Interview with director of “KEN” web series – Eddie Griffith

Eddie Griffitih speaking Jarret Janako & Krystal Farris
Eddie Griffitih speaking Jarret Janako & Krystal Farris

Recently writer, director, and Brooklyn native Eddie Griffith released a pilot to his first web series “Ken”. Centered around the concept of living life with a guilty consensus that people struggle with and battling between living life pleasing god through faith or enjoying what pleases himself. Over the weekend I was able to speak with fellow Buffalo State alum about the series to get an in-depth perspective on it and seek some knowledge about the future of the show.


PT:  Why did you open the series with the bomb and then built the climax after?

EG: I wanted the catalyst to be the bomb. Show a man falling apart and eventually picking himself back up. Need a substance to create a shock and capture the audience.

PT: That it did! From the looks of the pilot, Ken seems be the confused sole unsure about a few things in life. What audience were you trying to attract / send a message to?

EG: Human beings in general. People trying to find themselves in life. It definitely opens up to Church folks being able to survive with people in the congregation who are different. Try to show and express more love and be less judgmental others.

PT: This can be considered a love story, a controversial story, or a drama.

PT: What other avenues do you eventually want this series to take for you (Broadway, Big screen, Television, etc.)? Why?

EG: Television. It brings a story of something outside the norm. We don’t see a lot of people color on television. This could expand that option and be a good representation.

PT: Is there an underline co-related message being sent out with the main character being devoted Christian but participating in unholy acts such as the strip club, alcohol, and fornication?

EG: Yes, there isn’t any awareness bringing put into the church about homosexuality. Other problems are brought up but homosexuality is shied away. Alcoholism, divorce, gambling, and other common problems are brought to the pulpit with an open mind and are care to and prayed about.

PT: True, counseling is often rendered for that’s issues as well.

EG: Exactly.

PT: Why does Ken consider taking the weaker option of escaping life?

EG: He’s in a place of hurt. It puts him in broken position and disconnected him from god. The relief of the pain seems a solution to consider.

PT: Why did Jennifer and Paul pick team Stephanie? I would think that if Ken and Paul have that strong of a bond, there wouldn’t be a reason to why Paul would have to pick.

EG: To keep the peace in the house. A happy wife makes a happy life. No one ever wants to have to choose between their best friend and wife. It’s almost a given the wife will win.

Jarret Janako

PT: I know with being independent, a lot of the budget isn’t can’t be wasted on unused time, tell me about the life on set? Was there any egos? How long did it take to shoot the series?

EG: There were absolutely no egos. I worked with a group of hungry actors trying to get on. They came ready to work.  We shot the show in 3 days. We had fun on the set; we bonded, made jokes, keep it light.

PT: Was your group of actors’ people that you knew or worked with before? How did it come about?

EG: All the actors were auditioned and interviewed several times. At first I had Leigh-Ann Rose, who was who I had wanted to play Jessica but then I had to re-evaluate what I was doing because I truly need to cast the role of Ken first. When Jarret Janako audition, I instantly knew he was the one for the role. He had the child like charisma and innocent qualities. Yarc Lewinson was casted to symbolize who the character of Paul is. As the episodes go forward you’ll see Paul almost totally represents Paul from the bible. Krystal Farris (Stephanie) is awesome as well. You’ll get to see Stephanie side of the story as well and her struggles. She’s an independent, single, black, woman with a career, and having problems finding a man in her life. She’s just as heartbroken as Ken. Travon McCall (Duke) is the best representation of the new New Yorker. Harlem now is home to a lot of people who relocated there from the South. In real life, just like his character he’s a southern who comes to NYC and makes things happen in his career and continues to strive. He brings different aurora to the story.

PT: What was the biggest headache you had creating the pilot? Why?

EG:  I wore too many hats. I had small crew, so not only was a director and writer, but I involved in so many ways with casting the actors, building on the relationships I had with them or creating one if we didn’t already have one. I was blessed to be able to finance this project and pay the actors with my own savings. The marketing for it has been by far my biggest headache.

PT: I honestly must say I loved the cliff hanger and am looking forward to catching the rest of the series. It has me wanting to now see where’s it’s going to pick up from now that Stephanie has physically entered the picture.

EG: Yes, I love television and that’s exactly what I wanted to get from my audience. I’m a big fan of shows like Scandal, True Blood, etc. and each week they leave you in awe wanting to come back the next week to catch what’s going to happen next.

PT: Thank you for the opportunity for the interview and best of luck with the show.

EG: Thank you

For those of you who have seen the first episode of the pilot check the link below:

Follow the show and the director on twiter: @kenwebseries & @eddiewinning



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