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What's In A Name? Especially When That Name Is Tyler Perry (Survey)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act May 15, 2013 at 1:09PM

A survey on a slow news day (although I'm also tied up with some other business right now).
Tyler Perry

A survey on a slow news day (although I'm also tied up with some other business right now).

Given the heavy debate over the lackluster performance of Tina Gordon Chism's Peeples over the weekend (read all 100+ comments and counting that followed Sergio's box office post HERE), I thought I'd follow that up with a related question for all you filmmakers reading this.

In short, the debate has centered primarily on whether Tyler Perry's attachment (in name only) is largely to blame for the film's surprisingly lukewarm opening weekend box office performance.

Essentially, it all came down to, which is more attractive, or maybe I should say, less risky? Tyler Perry Presents Peeples, or Tina Gordon Chism's Peeples, or maybe just Peeples.

The question to you filmmakers is this: hypothetically, if you were approached by Tyler Perry with interest in backing your feature film project (financing it and acting as producer), would you accept, with the caveat that the film's title, upon release, is preceded by "Tyler Perry Presents...," and, as he did with Tina Gordon Chism, he'll be very involved in the marketing of the film (for example, I recall the Huffington Post Live interview I posted a couple of days ago, with both Perry and Chism, that was about 35 minutes long, and was dominated by conversation with and about Tyler Perry, instead of Chism and the film they were both there to push).

Makes sense?

There are some who still don't know who Tina Gordon Chism is, that she directed the film (which she also wrote); they still think it's a Tyler Perry movie, which is unfortunate for Chism, I think. Although she does have another project in development currently, so I wouldn't necessarily be too worried about where she's going.

So, if you were presented with this option, what would your reply be, considering the pros and cons of the debate I referenced above? Before you reply, I'd add that you may want to consider what your long-term outlook as a filmmaker is; do you want to get your film made, and into the marketplace by any means necessary, which actually may (or may not) open more doors for you to continue on as a filmmaker within the industry? Or does your immediate concern for what "Tyler Perry Presents..." might mean for your film trump everything else (assuming you are one of those filmmakers who despises the Tyler Perry brand and what it has come to stand for in the marketplace)?

So while I go handle some other business, and dig up some other items to post, dig in with your responses below.

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