A quick background on my film career, I have been a producer on such critically-acclaimed feature Soul Food for Fox 2000. On a sparse budget of $7.5 million, Soul Food managed to astound the film community, surpassing expectations to garner $43 million. The soundtrack shipped double platinum and was a top-10 home video release for that year. Soul Food was developed into a television show for Showtime and ran seventy-five episodes, a record for an African-American show at that time.
After the release of the film, I signed a first look production deal with Fox 2000 forming a new production company, State Street Pictures, which enabled the company to develop projects for myself to produce and George Tillman to direct. State Street’s other credits include the hit drama, MEN OF HONOR which grossed $100 million worldwide starring Oscar winning actors Cuba Gooding Jr., Robert De Niro, and Charlize Theron.
Next, I co-produced with George the MGM film Barbershop, which went on to become the most profitable African-American-themed franchise of all time with it grossing $75 million. The follow-up Barbershop 2 earned $65 million and the spin-off, Beauty Shop, $36 million.
In 2008, I produced Notorious, the biopic film of the slain rapper The Notorious B.I.G, with George making a return to the director’s chair. Notorious opened in January 2009 to $24 million and had the honor of closing the Berlin Film Festival that same year.
I returned to the hit franchise that I developed, Barbershop: Next Cut. The film was released to amazing reviews sitting on a 92% Rotten Tomatoes score and a $20 million dollar opening. The second film, Southside of You, which premiered at Sundance sold at triple its production budget to Miramax/Open Road.
I also served as an Executive Producer on the four-time Academy Award nominated film, MUDBOUND. Nominations included, Mary J. Blige for best supporting actress and best song. I rounded out 2017 by producing the big screen adaptation of the New York Times bestselling book THE HATE U GIVE for Fox 2000 starring Amanda Stenberg, Russell Hornsby, Common, Regina Hall and Issa Rae in her big screen debut. The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival to critical acclaim and boasts an impressive Rotten Tomatoes Score of 96%.
In June 2019, I produced Beats for Netflix, starring Anthony Anderson, Uzo Aduba, and Paul Walter Hauser. The film features rappers Dave East and Dreezy in addition to a number Chicago hip hop artists. Beats marks the ninth film that I have filmed in my hometown of Chicago.