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It Takes a Village – Black Girl Nerds


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It Takes a Village – Black Girl Nerds


If behind every great man is an even better woman, then behind every great show is a cast and crew that work tirelessly to make something out of nothing. Bel-Air is full of hard workers who endeavor to bring Morgan Cooper’s dream to the screen. From creator and showrunner Cooper, to executive producers Rasheed Newson and TJ Brady and heads for hair and makeup Araxi Lindsey and Denise Pugh-Ruiz, every person is important in making the show what it is. 

I had a chance to visit the set of Bel-Air and speak with some of the behind-the-scenes crew who bring the drama to life. I gained a new appreciation for what it takes to get a show to air and why only high quality is expected. 

Morgan Cooper, Showrunner/Creator/Exec VP 

On what made him choose to create the dramatic reimagining:

“I come from the camera — I was a cinematographer for many years. When ideas hit me, the vision comes to me all at once. I see how the faces look and how the colors look, and then that meshes with the worlds and the colors I see. I see it all in color. So I was driving down the highway, and it all hit me. I’ve always believed in manifesting so I made a call to my producer, put up the money to make the short, and here we are!”

On staying true to his vision:

“I think the biggest thing is that you can’t be possessive in television. You sell a show and it’s no longer yours, so everyday it’s just waking up in gratitude of the situation. Everybody’s got an opinion and that’s television, that’s the nature of it, but it’s exciting. There are a lot of different perspectives that go into [the show]. It’s not just one person’s thing. So it’s just taking one day at a time. I’m thankful to be working with very thoughtful artists who have a ton of experience so every day is a great learning experience.” 

Rasheed Newson and TJ Brady, Executive Producers and Showrunners

Rasheed Newson on how they brought the show into the current century:

“Early in the room there was a question of, ‘Do you want to be aspirational?’ Are we showing the world as we…



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