I saw the film at a press screening over the weekend, so I didn’t attend the public premiere of her debut documentary, I Got Somethin’ To Tell You, at the Tribeca Film Festival, where Whoopi Goldberg apparently made the announcement.
But RealScreen.com was present, and they got the details.
Goldberg revealed in the Q&A that followed, that she’s developing a 10-part documentary that will take a look at the history of black entertainment, from the 1800s to the present day.
She said that she planned to tackle this as her next non-fiction directorial project, adding that inspiration for it came while she was working on I Got Somethin’ To Tell You, as she realized that the history of black entertainers – specifically comedy and vaudeville, and performers including Pigmeat Markham and Peg Leg Bates – has not been covered comprehensively on screen.
But don’t expect her to use Kickstarter to help fund this one as she did with her Moms Mabley doc.
“I’m going to go to American Express and several other places to see if they’ll give me the money to make a 10-part documentary about black entertainment from the 1800s ’til now,” she said, realizing how unexpectedly (to her) expensive making the Moms Mabley film became.
“I salute documentary filmmakers… I was lucky I had Kickstarter,” she told the audience, and further addressed criticism she faced when she launched her Kickstarter campaign, adding, “I know it seems weird [that I struggled to raise money]… A lot of people, they said, ‘Pssh, you’re Whoopi Goldberg.’ I said, ‘Really? Why do you think I work so much? I’ve got family, and there’s only one pay check.”
In the end, despite all the challenges she faced in making that film, she’s enthusiastic about the next one. “It was a great adventure… I’m going to do the adventure again, I think,” she said.
I’d like to know more about this 10-part doc series. It sounds like it’ll be a long-term, hefty project. I’d also like specifics. The history of “Black Entertainment” is too broad. Comedy looks to be her focus, but even then, that’s still a lot to cover. Although, it is a 10-part series. So, assuming each part is an hour long, that’ll be a 10-hour documentary.