Blacks Behind the Camera

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Famuyiwa has written and directed films such as The Wood (the screenplay that got him noticed at the Sundance Film Festival), Brown Sugar, and Talk to Me, which starred Don Cheadle. While his films have not been box-office smashes, they have been profitable. The average budgets for his movies have been $8.8 million while the average gross receipts have been $24 million per picture. Yet, despite his proven track record, Famuyiwa has not been given the opportunity to showcase his skills on a big-budget film. “Even though I work in the Hollywood system, the budget levels I am at, the schedules I am given, the margins that I have to work within, still feel very much like independent cinema,” he says. “I think that is part of the dynamic that makes it more challenging to compete. If your film doesn’t make the amount of money that people think it should, it makes it harder to get the next film made.”Marcia Wade Talbert is a writer and content producer for BlackEnterprise.com.

Famuyiwa has written and directed films such as The Wood (the screenplay that got him…