Love Chronicles: Secrets Revealed, the latest film by writer/director Tyler Maddox-Simms, is a romantic “dramedy” set at Los Angeles radio station KLUV, where callers air their dirty laundry over the airwaves for all to hear. Over the course of one crazy day, show host and “relationship expert” Darren (Rockmond Dunbar) and Janet (Vivica Fox) have had another one of their epic fights that threatens to end their marriage and make a joke of Darren’s career. At the radio station, street author Thomas Black (Mike Epps) advises cougar Monique (Elise Neal) how to stay married while DJ Mike V (Ving Rhames) helps out the good girl who falls for bad boy from the other side of the tracks. The film is the follow up to the first Love Chronicles installment that starred Terrence Howard, Robin Givens, and Lisa Raye.
Script spoke to writer/director Tyler Maddox-Simms about the film and her writing process.
SCRIPT: What’s the inspiration behind Love Chronicles: Secrets Revealed?
Maddox-Simms: Chronicles about love don’t have a end. I took about five years off to start a family. While off, I wrote. I always wanted to do more with the first Love Chronicles.
SCRIPT: You’ve directed all of your screenplays, why is that important to you?
Maddox-Simms: I wrote all of them. It’s very important for a writer to see their vision interpreted the way they wrote it.
SCRIPT: Would you direct another person’s screenplay? Would you like to see one of your screenplays be directed by someone else?
Maddox-Simms: Yes, I would direct someone else’s screenplay I would love to direct someone’s screenplay. As far as someone directing mine, I’m open to it.
SCRIPT: Since you’re directing your own work, how locked is the screenplay before production starts? Do you rewrite on set? Do you let your actors improvise much?
Maddox-Simms: The screenplay is locked prior to filming. Yes, I absolutely will re-write on the set. If something works better than what I wrote, I will change it. Yes, I don’t have a problem with actors improvising, it’s challenging while editing if it’s too much improv, but I like actors to feel comfortable in delivering lines. So if something I wrote can be enhanced or changed, then by all means…
SCRIPT: What is the inspiration behind the plot device of a radio call-in show?
Maddox-Simms: The radio station allows me to tie stories together. It’s the glue and the thread which allowed me to tie three vignettes together in a manner which made sense.
SCRIPT: The film explores love and relationships within the African-American community, though the themes are universal across all races. Was there ever a point to include other non-black characters, or was it important for you to keep the characters African-American and close to your own heritage?
Maddox-Simms: Love has no barriers. I just happen to know most of the actors (laughs). Seriously, the actors could have been any color.
SCRIPT: Are you ever worried about your characters falling into racial stereotypes? If so, as a writer/director, how does one keep that from happening?
Maddox-Simms: No, I don’t worry about my characters being stereotyped. Within the African-American community/culture there is rainbow of life from Boyz n The Hood to the Cosbys. I happen to like to write about characters more like the Cosbys.
SCRIPT: How do you write? What’s a typical day for you behind the keyboard? Do you like to write at night or during the day? Share with our readers your process in creating your screenplays.
Maddox-Simms: I have a four-year-old daughter so it’s challenging at times to write in the day. I love to write at night, complete silence… I get a cappuccino and sit back in my chair and create.
SCRIPT: What are your upcoming plans?
Maddox-Simms: My next film is called Roc-n-Roll about Rocsie and Rolland, I compare them to Bonnie and Clyde with a twist.
Love Chronicles: Secrets Revealed is out on DVD now.