Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch First Trailer for 'Roots' Reboot Watch First Trailer for 'Roots' Reboot Taraji P. Henson Will Topline Film Based on Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Worked for NASA During the Space Race Taraji P. Henson Will Topline Film Based on Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Worked for NASA During the Space Race Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

SimonSays Entertainment - You Know Their Work; Now Discover The Enterprising Artists Behind The Brand

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 11, 2013 at 1:04PM

The name SimonSays Entertainment may not immediately register with you, but I'm sure film titles like Night Catches Us, Gun Hill Road, Blue Caprice, and Mother Of George, most certainly will - at least one of them, especially if you've been a reader of this blog over the last 2 years, as we've celebrated every single one of those titles.
1

TO - So, given how immersed you have been in the work itself, do you pay close attention to trends? Do you concern yourself with what others are doing? Do you worry about what might be keeping others up at night, like shifting market trends, the web and how that's changing the business of cinema, in terms of content creation, distribution and exhibition?

RS - Absolutely we are paying attention. For example, we follow what genres of film that are making money and are being sold, so that does have an effect on the projects that we're looking at. I also care about the ever-changing landscape of distribution. When I first entered the business, the concept of day-and-date releasing wasn't common, but a lot of producers now are even distributing their films themselves. And when it comes to the web, as an example, right not I'm a big fan, supporter of and investor in this indie African American web series called The Abandon, by Keith Joseph Adkins. He's actually the person that wrote that first sci-fi screenplay that I still want to develop into a feature. And I'd love to shoot sci-fi, which is one of my favorite genres. So, yeah, I definitely pay attention to all those things as well. We definitely make an attempt to keep our heads above water.

TO - Predictions on where you think the industry as a whole is heading; you've likely heard talk about the death of cinema, amongst some people anyway, and how some new platform is going to emerge from this web/cinema/tv mish-mash, and nobody really knows what that's going to be exactly. So how do you think we're going to be making, consuming and distributing films, looking out over the next 5, 10, 20 years.

RS - I think, somewhere down the line, the methods of delivery are going to get smarter, faster, and so we'll be able to consume media regardless of where we are. I envision being able to have some kind of apparatus where I'm able to be more immersed and involved heavily in the experience of consuming media. I think with gaming through X-Box 360, holographic imaging, streaming over the internet, and all that, we're all going to arrive at one place where eventually we're all going to be part of the storytelling. So I don't think it's that cinema is dying; I think it's always going to be transforming - in terms of where we see it, how we interact with it, and who's creating it. I think that no matter where we go in the future, there's still always going to be a need for interesting artists who are creating interesting content. I think reality TV has its own place in the world. I think they're always going to be there. But I think that artistic storytelling will always be part of our culture, and how we consume content will continue to be ever-changing. With social media, Facebook, Twitter, and technologies like Facetime, all happening in real time, I think there's unquestionably going to be a strong need for us to be heavily involved in whatever new media exists.

AYT - People are always going to want a good story. And I think everyone will start adapting in the same way that Amazon and Netflix are starting to make their own projects. I think the various mediums will adapt and find different ways to get stories out to people. And the creators of those stories, all they'll have to do is worry about telling them.

TO - I know we're running out of time, so finally, any last words, or words of wisdom to share, information audiences need to have, etc...

AYT - I'm always saying this in my blogging, or when people ask me about the business: The time you spend complaining about someone else's story, is time you can spend either writing yours, or supporting one that you do like. Stop yourself, and find something good, and invest in it. There's lots of brilliance and goodness if you look for it.

RS - I just want to say that Tambay, I really appreciate your blog commentary on what's going on out there, so I've always learned from following your writing - who I should pay attention to, who should I go see that's off the beaten path, or not quite made it up yet, but have some artistic merit. So, yes, I'm really glad that you're out there doing what you're doing, because it's very much needed and appreciated.

AYT - I also like the way that you link different sources that are non-traditional; and you have a spin about what one particular artist is doing, whether it be an actor, filmmaker, cinematographer - you engage in conversations across disciplines. And it's a wide and extensive view, which I find very interesting.

Naturally I immediately expressed my many thanks to both Ron and April for their very kind words, which are always good to hear. When one is so immersed in the work, it's nice to know that it's appreciated, especially from those you appreciate and respect.

And on that note, I'd like to thank Ron Simons and April Yvette Thompson for spending over an hour with me. It's always great to talk to those who are on the inside, but still existing, and doing so with success, somewhat on the outside.

And I also would like to thank publicist Adam Kersh for arranging the conversation.

Night Catches Us and Gun Hill Road are currently available on a number of home video platforms, so look for it if you haven't seen it yet.  will be available in a month or so.

As for the company's recent titles, Oscilloscope Laboratories acquired North American rights to Andrew Dosunmu's Mother Of George, at the Sundance Film Festival, to release this fall, and Sundance Selects picked up Blue Caprice, also for a fall release.

In closing, I'll echo April in reiterating that, if there's one thing to take away from this entire conversation, it's to be aware that the negative energy you invest in films that tell stories, or depict characters you reject, is much better off invested in films that tell stories, or contain portrayals of characters that you appreciate.

As Ron Simons rethinks his approach to branding his company, reluctantly entering and embracing the public spotlight, maybe we should all consider rethinking how we react to the content we consume.

This article is related to: Interview


Shadow & ActNewsletter