L2R: Hudson Obayuwana, Jana Savage and Brandon Broussard of MURDER INK
PANEL DISCUSSION – 10:30 a.m.: The collaborative screenwriting process and producing their first film with NETFLIX
These talented young screenwriters polish their writing skills both as a team, and on their individual projects. They have a special kind of collaborative writing style, honed after years of friendship and in the writers’ room.
Their writing team is made up of three members—Jana Savage, Brandon Broussard and Hudson Obayuwana. As an ethnically diverse team with varying backgrounds, they often explore those perspectives in their scripts.
Hudson and Brandon met while in film school at Howard University in 2001. They met Jana in 2009 while working on the web-based sketch comedy show “Purple Stuff TV.” Jana’s talents as an actress and writer were apparent, and she was welcomed to the team, which over the years has whittled down to the three of them.
The last project Murder Ink worked on – The Perfect Match – was in theaters this past spring and distributed by Lionsgate. They’re very excited about the high school comedy #RealityHigh that they recently sold to Netflix, which goes into production this summer. The trio is currently developing other projects and excited about this new chapter in their burgeoning careers.
“The Perfect Match” red carpet
Brandon Broussard and Jana Savage Hudson Obayuwana and wife Sharyea
Brandon Broussard is a screenwriter currently residing in Los Angeles, California, with 15 years of writing experience under his belt. He was writer and director of the 2003 award-winning feature film The Epicureans, which competed in multiple film festivals and won several audience awards. He received his first TV writing credit in 2008.
As an undergrad, Brandon majored in Political Science, but switched gears after graduation, obtaining an MFA in screenwriting at Howard University. It was during his college days that Brandon first flexed his writing muscles, penning a number of editorials, including one covering the OJ verdict (published in 1995).
Throughout his career, Brandon has both written and produced screenplays alongside several well-known figures. His most recent writing project, a screenplay entitled The Perfect Match, was produced by the one and only Queen Latifah, and opened in March 2016. His second film, #RealityHigh is currently in production with both Netflix and Court Five productions.
In 2008, Brandon created the company Barack the Vote. During the election, this company made millions in sales, helped mobilize the black youth vote, and popularized the phrase “Barack the Vote.” The company’s success landed Brandon and his sister on the cover of Black Enterprise, and the opportunity to star on Millionaire Matchmaker as one of the millionaires looking for love (The episode was called “Mama’s Boy Meets Southern Gentleman.”) In 2012, he worked on Barack the Vote once again, and was featured in a Docu-Series called “The Second Coming” on BET.
In addition to Brandon’s film writing and producing, he now runs a start-up called Modmoda, a company that works to create viral videos. Modmoda has offices in both L.A. and N.Y. When he is not working on a writing project, producing, or running his start up, Brandon can be seen out enjoying delicious food and wine with friends, discussing politics, dating, and work, or running in the mountains and scenic trails near his home.
Hudson Obayuwana was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and has called St. Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington D.C. home. Hudson grew up in and around the arts stemming from his mother’s career. She shared her love for performing arts and film with her son from an early age. A job as a stagehand and a starring role in an AT&T commercial during High School were a natural segue for him to major in Theater and Film Production at Howard University, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree. Hudson has several acting credits in commercials, as an extra on “CSI New York” and in independent films.
Hudson is actively working on several independent film projects, as well as his collaborations with his MURDER INK writing team. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, noted Interior Designer Sharyea Obayuwana, and their son.
Jana Savage is originally from Bangor, Maine. Yearning to see the big city, she went south to Massachusetts to attend Boston University. She graduated with a degree in Economics and did what any sensible person with massive college debt would do: move to Los Angeles to become a starving artist!
She spent her first years in L.A. singularly pursuing a career in acting. A chance encounter led to an audition for a sketch comedy show called “Purple Stuff TV” created by her now writing partner, Brandon Broussard. Rather than the part, he offered her a writing position. Jana quickly accepted, hung up the phone, and began to panic because she had never written a thing in her life.
It was in the Purple Stuff writing room that she met Hudson Obayuwana, who was an established writer there and welcomed her with open arms. Jana thinks their success writing collaboratively is a combination of their work ethic, senses of humors, diverse voices and experiences, and their genuine love and respect for one another.
In addition to being an integral part of the Murder, Ink writing team, Jana has numerous acting credits and works on her own film projects. She looks forward to a long and productive future with the team, as well as managing to work both dressage and Wilford Brimley into one of their scripts.
Jana lives in Brentwood with her fiancé and their three dogs.