Actor Shemar Moore's IndieGoGo campaign to fund his new film The Bounce Back ended this week with a final tally of $638,483 raised. Recall that Moore plans to executive produce and star in the romantic comedy about an author and relationship expert on a path to find love. Nadine Velazquez (Flight) is set to co-star.
After initially setting up a campaign on Kickstarter to raise $1.5 million for the project, Moore switched to IndieGoGo in June with a new goal of $500,000, which was reached well before the deadline. He made time to talk to S&A about his new movie and fundraising campaign.
SHADOW & ACT: Congratulations on making your fundraising goal.
SHEMAR MOORE: Yeah, it's pretty cool. This whole process has been new to me, so I didn't really know if we had a shot or how it worked. I'm not one to ask for money so that was a little foreign to me. But then I started to understand the concept, that this is the way Hollywood is now progressing, and I could take control of my own content and create stories that I want to tell. It's kind of fun not to be a puppet anymore, where you take the strings off and you're not saying someone else's words. I can come up with the projects that Hollywood might not necessarily be making.
S&A: Tell me about the story. It sounds pretty similar to some of the romantic comedies that we've seen lately.
SM: Sex sells, drama sells, love stories sell. We never get enough of falling in love and believing in love. I did a movie called Diary of a Mad Black Woman which was about finding true love. So yeah it's going to be similar, but not exactly the same. It's more of a dramedy. This guy writes a book because he lost the love of his life in a car accident, so there's going to be an element of drama and heartache. But then it's about trying to find love and giving women the rules and tips to outthink a man and keep a man.
S&A: The idea sounds a lot like Think Like A Man and the wave of advice being given to women on how to get and stay in a relationship. Will your movie poke fun at that concept?
SM: Yeah, you've got to poke fun at it because this is what's jumping off the shelves. This is what women and men are talking about, especially women. But there's also a dramatic element to it that I think is really going to get people's attention. We're selling a very original story that everybody can relate to.
S&A: We hear a lot about the audience's desire to see more black couples onscreen. Were you conflicted at all about your choice to cast a Latina actress as your love interest?
SM: Nadine Velazquez is just very talented and she showed support. She was a friend of a friend who said, "I like this story, I'd love to be a part of it." She did me a favor and we were able to shoot a little teaser. It's not to say that my love interest couldn't be black. We haven't shot the movie yet. I just know that Nadine is very passionate about it and I would love to have her in the movie. But I think love is blind. I'm half black, half white. So are we going to be mad at my mother and father for being together? I wouldn't have life without it.
I don't see myself as a "black actor," I'm just Shemar Moore the actor. I'm very proud to be black but I'm just as much black as I am white. But I want tell stories that everybody can relate to, so I don't care who's opposite me. If Halle Berry or Jada Pinkett Smith called and said, "I want to do a movie with you," I'd be right there because I believe in their talent.
S&A: Was marketing a consideration when it came to casting? It's been said that interracial couples in films attract a wider audience than black couples, especially overseas.
SM: If every character in the movie is black, it's going to be looked at as a black movie and that might alienate other people from going to see it. But we're very sensitive to representing all demographics and it's going to be a very mixed cast. Whoever fits the bill and can bring the noise.
S&A: What initially attracted you to crowdfunding? Have you tried traditional means to get this project made?
SM: You know how hard it is to get a script sold, and then once you get it to the studio and they pay for it there's a lot of hands on it and it doesn't always become the movie that you want it to be. So my team came to me and educated me on this whole new process to get projects funded. This just takes it out of the hands of the studio, and if they're interested in the finished product we'll get distribution and go from there.