TIM STORY (Director) was born and raised in Los Angeles. He started his love affair with movies at the age of 12, making silent films with an 8mm camera inherited from his older brother. The cast always consisted of family and friends because they were free and convenient. While still in high school, Tim began a music career, rapping with Ice T's Rhyme Syndicate. Just before signing a record deal with Warner Bros. , Tim's rap career came to an abrupt halt when a neighborhood rival fatally shot one of his group members.
After that tragedy, Tim began producing and directing talent shows and variety musicals. He attended USC film school from 1990 to 1993, honing his filmmaking skills. After leaving film school, Tim produced, wrote, edited, and directed two feature length films, paid for out of his own pocket. The two independent feature films to his credit are One Of Us Tripped in 1996 (winner of the Black Filmmaker's Hall of Fame Feature Film Festival) and The Firing Squad in 1998. He has also directed dozens of music videos for such acts as 'N Sync, R. Kelly, Tyrese, Jon B and India. Arie. Barbershop is Tim's studio-driven directorial debut.
MARK BROWN (Writer/Producer) recently proved a man can write convincingly from a woman's point of view with his directorial debut, Two Can Play at That Game, starring Vivica A. Fox and Morris Chestnut. Two Can Play at That Game was C4 Pictures' first feature (in association with producer Doug McHenry). Brown launched the company last year to fill a gap in the market. Now, with a one-stop, African-American production company, he can write, direct and produce. Already, C4 has several projects in the works, including the independent film Palco & Hirsch, which will screen at the New York Film Festival and Cannes. The company has also completed three segments of a five-part documentary about Death Valley. Brown and his producing partner plan to bring the project to PBS.
Brown's vision for C4 includes a burgeoning music division, C4 Records. The label has two rising artists on its roster: rapper Silver and R&B singer KJ. Passionate about the vital link between film and music, Brown also executive produced the soundtrack for Two Can Play at That Game. Brown also contributed to the screenplay for Juwanna Man starring Miguel Nuņez, Jr. , and Vivica A. Fox.
Born in Birmingham, England, and raised in Washington, D. C. , Brown moved to Los Angeles in the early '90s with plans to attend medical school. His creative aspirations prevailed, however, and he spent the next two years modeling and acting. He appeared on Martin and The Young & the Restless. In 1996, Brown and a friend challenged each other to write a movie about their respective adventures in dating. His friend wrote Booty Call while Brown penned How to Be a Player. Island Pictures bought the script and released it the following year. Directed by Lionel C. Martin, the comedy starred Bill Bellamy.
DON D. SCOTT (Writer) Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Scott drew on his Midwestern roots to find the heart and comedy of Barbershop, set in Chicago. He received shared screenplay credit for the film.
Scott is currently writing a project for Universal Pictures starring How High acting duo Method Man and Red Man. He has sold an original screenplay to Warner Brothers and an original pitch to Tapestry Films. Scott also participated in the Disney Writing Fellowship.
MARSHALL TODD (Writer) lived all over Europe while growing up with his mother, a lieutenant colonel in the Army. After graduating from Howard University, he's begun to make quite a name for himself in Hollywood. Todd's upcoming projects include his original screenplay for Werewolf, to be directed by Dario Piana for Phoenix Pictures with Ice Cube cast as a lead. Universal Pictures bought his original crime drama screenplay Crew for Lawrence Gordon Productions.
For television, Todd has written two pilots for ABC. As writer/producer, he is currently scripting his own pilot, Mecca, for HBO. In addition, Marshall is currently writing a feature screenplay he intends to direct in 2003.
ROBERT TEITEL (Producer) is a native of Chicago, Illinois. Majoring in film and marketing, he graduated from Columbia College in 1990. During his college career he formed a production company, Menagerie Films, with director George Tillman, Jr. He then produced Paula, a 30-minute short. The film won several awards, including the Student Academy Award. At the same time, Robert produced several music videos under the Menagerie umbrella. In 1994, he raised $150,000 and produced Scenes for the Soul, a feature film shot in Chicago using local talent and resources. Jackson-McHenry at Savoy Pictures purchased Scenes for the Soul for $1 million.
Robert followed Scenes with the well-received feature Soul Food. George Tillman, Jr. , directed Soul Food, which features an ensemble cast including Vanessa Williams, Vivica Fox, Brandon Hammond, Nia Long, and Mekhi Phifer. The film was executive produced by Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and released in September 1997. On a sparse budget of $7. 5 million, Soul Food astounded the film community by pulling in $43 million. The soundtrack shipped double platinum and the video debuted in the top 10.
Upon the release of Soul Food, Teitel and Tillman signed a first look production deal with Fox 2000. The deal enables them to develop producing projects for Robert and producing and directing projects for George with their company, State Street Pictures.
Robert's next film was the immensely popular military drama Men of Honor. Released in November 2000, the film chronicles the inspirational life of Carl Brashear, the US Navy's first African-American Master deep-sea diver. The all-star cast includes Robert De Niro, Cuba Gooding, Jr. , Charlize Theron, and Michael Rapaport. Another hit, the film finished with world-wide box office receipts of $85 million.
State Street has several feature film projects in the bullpen. An MGM thriller, Junior Black Mafia, relays the true story of an undercover FBI agent who infiltrates an organized crime ring led by his own brother-in-law. Avenue A depicts the story of four twenty-something friends trying to make it on their own in the Big Apple. Four Deep, an action-adventure, centers around a group of female secret agents. Lastly, Criminal Minded, a mob drama, reveals Boston's notorious Cresta family. State Street has many other projects in active development as well.
GEORGE TILLMAN, JR. (Producer) After seeing the film Cooley High, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native George Tillman became inspired to make films of his own. George attended Columbia College and majored in Film and Video. While there, he met Bob Teitel. The two formed a directing/producing partnership that continues under State Street Pictures.
George wrote and directed his first feature film, Scenes for the Soul, in1994. Shot entirely in Chicago using local talent and resources, the film cost $150,000 to make. It caught the attention of Doug McHenry and George Jackson who acquired it for Savoy Pictures at the cost of $1,000,000. Pushed by the momentum of this success, George began to write Soul Food.
Soul Food began production November 6, 1996, on a hectic 30-day schedule. The film, which starred Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long, Mekhi Phifer, Michael Beach, Irma P. Hall, and Brandon Hammond, opened to critical and financial success. As a result, George and his producing partner landed a two-year, first-look deal at Fox 2000. They named their company State Street Pictures - a reference to their early film years in Chicago.
George's most recent directorial effort was Men of Honor, inspired by the life of Carl M. Brashear, the United States Navy's first African-American Master Deep Sea Diver. The film starred Oscar®-winning actors Cuba Gooding, Jr. , and Robert De Niro, and included Charlize Theron, Michael Rapaport, Lonette McKee, Glynn Turman, and Hal Holbrook. Men of Honor opened nationwide November 10th, 2000 and grossed $85 million worldwide.
George will soon work with up-and-coming writer/director Alison Swan on Kind of Blue, a love story set during the Newport Jazz Festival in the 1960's. He will produce Avenue A, a story of four twenty-something friends from Spanish Harlem who seek life, love and success in New York City. In addition he is developing Criminal Minded, a character study of a criminal mastermind from South Boston whose exploits are chronicled in the biography, Final Confession: The Unsolved Crimes of Phil Cresta.
TOM PRIESTLY (Director of Photography) has had a long prestigious career. He started as an assistant camera on such films as Annie Hall, Network, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and The Stepford Wives. He then became camera operator on such classic films as Sophie's Choice, The World According to Garp, Amadeus, Hair, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Parenthood, A Chorus Line and Runaway Train.
Priestly's director of photography credits include The Thomas Crown Affair, The In-Crowd, Holy Joe, Bordello of Blood, Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, Above The Rim, Blue Chips, One of Her Own and Calender Girl. He served as second-unit director of photography on last year's Don't Say a Word, Deep Impact, Eraser, Die Hard: With A Vengeance and I Know What You Did Last Summer.
ROGER FORTUNE (Production Designer) served as production designer on several other films, including The Wood, starring Omar Epps and Taye Diggs; Love Jones, starring Lorenz Tate and Nia Long; and A Brother's Kiss. His television credits include the television series The Cosby Mysteries and Perfect Prey.
Before becoming production designer, Fortune was a set designer on several films, including Point of No Return and What About Bob?, as well as assistant art director on With Honors.
JOHN CARTER, A. C. E. (Film Editor) A native of New Jersey, John Carter attended Monmouth College and trained at the New York Institute of Photography and the Brooklyn Institute of Motion Picture Production. After graduation, Carter apprenticed as an assistant film editor through a program at the Signal Corps Pictorial Center. Several years later, WCBS-TV hired him as their first African-American film editor. For the last four of twelve years with WCBS-TV, Carter supervised editing in their award-winning Documentary Unit.
In 1968, Carter left CBS to form his own company, John Carter Associates, Inc. , with a primary focus on feature films. However, Carter maintained involvement in television documentaries and worked with Gordon Parks on several projects, including the mini-series Hemingway.
Carter debuted as a feature film editor on the film Paper Lion. Since then, he has worked with many prominent directors on a number of films. The first feature he directed, Zombie Island Massacre, was shot in Jamaica, W. I. Among the films he edited are The Formula, The Heartbreak Kid, Lean on Me, Karate Kid III, The Five Heartbeats, Sister Act 2, Deep Cover, Friday, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Set It Off, and most recently, Soul Food, The Wood, and Men of Honor.
TERENCE BLANCHARD (Music) Since his days under the tutelage of Art Blakey, Terence Blanchard has matured into one of the most important musician/composer/band leaders of his generation. Voted Artist of the Year in Down Beat's 2000 poll, jazz trumpeter Blanchard embarked on a nationwide tour performing selections from his Sony Classical release "Let's Get Lost. " The album features new interpretations of composer Jimmy McHugh, one of the giants of the American popular song golden age.
The release of "Let's Get Lost" followed the success of Wandering Moon, released on Sony Classical, featuring Blanchard performing his own compositions. The album won him a Grammy nomination as well as Album of the Year in Down Beat's annual poll, which also named him Artist and Trumpeter of the Year. Also for Sony Classical, "Jazz in Film" featured Blanchard in an exploration of jazz in classic movie scores, including Duke Ellington's "Anatomy of Murder," Quincy Jones' "The Pawn Broker," and Jerry Goldsmith's "Chinatown. "
The film industry continues to feel Blanchard's creative musical presence. In fact, Blanchard has launched a rebirth of jazz within the orchestral world with his mesmerizing film compositions. By successfully merging the two media into a unique and diverse body of work, Blanchard has made an impressive accomplishment.
Blanchard began his film scoring career in the late '80s working with Spike Lee on films such as Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, Clockers, Summer of Sam and the Academy Award® nominated 1997 documentary Four Little Girls. The most recent Blanchard/Lee collaboration was the critically acclaimed 2000 release Bamboozled, a film dealing with racism in television starring Jada Pinkett, Savion Glover and Tommy Davidson. He scored Original Sin for MGM, starring Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas. Against a Hitchcock-esque, passion-filled mystery, set in turn of the century Cuba, Blanchard shaped a large orchestral score infused with Afro-Cuban rhythms resulting in a full, lush sound. Other projects include All That Glitters starring Mariah Carey, Da Brat and Valerie Pittiford, and People I Know starring Al Pacino, Kim Basinger and Tea Leoni.
Despite his involvement in film and television, Blanchard distinctly regards himself primarily as a jazz musician. He successfully juggles touring with his band and undertaking outside projects. Working to further jazz education, Blanchard recently accepted an appointment to the University of Southern California (USC) as the artistic director for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. As artistic director, Blanchard's primary role will be to provide artistic direction for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble, comprised of young, extremely talented jazz artists known as the Thelonious Monk Fellows.
An alumnus of the New Orleans Center of Creative Arts, Blanchard was born on March 13, 1962, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Encouraged by his musically inclined father, Joseph Oliver, he began learning the piano at the age of five. Blanchard emerged on the New York jazz scene in the '80s, becoming a part of an exciting musical renaissance taking place among young musicians, including hometown colleagues Wynton and Branford Marsalis. Most notably he collaborated with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and alto-man Donald Harrison, with whom he recorded such memorable projects for Columbia Jazz as "Crystal Stair" and "Black Pearl. " Among Blanchard's numerous honors are the Grand Prix du Disque award (for his album "New York Second Line" in 1984), a Grammy nomination (Best Jazz Instrumental Performance by a Group, for his contribution to the soundtrack of Mo' Better Blues in 1990), an Emmy Award nomination (Best Original Score For a Documentary for The Promised Land in 1995), and another Grammy nomination (Best Latin Jazz Performance for his album The Heart Speaks in 1996).
Initially, he wasn't too excited about his lessons, an attitude that vanished after a phenomenal discovery. "I'll never forget it," said Blanchard. While in the third grade, a jazz band came to his school for an assembly. Blanchard was present in the audience and attentively aware of one Alvin Alcorn, the trumpet player in the band. After hearing him Terence said, "I want to do that!"
MATT ALVAREZ (Executive Producer), Ice Cube's producing partner and the president of production at Cube Vision, currently oversees Friday After Next, the third installment of the Friday franchise. He also recently released All About the Benjamins. Alvarez produced both films, starring Ice Cube and Mike Epps. In addition to the day-to-day responsibility of operating Cube Vision, Alvarez nurtures new writers and directors, acquires and develops new music projects, and supervises the company's expansion into television and other areas of entertainment.
Alvarez started his career as the acquisitions and co-productions manager at Fine Line Features, where he oversaw the production of Mother Night, starring Nick Nolte, and Roseanna's Grave, with Jean Reno.
Shortly after joining Cube Vision in 1998, Alvarez co-produced Next Friday. As a producer he set up Be Careful What You Wish For, an HBO half-hour drama about a young hip-hop artist and the music industry.
Next, Alvarez will produce the feature Big Ticket, again starring Ice Cube. Meanwhile, Alvarez and Cube Vision are developing and producing From the Old School, written by and starring Ice Cube and John Witherspoon; De-Fense; Pimp, with Bill Duke attached to direct; and Shadowman. He will also executive produce Race, among other projects.
Born in Fresno and raised in Foster City, California, Alvarez graduated from the University of California, Davis, where he earned a B. A. in English and Art History. He resides in Los Angeles.
LARRY KENNAR (Executive Producer) co-heads the Literary Management Division at Anonymous Content. He represents writers, directors, and a few actors.
Last year he executive produced the successful hit Two Can Play That Game, starring Vivica A. Fox. His upcoming films include Original Gangsta Bitches starring Reese Witherspoon, Fifty First Kisses to be directed by Jay Roach, and The Flying Smiths starring James Franco.
He also executive produces two series for Showtime - Earthlings and Code of the Street. John Singleton shares executive producing duties on the latter film, which Tyger Williams wrote.