We loved getting to know Thomas and Lana, and wanted to hear more about their web series, Praize. Thomas Goggans, the director of the series shared more about why this series was created.
Why did you choose to create a web series, and how many seasons/ episodes do you currently have available for viewing?
I created Praize as a series because I wanted to try something different and tell this particular story in episodes instead of shooting it as a feature. The goal is to shoot a second and possibly third season now that we have been officially picked up by Pureflix which is now in Sony Affirm films.
How did you decide on the story line for the series?
I wanted to tell a story from the perspective of a young black girl navigating multi-generation trauma and deep loss! And how the love of family is your way back home!
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Is there a personal connection to this story?
No, there is no personal connection. But I wanted to tell a story about our youth and how sometimes they feel marginalized and misunderstood by their parents and the adults around them. I think black girls are crippled by negative societal stereotypes and sometimes we fail to take the time to address their trauma and emotional needs — we push them away and punish them more harshly instead of giving them room to learn, heal and be girls.
The series shows a troubled, young teenager and her struggles. Is she based on an actual person or did you create this character?
She’s not based on an actual character — but I wanted to create a character that gave a voice to all of the young African American young girls who feel powerless and invisible.
Whom do you hope to reach with this series?
I hope to reach every teenager who feels discarded and is going through the loss of a parent and a tough childhood.
What did you love most about creating this web series?
I love that people are dialoguing about it. And they are genuinely touched by the story and the characters.
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