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Shemar Moore Talks to S&A About Crowdfunding Over $630,000 for His Next Film, Color in Casting, and More

by Jai Tiggett
August 6, 2013 7:52 PM
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Shemar Moore - The Bounce Back

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 (Flightis 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. 

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  • Tameka | August 19, 2013 7:30 PMReply

    I have no problem with him being cast with whomever works for the lead female. I would say the same to a lead black female who opted to choose the best male lead for the role or who she thought was passionate about it regardless of what the person's race was.

  • BluTopaz | August 9, 2013 1:38 AMReply

    I'm trying to remember if I've ever read any other race of "filmmaker" publicly state their concerns over their work being seen as exclusive to their race...nope, can't think of any. Negroes are consistently the one group (most often males) who are so vocal about their rainbow tribe dreams.

  • JEFTCG | August 9, 2013 5:54 AM

    American Negroes, Blu. American Negroes. That phenomena pretty much only exists here in the United States, one of the many remnants of slavery, which removed our dignity, and then, to a certain extent, integration, which removed our power.

  • dancelover51 | August 8, 2013 2:30 AMReply

    Shemar did not cast a Black Lead Actress because he did not want a Black Lead Actress simple and plain. He doesn't want them in his personal life nor his professional life. I wish Black women would stop supporting these fools who view you as irrelevant and unimportant. I would never give that cornball fool any of my hard earned money.

  • Ariela | August 9, 2013 1:21 AM

    I agree. He's looking to make money, but forgets that the few movies he has been in himself, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman", "The Brothers", "Motives", etc. were so-called black movies and were pretty successful. If you go on his FB or Twitter site, you'll see that he has a lot of Caucasian women drooling over him. Those of the people he doesn't want to "alienate" if God forbid actually casts a talented black actress as his love interest.

  • Sterling Cooper | August 8, 2013 3:00 AM

    Hey hey, now take it easy. Clearly Shemar is investing a lot of time, energy and money into an ill-conceived and most likely clumsily written and directed project that will inevitably end up in the 99-cent-sale-bin at Walmart 3 months after its initial release alongside "Beauty Shop 8: Still Shoppin". That sort of unflinching dedication to one's craft can only be admired.

  • IC | August 7, 2013 3:48 PMReply

    Sorry about not proofreading my post. Just re-read it and realized I was typing too quickly and some words got left out. Don't hate me!

  • JEFTCG | August 7, 2013 2:18 AMReply

    Shemar, good luck to you, sir.

  • ALM | August 6, 2013 10:47 PMReply

    "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 should we care about this? TONS of movies are released every month that feature all white leads in the cast, and those casts/filmmakers never have to worry about alienation. This fear of being alienated has effectively help wipe a lot of the diversity off of movie screens. The stories of people of color need to be told through the eyes and voices of people of color, not just through the eyes and voices of Caucasian people.

    Shemar basically contradicts himself here. He says that he would have cast a Black lead actress, but then he speaks of concerns regarding alienation.

    He can pick whoever he wants for the part, but keep it real. If you are more concerned with making money and being alienated over creating opportunities for those who need them, then just say so.

    Also, he is way too old to be calling people "baby girl". He may want to rethink the name for that clothing line.

  • LL2 | August 7, 2013 4:38 PM

    @ALM Its obvious that Shemar is just looking out for his own interests and that is his right to do so. Like you said, he should be honest about his intentions but how would he get black women to support him if he were? I'm sure some of his donors were black women. So many of them are still drinking the kool-aid. I don't listen to what people say, I watch what they do. Good luck to him but I won't be supporting anyone that is not invested in promoting the interests of black women.

  • IC | August 7, 2013 3:46 PM

    I agree with your comment about your alienation comments and I also understand his point of view. Unfortunately, black movies are not the quality that they used to be when Spike Lee was doing it and John Singleton was doing it. It's been a long time since we've had a Love and Basketball or The Wood or Juice type of film although Precious got a lot of attention in the right way. Tyler Perry isn't making quality films in my opinion, either, but people want to see that. In Hollywood, Shemar is right that in order to keep making movies, you have to first make movies that will bring you profits instead of losses. For his first movie, has to make sure that it is profitable so that he can afford to take losses later on stuff that might not be as in demand on a wide scale. And you are right, in some cases, race is definitely a character all in itself on certain topics, but romance isn't one of them. As for the Baby Girl thing... that's more so for his Criminal Minds fans who enjoy how "Derek Morgan" flirts with Garcia, and the line donates money to the MS Society for each item sold.

  • JMac | August 6, 2013 11:14 PM

    It's all about attention and money - heaven knows there's not enough talent here to overcome those dirty words, "black film."

  • cool | August 6, 2013 8:33 PMReply

    I met Shemar in LA in Westwood at the burrito place next to Gushi the korean bbq place, real cool guy, love his words about race it's so true, God bless you man and i wish you continued success

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