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A Casual Conversation
with Author Omar Tyree

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.