The Show Must Go On

dogg men
dogg men

The Show Must Go On

Interview with Film Director and owner of Blackeye Entertainment

Films, Antonio Simmons, on the upcoming film Doggmen.

Q: What made you decide to go into the film industry?

A: When you come from the music industry background with father,

uncles and friends all in the music industry your whole life, it doesn’t

become challenging anymore. For me, being a former drummer, I grew

tired of music in general. So, in 1998, I wrote my first script which was

called The Last Parole Officer. A family member tried to buy it from me

and that was when I knew I was on to something. I ended up watching

more films, along with lighting and sound and watching UK films more

closely. I stopped watching films after I realized the writing was trash

and I said, “Well, I think I could do better than that.” I crossed into film

100% in 2000.

Q: So why produce Doggmen first? Why not The Last Parole Officer?

A: The reason why I choose not to shoot The Last Parole Officer first

was because Doggmen was easier for me to produce. It’s not about

explosions. It doesn’t have a lot of people jumping through windows.

The cast was easier; more comfortable and they could deliver. The Last

Parole Officer has way more explosions, cars turned over. I would need

a bigger production house. So, I made an executive decision to do

Doggmen first.

Q: Out of all the actors you could have recruited for this project, why

were you set on DMX?

A: OK. For one, when you put Earl Simmons and Antonio Simmons

together… you do the math. Family ain’t hard to work with. I knew

what he could do as an actor. I knew what he could do on the fly, and

not too many actors out there can deliver like he could deliver. He was

raw talent; he could play anything you wanted him to play. I would

keep Earl because he could deliver. I knew that. Most actors give you

the same face, so you already know what you going to get from them.

Earl had various looks and he was a bad mother f**ker.

Q: You established Blackeye Entertainment Films as a production

company in 2002. Was it difficult to get it up and running to become

what it is today?

A: it wasn’t really hard for me to get people to see my vision because I

talk clearly, direct and think outside the box. But it’s just when you got a

new company, dealing with egos and testosterone, is really hard to get

them see your vision. A person like me, I didn’t really care about what

‘they’ say or how ‘they’ move because I knew what I could deliver for

me. To answer that question, nah, I’m too persistent for that as a Virgo.

Q: Have you ever considered expanding Blackeye Entertainment Films?

A: When you say expand , my company is called black eye

entertainment so we basically do anything under the entertainment

umbrella including music, plays, clothing lines, dog food, food for

humans, whatever it takes to make a person smile, my company will do

it. So, I already expanded in just about every lane. I have a branch in

London, a branch in Germany and the mother ship is in America.

Q: What is the most important quality a film director should have?

A: The most important quality is like a two- part question. 1. Is to have

personality and 2. To be a real good director you should have at least 30

characters in his body that he could bring out at any given moment

while directing the film. The film must be able to make you laugh,

think, cry, feel and react. So, the director has to have personality, or be a

certain type of way or the film will just be flat. It doesn’t matter the

genre if it’s an action film, a comedy, drama, or horror, his personality

has to go into that film and if you don’t have the ability to bring it out of

yourself into these people the film will be trash. But I think you should

have personality… at least 30 characters in your body at all times, to be

a film director.

Q: What is the type of music you listen to before you go on set to film

or inspire you?

A: That’s an easy one for me. Music to me is like food, you gotta eat to

fuel the body and feed the brain in order for it to work. I like anything

from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and then the 90s, only up until like 97. I like

grunge, 90s R&B, everything in the 80s, all the 70s and all the 60s.

There’s certain music I listen to that brings the best out of me and makes

me crazy. It takes me to a certain level in my head that makes me feel

like I’m the actor and what I do with that energy is to make it generate to

fuel me up and to bring the best out of the actor.

Q: If you could work with any producer or director in the world, who

would it be? And why?

A: If I could work with any producer or director on earth I would have

to go with Michael Mann. Michael Mann is edgy, he’s not soft, he’s in

your face. But he has it. It’s the ‘IT’ factor for me. Everybody cannot do

action and drama but he can. Mike, he got it. I don’t know when It

started if it started in 3rd grade, 7th grade, college, but he got it. He did

Public Enemy, he did Miami Vice, Heat, Ali and Thief . When I saw

Thief with James Cann , I knew Mike was a gangster and that’s why I

would love to work with a cat like him.

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