Tyler Maddox-Simms: Talented BWUC with over a decade in filmmaking

tyler maddox collage

Recently, Black Women Unchecked got a chance to speak with the lovely Tyler Maddox-Sims. This amazing Black Woman Unchecked is a multi-talented writer, director, and producer with over ten years of experience in film-making.  She has worked with an array of black actors such as Terrance Howard, Vivica A. Fox, Lisa Raye, Robin Givens, and many more. Another testament to her a talent and level of business acumen is the distribution deal she scored with Wal-Mart.

Tyler attributes her success and knowledge of the industry to the experiences she gained from working  in almost every role of the film industry; from production assistant to catering to where she is now writing and directing her own films. As an independent filmmaker, Tyler has been able to overcome many of the obstacles that prevent most filmmakers from retaining creative control of their work. Shout out to Maddox Entertainment for being one of the few production companies providing consistent work to black actors as well. Needless to say, Mrs. Maddox-Sims repertoire speaks for itself.

What speaks even more volumes is Tyler’s character. During our conversation we discussed her victories and trials and through it all her optimistic attitude and sense of perseverance was apparent. Below you can find the transcript, but I would like to highlight a few of Mrs. Tyler’s remarks that point to her humility, commitment to making good black films, and charitable spirit.

While reflecting on some of the setbacks and challenges she faced trying to get her first film produced Tyler stated:

When I first started I had a script that I would try to pitch to major companies. I had the door closed. Just not even open. I can’t even say closed, just not even opened. It was extremely frustrating. I questioned at that point in my life if this was really what I want to do. But, I just couldn’t give up. I think my faith has kept me steadfast. Meaning, I don’t believe you get conviction in your heart to do a task and not be equipped to be able to do it. So I stayed at it. I stayed at it and didn’t work this way so I went around that way. It didn’t work that way so I jumped over here. I just never quit. And eventually I’m at a point now I have a great distribution deal. I control the creative process of my films.

The black filmmaker label crept into our conversation and Tyler eloquently noted that, although most her films are about urban stories,  they all are “…a story of humanity and we are all human not matter what color we are.”

Tyler experienced many setbacks trying to follow her dream. But she notes that what helped her find her stride in the industry was

“Not accepting no. By never hearing the word [no].  Not entertaining the word no. I really solemnly believe where there’s a will there’s a way. Not allowing myself because I’m a woman because I’m black to put stifled to be put in a box.”

Annually, Maddox Entertainment hosts a film boot camp for inner-city youth. Most participants are in foster care and this opportunity reminds them that anything is possible, all you need is an idea.

These are just a few of the powerful thoughts I took away from the interview. You are more than welcome to read the transcript below to draw your own conclusions. I must say that from this first introduction to Tyler I can feel and tell that she is a genuine, spiritual woman with a desire to break the monolithic frame that has been used to portray black life and replace it with a multi-faceted approach that captures the humanity of us as people.

I look forward to hearing and seeing much more from this beautiful Black Woman Unchecked and I encourage everyone to check out her latest film Who’s Watching the Kids starring Malik Barnhardt, Karen Malina White from the Cosby Show and Lean on me, and a host of hilarious black comedians and other great actors. Keep on the lookout for this Black Woman Unchecked on the RISE I expect more great work to come.

Click for Tyler Maddox-Simms transcript

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