If You Missed It... Listen To Our Conversation w/ Tracey Edmonds, Producer "Jumping The Broom"

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 20, 2011 1:23 AM
19 Comments
  • |

In a live-cast "extra" session... I spoke for about 45 minutes to Tracey Edmonds, long-time producer, and now president and chief operating officer of Our Stories Films Inc, the mini film production studio founded by Bob Johnson back in 2006. Our Stories Films Inc is the company behind the recent Jumping The Broom by the way.

Tracey's other past production credits include Soul Food (both the movie and TV series), Hav Plenty, and several others.

She joined me for a chat, with the intent being to give listeners some idea of how the company operates, how it makes its decisions, the market forces that influence it and the decisions it makes, where it’s going, and thoughts on the current film industry environment - all seen through the lens of a black-owned and operated film company.

You can listen to the conversation via the player below, or subscribe on iTunes HERE, where you can download and listen to it, or transfer it to your iPod or other portable device. Or subscribe via RSS HERE.

So, tune in tonight at 8PM EST; You can tune into the live show HERE. And if you can't listen live, the interview will be made available for download afterward.

Listen to internet radio with Shadow And Act on Blog Talk Radio

  • |

More: Podcast

You might also like:
Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

19 Comments

  • class of fitness | May 25, 2011 5:00 AMReply

    there not going to spend that much money on a black film, cause most of them would get made once a year.
    and not all black movies are going to the big screen, that what straight to dvd is for. even if the sales are LOW. it seems like SONY greenlighted this movie, more so than tracey & Mr. johnson did hmmm....?

  • Leon Breckenridge | May 20, 2011 12:34 PMReply

    Tracey said that her film was the only film that made with kind of budget she had. Not this year. Insidious had a million dollar budget and made 50 Million. Bridemaids was probably made around the same price and made 14 Million and beat Priest. Jumping the Broom is not a victory. And if Bob Johnson is running this shouldn't put more money into this? He has 6 million laying on his floor from Viacom. Now people would say its a black film. True, but at the same time if you want to big boys you have to talk big boy numbers. People have been saying they won and all of that but I say that the next Our Stories Flick will go straight to DVD. Jumping The Broom left people with a bad taste in their mouth.

  • camille | May 20, 2011 5:58 AMReply

    Can somebody please explain to me how this works?
    If our stories film is the studio, doesn't that mean that they provide the budget ($6.6 million) to finance the film.

    If they have to go to someone/somewhere else (Sony) to get the money, doesn't that just make them a production company?

    What's the difference between the studio and a production company?

  • tambay | May 20, 2011 5:14 AMReply

    @ NothingButAMan - their relationship with the Weinsteins is no more. And that's all I can say about that.

  • NothingButAMan | May 20, 2011 4:44 AMReply

    I'm kicking myself that I didn't request that you ask Ms. Edmonds about the status of Our Stories' relationship w/ the Weinsteins, as they were originally co partners in the project...

  • Jug | May 20, 2011 4:23 AMReply

    Cynthia if that ain't the TRUTH! LMAO Yeah, the pot o' gold ain't around no more, folks is looking for steady revenue streams like the old days (before VHS)

    Yeah, but check it. Blogs will come up with some standard of conduct, rules for the road like Wiki did-and they'll be just like regular media. Already happening with media distribution. Everybody said it would "democratize" things, but what it's done is create a gladatorial area where Hulu & Netflix are squashing the little guy & the studios & networks are doing business with them. Just trying to come up with a steady pay system, it's becoming less democratic and more traditional. Blogs are beginning to centralize more as well (Rotten Tomatoes recently sold to Flixster-Warner Bros which is Time Warner, Imdb is owned by Amazon, etc).

    Same shit different day...

  • CareyCarey | May 20, 2011 4:04 AMReply

    @ Xi, damn I wish I would have spoken your words. I mean, it says it all for so many of us. I don't know why some people fake the funk like they don't eat chicken or have a relative (or two) that's just like one of TP's characters. I learned how to cuss from my aunt clarice and one of my uncles might be found smoking a joint while cutting his grass. I ain't mad at them and I still love them. And, I met my woman at church, so come on Mr Perry, talk to me. Now, of course, er'body up in church ain't doing the right thang (nope, far from it) but when TP throws in a little church humor, I know what he's talking about, and sometimes it's funny.

    As Jug noted "what Tyler does is make movies for “the masses” which I think we can all agree covers a wiiiide swath of educational, economic & most important-taste-levels. Regardless of your state, at some point, everybody can get with Tyler’s movies-at least that’s the business plan" and I agree. We, some of us, may not like his style nor the quality of his movies (or even the man)but I believe theres a piece of the pie for all of us. It depends on what a person is looking for - which they WILL find.

    Yep, good comment.
    http://careycarey-carrymehome.blogspot.com/

  • Zeus | May 20, 2011 3:58 AMReply

    Relax Carey. You can babble all you want. Mr. Powell made his point clear. If you don't like me repeating it, to fuckin bad. :)

    You gonna give yourself a heart attack. Relax.

    Hell, what's the point of this blog if, according to some, we are suppose to shut up if our critique is not 100 % ass kiss. We should make this a love forum where e all can shower each others ego and say nothing is crap.

    Clearly YOU are of that opinion and that's cool.

    Don't dictate to me what mine should be pops.

  • Sigh | May 20, 2011 3:57 AMReply

    @Leon

    Jumping the Broom is poised to make 5x its budget this weekend. A success by any measure. Its Cinemascore was A across the board. Rare for any film. Taking nothing away from the success of Bridesmaids. But it cost 35 million. And regarding the economics of film and "big boys" you seem to not know of what you speak. Congrats to all involved.

  • Zeus | May 20, 2011 3:55 AMReply

    @Sandra

    I feel where you are coming from. URBAN is such a lazy term. Not that I am blaming Mrs. Edmonds but Hollywood thinks all non-white folk must live in cities. Thus the URBAN term. Which really is code for GHETTO.

    It's bullshit, I know.

    I would prefer 'Ethnic' films instead if they insist on one word discriptions of an entire market.

  • CareyCarey | May 20, 2011 3:46 AMReply

    Please Zeus, miss us with that nonsense. Lynn’s comments were in no way related to what some would consider a foolish hate raid, hateraid rant. So act like... pretend like you have one ounce of sense.

    But I am tired of hearing Tyler Perry being used as all the ills of black films and evil black filmmakers. That mess makes my nuts draw up. There’s a plethora of piss poor black films that do not include a man in drag, and their missteps are not always about “quality”.

    And I’ve said this before. When Tyler makes a movie, it’s one story in time. It's one of a thousand avenues in which one could draw a conclusion and/or opinion on any number of topics including race, "our stories", sexual abuse, men in drag, who’s babies momma is it, or rather or not the Miami Heat will win the NBA Championship.


    And please excuse me, did I miss the memo? When did the mystical "ambiguous" other folks (eye in the sky) ever love us? I mean, did I miss the call that said we've been loved for the last 200 years? If there was no such doctrine, then why (NOW?) are some folks concerned with how a movie (one movie) projects a black face, or highlights real issues within our community?

    Come on, if a person gets their core knowledge of life and it’s struggles from a damn movie and uses that "limited" knowledge to draw a conclusion based solely from that source, THAT person is an idiot! Consequently, if someone worries about that fool's opinion, then hey, what does that say about them? If you talk to a fool long enough, there will soon be two fools talking - and arguing - talking about absolutely nothing.

    I say, the bitch and moaners should make a movie that they and others want to see, or sit down, and forever hold yo piece. Or, to the moon, Alice.

    http://careycarey-carrymehome.blogspot.com/

  • Xi | May 20, 2011 3:03 AMReply

    @Lyn

    Tyler Perry has been telling those stories long before any white or Jewish executives knew who he was. HE was the one who proved to Hollywood that there is a huge audience they've long neglected, and now they want a piece of that action.

    If you want to argue that TP's work is a little underdeveloped, I'm with you, but I don't think it's fair to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to "stereotypes". For the record, I love having fried chicken on a Sunday afternoon in Georgia with my fat grandma who can talk shit better than your neighborhood street pharmacist. And granted there's much more to my personhood than that, but I'm not gonna shun any part of myself just to prove to mainstream America that I'm civil with good sense. I know who I am. No need for validation.

    I get it. We want more stories that show how multifaceted we really are. We want stories that aren't always dealing with race and class. We want well written, well thought-out works of art. I really hope that with his success, Perry will both continue to fine tune his chosen craft as well as back and employ the artists with those stories and abilities so that we have even more of a presence in this industry. But if he doesn't, he doesn't. That won't stop me :-)

    P.s. HavPlenty is one of the best movies ever made. No, like seriously. Shit is trill. Love 40 baby!

  • Zeus | May 20, 2011 2:54 AMReply

    Careful now Lynn. Remember what Clifton Powell said, don't DARE give constructive critique in public!

    God forbid! The white folks may not like us! Keep it under the rug. Put on a smiley face like everything is all good. :)

  • Lynn | May 20, 2011 2:25 AMReply

    I understand the concept of what "Our Stories Films" is trying to do and i applaud them for it. But what i don't get about is it really portraying stories about Black culture and life?

    I visited the website shortly after listening to the podcast and there wasn't really much to find about upcoming projects. I really admire there drive to finance, produce theatrical motion pictures that showcase the talents of people of color on both sides on camera and off. I also like the fact that they were first motion picture studio where the "greenlight" decisions are made by people of color.

    Often times we usually find the "man" behind the scenes calling all the shots in H-wood and employing predominantly whites over Asians, Latinos, Blacks etc. It is really good to see a company doing good but i was very disappointed by the fact that they have no upcoming projects really and that they are attached to nonsense like "Whose your Caddy?" and the sequel. How is that depicting "Our Stories" on screen?? I think sometimes as people we just think about creating a film but we don't really know exactly what "our" people really want to see?

    We allow the stereotypes of mainstream media created by the "man" to define us. Why? It's a serious question we need to ask ourselves. I mean there are a lot of successful self-made successful Blacks in the entertainment industry making serious cheddar. For example, Tyler Perry he owns his own studio and employs young and old aspiring African-American artists who are looking to find an outlet. But is he really portraying Black life, culture, struggles etc.? I don't think so. Tyler Perry becomes a Uncle Tom. Yes. I said it, Uncle Tom he is just doing what the rich white jewish executives what him to do dress up as a fat old mammy and sit down and talk about neighbourhood gossips and cooking fried chicken on a Sunday afternoon in Georgia. smh. Do we really want to be kept back in the stone ages? I don't think so. I am little off topic but i just wanted to express how i feel about Blacks trying to portray "our" stories on the big screen.

    Also, in the podcast Tracey Edmonds said, "Jumping the Broom" is a great film and he has a A-List cast. Is she for real? But i guess people have different opinions about what exactly is Hollywood's Black A-Listers.

    I do agree w/ her that Angela Bassett is definitley an A-List actress but the fact that she said, "A-List cast" has me wondering who else is A-List in that movie? I can't think of anybody else in "Jumping the Broom" who is A-List. Paula Patton and Las Alonso were in some great films like Precious and Avatar but are they A-List. I don't think so.

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 20, 2011 2:22 AMReply

    First of all great job Tambay and thanks to Ms. Edmonds for supplying such valuable insight.

    @camille The production company is just as she stated the people who help develop the film all the way through. They are also the ones who manage the production all the way through.

    The studio are the ones who pay for all of the actual production (cast & crew) and the marketing with a majority stake in the long term profits even though Our Stories has a stake in the profit sharing as well. The studio are also the ones with the connections to the distributors who put the film in theaters.

    In answer to your question “doesn’t that just make them a production company?” pretty much. It’s all semantics. I guess someone else can further expound on that.

    @Sandra She may not be accepting so much as she is using it for clarification. “African American based film” is a mouthful. Besides in Hollywood “urban” is the new “Harlem”.
    @everyone who said negative stuff, not that I agree with any of it, but is she supposed to talk in passive terms about her own film, her own company? smh

    @Cyntha "I just read a statistic that stated women are more likely to be influenced by a blog referral than any other form of media now. Power to the people!!!"

    While I love the blogs and news articles, ( I tend to only read Entertainment News article. World News about some bombing in Hakhakinstan or some dam,n place is depressing.) I’d rather hear from the people than the actual marketing which are sometimes tied in though.

    Case in point: blogger Perez Hilton went on and on at how great ‘Scream 4’ was and having seen the same film I surmised he MUST have been paid to say such things. If some film has been receiving considerable good media buzz I’ll check it out. Having loved ‘Spider-Man 2’ I initially wanted to see ‘Spider-Man 3’, but it got such bad buzz that when I finally saw it on DVD I realized it was well deserved. I also finally saw all ten Best Picture Oscar nominated films and their nominations and good buzz was well deserved. Really enjoyed all ten.

    Being an independent filmmaker, I have a lot of independent filmmaker/actor friends and I rely on their opinions more than anything.

  • sandra | May 20, 2011 1:24 AMReply

    I don't buy the URBAN definition.

    I'm surprised that Tracey Edmonds, as a high-ranking black decision-maker, is so accepting of that label.

    I wouldn't want it on my projects. People need to understand its translation in Hollywood: syn. ghetto, low/no-budget, rappers interchangeable with actors, no foreign marketing push, no mainstream publicity, low-quality fare.

    Who the hell wants to stick that label on their project unless they're putting out crap like 50 cent? When I think urban, I think of a movie with extremely low production value with your random thug-of-the-week rapper holding a gun in every frame while reciting cliched dialogue.

    Jumping the Broom is not an urban movie. We need to be careful in accepting stupid labels assigned to us by random people.

  • Cynthia | May 20, 2011 1:09 AMReply

    @Jug Did you see the post Tambay did on DVD sales dropping by 44%? I think box-office sales will be the "life blood" for ALL films now. I also suspect Blogs will eventually trump mainstream media regarding marketing in the future. I just read a statistic that stated women are more likely to be influenced by a blog referral than any other form of media now. Power to the people!!!

  • Jug | May 19, 2011 12:41 PMReply

    LOVE what she said about box office being the life blood or black films, not DVD sales like it was in the 90s. Very telling, had no idea about that.

    And I can attest, yes she is that fine in person LOL

  • James Madison | May 19, 2011 12:21 PMReply

    Listening now. Insightful interview. Great job!

Follow Shadow and Act

Email Updates

Most "Liked"

  • Minority Independent Producers Summit ...
  • T.D. Jakes' Expanding Media Empire Includes ...
  • Film Adaptation Of 'A Day Late And A ...
  • John Legend Sets Up Independenlty-Financed ...
  • Fox Picks Up "International 'Bad Boys'-Style" ...
  • Film Based On Convicted African American ...
  • Watch The 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Title ...
  • 'Andrew Dosunmu: Elsewhere - 10 Years ...
  • Films By Abderrahmane Sissako & Philippe ...
  • New Original Feature-Length Doc - 'Kobe ...