Director, Deon Taylor Continues To Tell Memorable Stories, with Latest Film, ‘Meet The Blacks
As an actor, or even someone behind the cameras telling the story, your only wish is for your body of work to succeed. You want it to touch the people in a they’ve never before. You want it to make them laugh; make them cry. You want to tell a story that’s not only appealing to your audience, but also memorable. For Meet The Blacks director, Deon Taylor, creating the film, starring Mike Epps and an all-star cast of comedians was all of the above.
Growing up 25 miles from his birthplace, Chicago, Illinois, Deon Taylor is a Gary, Indiana bred film director, producer, and screen writer who as a young adult—like any other, had a dream. But, his dreams were a little too big for the streets of Gary. With the crime rate rising around the city, Taylor’s mother packed up and moved them both to Sacramento, California during his high school years.
From there, Taylor began to express his love for writing. He wrote his first script for his 2007 movie, Dead Tone (also known as 7eventy 5ive), while playing professional basketball. But, it wasn’t until years later that he put the script in motion.
After attempting to go forth with his own independent record label, Taylor decided that the music industry wasn’t for him so he continued to explore film-making.
He then partnered with an independent film company, but was later encouraged to put his unique talents into creating his own. Hidden Empire Film Group was officially born.
From directing his first film Dead Tone to directing a series of other films, such as: The Hustle, Nite Tales: The Movie & Series, and the 2015 film, Supremacy, Taylor has created a prominent brand. A brand that he continues to expand umpteen years later.
Most importantly, with his new film Meet The Blacks.
The newly released horror comedy channels the hit horror film, The Purge, as it adds humor to horror with an urban twist.
The film stars comedian and actor, Mike Epps who portrays Carl Black—a husband and a father facing the everyday challenges in the streets of Chicago. Wanting better for himself and his family, Carl moves the clan out to Beverly Hills, California and brings his ex-con cousin, Cronut (Lil Duval), along with him. Shortly after arriving, the Blacks find themselves in the midst of the annual purge, where all crime is legal for twelve hours.
How did the film come about? After being just a ‘silly idea’ pitched to friends and family, Taylor wanted to make that idea a plan. Not knowing that it would later turn into a star-studded cast full of legendary comedians, he began to write the script to see how it would all come together.
“I was an absolute nut over The Purge franchise when it first dropped. So, the second one hit and we were actually walking and hanging out, and I just kind of came up with the idea that it would be funny as hell to have a movie with a Black family in the middle of a purge.” Taylor details.
“I just said, ‘Man, I’m going to write this and see if I can put it together.’ Six or seven months later, I had a script. The next thing was trying to figure out who could actually be Carl Black (the main character).”
Soon after, Taylor had the opportunity to talk with Mike Epps at one of his shows. He explains that Epps immediately jumped at the idea and the two partnered up to work on the project.
While filling the role for Carl Black, Epps then brought in fellow friends of comedy.
With social media being a big market for comedic entertainment, Epps and Taylor were able to grab Florida comedian, Lil Duval and Vine comedy star, King Bach to fill the roles of cousin Cronut and Freezee—Allie Black’s sneaky boyfriend.
“It was fun,” Lil Duval shared with a laugh. “It was fun as hell because I got to play a guy that—pretty much, I think is kind of like the guy just up for the ride. I ain’t helping nothing; I’m just there to leech off of my cousin,” Duval admits.
In the film, Duval’s character Cronut is a recently released jailbird who has left the streets behind, but still carries the street mentality.
Bach, on the other hand, portrays the mischievous boyfriend of Carl Black’s daughter, Allie.
“I started social media maybe about two years ago. I studied, watched a lot of videos, and I did a lot of improv classes and training back at Florida State University. So, I think that actually prepared me for acting on set with Deon and the cast,” Bach reveals of his rise to the big screen.
Bach who is a social media sensation is breaking barriers like never before.
Speaking of breaking barriers, comedian Gary Owen broke barriers eighteen years ago—becoming the first Caucasian man to ever host BET’s ComicView. Through his success, he gained much popularity from the African-American community. So, it was only right to bring him abroad for Meet The Blacks, right?
Contrary to Owen’s previous ‘funny-nice guy’ characters, he’s actually playing a chainsaw killer this go around.
“I came on set and Deon said ‘action’. Some kind of European Nordic hostile type killer came out of my mouth. Deon was like, ‘Just stick to that voice.’ I was like, ‘Alright’, and it kind of just happened.” He laughed.
Although the film is filled with nothing less than an hour and thirty minutes of pure laughter, director, Deon Taylor says he also wanted to touch on different subjects within today’s society, while delivering a raw and unapologetic story.
Judging by his impressive track record, we’re pretty sure he has succeeded at that.
The cast of Meet The Blacks has high hopes of the film captivating their core audiences, making the people laugh, and becoming a classic of today’s film industry.
Despite what others may think, no dream is ever too big. Most of these comedians before you today started out performing at local stand-up comedy shows—and some even on a social media app. Dream big! Deon Taylor did.
Meet The Blacks is now playing at a theater near you!
Grab your kids, grab your significant, grab your whole family, you definitely wouldn’t want to to miss this.