By Melissa Randle
June 6, 2006 (Atlanta)Participating in
this year's Sweet Auburn International Film Festival was NY Times
best-selling author Omar Tyree. "Why?" you might ask given
his literary stature.
Well, as I just learned, Tyree has decided to make the foray into
independent filmmaking. As a special screening in conjunction with
the Saturday evening lineup, Omar showed the rough cut of his directorial
debut, The Lure of Young Women. The film centers around
a guy looking for a starlet to be his muse for his upcoming project.
After the screening, I got a chance to sit and have a candid conversation
with Tyree about his decision to enter filmmaking and how he planned
to execute it. Sounding like a veteran indie filmmaker already,
Tyree shared the difficult process of getting a project greenlit
despite his literary success as a storyteller and author of 14 best-selling
novels. He dispelled the myth that because of his financial and
literary success, opportunities as a filmmaker abound.
I asked if he would he do an adaptation of fan favs like "Flyy
Girl" or one of the others? No, not anytime soon, he said.
Tyree explained that he wasn't interested in adaptations because
he had already written the stories once, and was not eager to reinvent
his own work. (He did mention he might consider leaving that for
someone else to do.)
Instead, Tyree has just completed a screenplay entitled "American
Fosse" that he will begin production in July 2007, filming
in Jamaica and Florida.
While respecting the craft (and the learning curve before him)
as he moves forward to produce his own projects, Tyree said that
it's best to just get out there and do it rather than face stalemate
after stalemate from potential business partners/ financiers who
have a different vision about how he should do his project.