Interview with writer/director Tyler Maddox-Simms

Ving Rhames in Love Chronicles: Secrets Revealed

Ving Rhames in Love Chronicles: Secrets Revealed

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.

Tyler Maddox-Simms

Tyler Maddox-Simms

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.

One thought on “Interview with writer/director Tyler Maddox-Simms

  1. Thomas Spruill

    Synopsis by
    Thomas Spruill
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
    Thomas A. Edison

    ‘D’ is based on true events. ‘D’ has tried to live by this quote from the time he left high school, and all through his criminal career. This is a story about ‘D’ determination not to fail. The story opens in the 1983. ‘D’ has decided to make fast money to be able to support him and his wife by creating a small empire in the drug world, although he did have choice of going on to college and could have become something great. His story begins in an apartment house in Brooklyn, where the 1st bedroom is nicely furnished, and the second bedroom is empty where drugs are kept. The Living room is also nicely furnished. The kitchen has a lacquer table, very sophisticated electronic scale, $5,000 purse, and $180,000.00 worth of product. Pain, ‘D’ best friend is in the bedroom where the drugs are. Pain is armed with a Mack 10. ‘D’ is watching T.V and waiting for a call that well let him know where to drop off the next package. Sincere, ‘D’ brother is in the kitchen making up the packages. A phone call is made to the apartment from a phone booth three blocks away. ‘D’ picks up the phone thinking it’s the call he is waiting for. This was the beginning of ‘D’ many failures.
    ‘D’ is the story about a young man who created his own world in the business of corruption. Finding out that no matter what you do, there is a price to pay. Trying to please his wife Venus who wants ‘D’ to give her the world, forces him to make decisions that will ultimately destroy his life. ‘D’ and Venus met after high school and married each other after two years. She is a strong influence on his life, but not in a positive way. ‘D’ brother Sincere, the “calmer” as he is sometimes called believes in ‘D’ and has been with him since he has started his empire. Sincere belief in his brother almost gets him killed.
    Pain is the reckless of the three, not using his head most of the time creates dangerous and life-threatening situations for all three of them. Pain likes the women, but always seem to manage to get involved with the wrong one. He gets involved with a woman that sets off a chain of events that almost destroys ‘D’ plans.
    In ‘D’ travels he meets two brothers from the underworld, who helps him become more powerful than he could imagine. ‘D’ finds out that the two brothers hate each other and gets caught in a vicious triangle. The two brothers set ‘D’ on a path of murder and deceit.
    ‘D’ is an action packed drama that is surrounded with mystery and intrigue of a boy who has a vision, but no guidance. It is a quest for acceptance in a world that does not belong to him.
    I have acted in three civil war documentaries, “Underground railroad,” “History of South Mountain,” and “The history of John Brown.” In addition, I have Choreograph for an off-Broadway play “Behind the Stage,” Wrote, produced and directed the play “Billy’s Dilemma” which was performed at Medgar Evers College that became a pilot for the Freshman Program, and later became a book that was published through Author house, published article in MAM magazine called “Strong enough to be her Man,” and while in college performed and directed various plays, such as Major Barbara,” “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s wild Christmas Binge,” “Brigadoon,” “Mash,” “Taming of the Shrew,” and “Das Barbecu.” Thank you for consideration, I look forward to an opportunity to share the entire manuscript with you soon.

    Thomas Spruill
    Contact Info: 717-788-1046/ Cell: 717-331-1581 or 717-372-7162