starring in the show as Rae’s antagonist, Nina. She has since become a wildly successful Hollywood screenwriter, with script credits including Barbershop: The Next Cut, Little, and The Sun is Also a Star.Tracy Oliver

    Additionally, Oliver co-wrote the hit comedy Girls Trip with Kenya Barris, which made over $140 million at the box office. Oliver and Barris were nominated for a 2018 Image Award for their work on the movie.

    First Wives Club, Oliver’s latest project, is loosely adapted from the feature film of the same name, which starred Diane Keaton, Better Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Maggie Smith, and took audiences by storm in 1996. The original film revolved around a group of women who cope with the divorce and seek retribution against their ex-husbands. The show has been in pre-production for several years, having gone through multiple producers, casts, and studios, before Oliver was handed the reins.

    Oliver’s adaptation focuses more a story of sisterhood, and chronicles three best friends after one of them, Hazel, is caught up in an infamous cheating scandal. The three friends, who all recently came out of relationships, support each other while seeking revenge as they learn to put themselves first. The show stars Jill Scott, Michelle Buteau, and Ryan Michelle Bathe as the three friends—Hazek, Bree, and Ari. The cast also includes Mark Tallman, RonReaco Lee, and Malik Yoba. In addition to developing the show, Oliver also directed its seventh episode.

    Tracy Oliver

    First Wives Club will premiere on September 19 as a launch title for the brand new Viacom streaming service, BET+, which also goes live on September 19. Its first season, which filmed in New York City late
    last year, will air for ten episodes.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Filmmaking alum Tracy Oliver on the launch of her new series, First Wives Club, and encourages everyone to check out the show when it premieres on BET+!

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    September 17, 2019 • #WomenOfNYFA, Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 998

  • New York Film Academy Graduate Challenging Stereotypes with Popular New Webseries

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    Issa RaeNYFA Graduate Issa Rae is the creator and star of the youtube series, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl”

    New York Film Academy graduate Issa Rae grew tired of watching stereotypes of people of color on the screen and decided to create her own vision of reality with webseries The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl. The web-based show follows J, played by Rae, and her mishaps and successes in work and love. Since the debut was posted in February, the first episode has garnered more than 240,000 hits, with subsequent episodes receiving more than 100,000 hits and 1,000 viewer comments. In addition, nearly 17,000 people are dedicated to the show’s Facebook page. Rae is now packaging the series as a half-hour comedy show for cable.

    Susan Fales-Hill, who produced and wrote for the long-running NBC sitcom “A Different World,” called Rae’s work fresh, incisive, and non-stereotypical. Says Fales-Hill, “She is showing an educated, African-American woman leading an integrated life and a professional woman with friends of many different nationalities and backgrounds, and just trying to make her way.”

     

    Issa Rae Editing At TableRae edits at her kitchen table

    Says Rae on the production, “I knew if I didn’t shoot it myself it was never going to get done.” Rae began by recruiting friend Andrew Allan James to co-star as her annoying co-worker and admirer. By episode four, actor Tracy Oliver came onboard as a producer and helped pull together a full crew, boosting episode length from 4 minutes to up to 12 minutes. Around episode six, Rae launched an online fundraising campaign for the show and raised $4,000 in the first day. She now has more than $56,000 raised from nearly 2,000 donors.

     

    Issa Rae SmilingRae’s tenacity has paid off – NYFA Grad Rae has since signed with United Talent Agency and 3 Arts Entertainment. In addition to creating her own opportunities, she has created a voice for minorities that are often stereotyped by the media. Rae explains, “I think it sends a message to mainstream media that we don’t have to have these white male and female leads for everybody to relate to them. It’s sort of unfair to think that, so I hope that this show influences future casting decisions just based off what we’ve been able to do so far. “

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    September 12, 2011 • Acting • Views: 4660