Interview With “Little Sista” Writer, Director, and Producer Charmaine Bingwa! (@CharmaineBingwa)
Photo Credit: Paul Smith / IG: @PaulSmithPhotography
We recently had the chance to chat with Charmaine Bingwa about writing, producing, and directing the film “Little Sista.” Check it out below!
- What was the writing process like for Little Sista?
I loved writing Little Sista! I had written a few feature films at this point, but it was toward the end of pilot season and I had read so many pilots that I felt like I had a solid understanding of structure from reading them all. So, after the concept came to me, the writing process was actually super quick, like it was being downloaded directly into my brain. I think I had written all 7 episodes in 7 days. I’m fastidious about writing though, so I ended up re-writing it in excess of 50 times.
- What is the series about?
It is about a commitment-phobe who must learn to grow up when she is paired with an at-risk youth in a Big Brother, Big Sister program.
- Is this the first project you’ve ever completely wrote, produced and directed?
Yes. I’ve written projects and produced projects but never written, produced, co-directed and acted simultaneously! I’m glad I didn’t know what I know now, as it’s a lot of work! I’m grateful for the experience though as it was so rewarding and I learned so much!
- What is your favorite part about having creative control?
Being the custodian of the vision. I think it’s because I’m an actor first, my imagination and my visual faculties are very strong – so when I’m writing, I literally see the world: how it looks, feels, functions and sounds. I also love the joy of collaborating with others who can really explode that vision out with their specialized talent.
- What character do you play?
I play Charmaine, the commitment-phobic, irresponsible, playing-the-field bachelor lead. Her only rule is that she has no rules, so she was extremely fun to play! And yes, although we have the same name, we are very different by nature – I’m actually super-structured and responsible in my daily life.
- What is your favorite episode?
My favorite is episode 4, probably the most serious episode as it represents a huge turning point in the series. We get to see the true impact both characters have on each other and how they are becoming changed by it for the better. I also think strong comedy is unwritten by strong drama, so this episode encapsulates that for me.
- What do you think makes the show stand out from others?
I think it’s a really raw sense of humor that is just so in-your-face and a unique blend of Australian and American comedic sensibilities. Also, it is a comedy with a real heart and tackles subjects that you don’t usually see on TV.
- What was a typical day like on-set?
Ha! There was definitely no typical day on set. But it was usually an early start, greeted by croissants and breakfast. The crew usually is getting everything in place, followed by a discussion about the potential challenges we may face in our super-slim shooting schedule. We’d set up our shots, shoot two or three takes as scripted and then the last take would be reserved for improvisation, which were the memorable times on set and when we captured some of the most raucous moments!
- How is this project different from others that you’ve worked on in the past?
The other projects, I usually just act in but I love being more deeply involved in the creative process. I also perform a lot of deeply dramatic roles, so it was also a wonderful change to work on something lighter.
- When and where can fans tune into the show?
This is our good news! Little Sista has been picked up as a Revry Original Series and will be available globally late July 2018 from revry.tv
- Are you working on anything else at the moment?
I’m working on a brilliant LGBTI short called Cairos written by Zach Paul Brown, that has already won awards for Best Screenplay. We are currently in pre-production for it and I’m beyond excited to be playing the role of Lee and to be part of something I think will be beautifully brilliant.
- What are your social media accounts?
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