Getting Started: Three Young Producers Look Beyond TV to Reach Audiences

Getting out their dreams: From left to right, producers Asha Kamali May, Dana Gills and Jeanette McDuffie (Image: Brown Paper Dolls)

The death (on CW) and resurrection (on BET) of comedy series The Game was a television history maker. The entire ordeal—including fans’ outrage over the cancellation, and their ceaseless support in the show’s return—caused many to question the current state and fate of Black television.

The saga also sparked friends Dana Gills, Asha Kamali May and Jeanette McDuffie to co-found their own production company, Brown Paper Dolls, a mulit-media company that aims to produce content for underserved niche audiences. Their top priority? To look for innovative ways to market milk + honey, an online web series executive produced by actor Idris Elba. The series, which stars Debbie Allen, Lance Gross (House of Payne), Bryce Wilson (Beauty Shop) and Elba, follows four women “who are on spiritual, professional and romantic journeys to make their dreams a reality.” caught up with Dana Gills, one of the the three producers, and talked to her about the evolution of milk + honey, the vision of Brown Paper Dolls, and how the trio plans to execute that vision and get out their dreams.

Black Enterprise: When did you start your company, Brown Paper Dolls, and what is the mission or founding principles?

Dana Gill: We officially started Brown Paper Dolls in January 2010, but have been working together since 2007. Our mission is to create content across multiple media platforms for niche markets that have universal appeal. We strongly believe that there is an opportunity and value in catering to and telling the stories of underserved markets. Our content challenges traditional perspectives, shifts paradigms and provokes discussion.

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