Tyrone Evans Clark (TY-ROAN-E-venz KLARRK) is an American Entertainer / Director and he is famously known for his work on Homeless Sam & Sally (2019), Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie (2020), Reverie (2018), Netflix's Velvet Buzzsaw (2019), Netflix's Magic for Humans (2020), LIFETIME'S Seatbelt Psychic, E! Entertainment's Dating #NoFilter (2019), BET's Running Out of Time, AXS TV's Women of Wrestling (2019), MTV's Flex on My Ex (2019), FOX's Phone Swap (2018), Awesomeness TV's Tri Me (2019) with Rickey Thompson, Face The Truth (2018) with Vivica A. Fox, and so much more.
We had the opportunity to sit down and interview Tyrone Evans Clark and ask him our questions about cinema, his films, and his experience as a filmmaker.
When did you start making films and what was the first film project that you worked on?
The first film that I have ever created in my entire life was something relating to communication skills at Benton Harbor High School (Benton Harbor, Michigan) around the year of 2002. During that time my major was Arts & Communications and I was consider the nerd of the school because I would win everything including making it to the top 10 of my class with a 3.8 GPA and along with graduating with honors and numerous scholarships for college such as the Horatio Alger Scholarship, Gates Millennium, A.C.E Award Winner (the year 2005), etc. Now let’s go back to my first film so I will not get sidetracked, I wrote, directed and acted in it...very similar to the “Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie”. My teacher was so proud of me and I was just so honored to share my masterpiece with the world and my peers. At that time in my life… I just knew moving forward I would like to express myself in the Arts/Interactive Media Field.
What inspired you to make Homeless Sam & Sally?
I was inspired to create the “Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie” from my past life trying to cope with low-key the lifestyle of homelessness. A lot of people in my life during my adolescence didn’t know that I was battling the homelessness world while fighting other horrific things such as dealing with my abusive father, the death of my 2-year-old brother from a house fire, being a victim of a hate crime, being picked on a regular basis at school/work (after school job Meijer) for being different, and other things that children should never have to experience during their childhood. The pain and suffering fueled me to be successful by sending out my trauma experiences with a taste of positive messages to the masses through the “Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie”. On top of that, I was even able to graduate from The Art Institute of California - Los Angeles with a full ride without having to pay back any loans due to my hard work and my advanced creative abilities that was displayed in all of my artistic classes.
What is the genre that you are looking to create in your films?
The genres that I plan to create in the film industry are science fiction, fantasy, action, comedy, suspense, thriller, romance, horror, and dark comedy. I consider playing with all of these genres because I consider myself an 80s baby with a taste of millennial. I’m so obsessed with allowing my beautiful subconscious to spill out into the world in a freaky way. For example, everyone doesn’t get science-fiction or fiction but it allows the brain to go to places that you will never imagine. In the non-fiction genre you only have factual resources to play with and it’s not as fun... unless it’s a unique/sincere story that you truly believe in. People respect authenticity and I am truly an authentic person. I want to always express myself in many ways and I shouldn’t have to place restrictions on it, especially dabbing in and out with different types of genres.
Do you consider yourself an indie filmmaker? Why?
I truly consider myself an Indie Filmmaker, but also a Renaissance Man because I play with all types of mediums/interactive media and anything that allows me to touch others in an entertainment way. I’m a filmmaker/director, 3D Artist/Game Programmer (works with Advanced technology) American Entertainer/Actor who has been in numerous TV shows/films, singer/songwriter, scholar, and coming soon Best Selling Author. I can honestly say out of all of the roles in my life my number one favorite is being an Indie Filmmaker. Us, Indie Filmmakers have the ability to play in all types of mediums in a form of a film and who doesn’t want to do that. I know I do and I love it and along with the creative process.
Do you think that cinema could change the way people think?
Cinema will always be able to change the way people think because it has energy and emotions, but it’s also something about the message it gives off to its audience. For example, the recording of George Floyd’s death caused America to really look back at themselves and along with acknowledging the idea that racism truly does exist, but we can honestly do something about it by education and being aware of it. When I was a child watching the movie E.T., I remember feeling sad for the alien and wanting him to be able to go back home. At the same time I enjoy the relationship he had with the boy. I felt this way again because cinema can truly change the way people think and feel ... and also who doesn’t love E.T. It’s the cutest alien I ever know even though he looks disturbing but we don’t see him that way. “Cinema is truly a gateway of key emotions.” - Tyrone Evans Clark
Can you name a few filmmakers who inspired your work?
Tyler Perry, Quentin Tarantino, and Seth MacFarlane are the Filmmakers who tremendously inspired me to create the “Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie” in so many ways. All of them are well respected artistic individuals who can be comical, but serious at the same time. The character Sam who I play is very similar to Stewie Griffin in the Family Guy Series. Stewie and Sam both are crazy and are very complex characters who are extremely spontaneous. You just don’t know what you’re going to get while falling hard into these characters' lives, it’s like going into Pandora’s Box. A lot of my characters seem as though they would belong to the Tyler Perry / Media (Mable “Madea” Earlene Simmons) Universe. They are all people you would personally know for example, Sally and Sam’s friends. In the majority of Tarantino’s films he always plays GOD because he is the writer, director, producer, and actor in his digital mediums. I do the same thing for the “Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie” and I play as the character Sam. On top of that I’m crazy like him too in a good way. Please make a note: I have tons of filmmakers in my pocket who inspire me every single day, but I don’t have enough room on paper to disclose them all.
How does it feel to write and direct at the same time?
It is an incredible feeling to be able to write, direct, and I’m going to add in acting too. Pretty much I was a puppet master for my cinema and I felt all aspects of the production pipeline. I had more control of what was going on and how things will finally come out on the screen. From my past life working in the industry when you’re an actor, you only have so much control but when you are the director/writer, you are the God of the story that’s being displayed to the spectators. I’m used to wearing multiple hats throughout my life but this experience really taught me to enjoy and respect writers/directors more in the industry.
Do you plan to work on a feature film or are you interested to continue making short films?
I plan to create feature films and short films because stories shouldn’t have a limit on how long they need to be expressed on the screen. Some stories are longer than others and some people are taller than others, but at the end of the day what matters is that your message is getting across in your feature or short film.
How difficult is it to screen short films and find an audience for short film projects?
It’s extremely difficult sometimes to find an audience and screen short films because some people are not a fan of Indie Filmmakers. On top of that it can be discouraging sometimes trying to find platforms or places to show off your cinematic masterpiece. Fortunately we live in a generation where there’s a lot of people who are open to new things, especially during COVID-19. Now just about everyone have time to watch movies and TV during the corona hour.
Why do you want to make films?
I want to make films because I was always a movie lover and I watch movies every single day on my iPhone/laptop along with playing retro video games. Currently “Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie” has won numerous awards such as a July 2020 Finalist of Independent Shorts Awards (Certificate of Achievement), August 2020 Semi-Finalist of IndieX Film Festival (Certificate of Achievement), August 2020 Honorable Mention: Best Comedy of Kosice International Monthly Film Festival (KIMFF), August 2020 Best Feature of Hollywood Blood Horror Festival, and been selected by prestigious film festivals. I even received the Best Supporting Actor Award (August 2020) from Hollywood Blood Horror Festival. I'm an overachiever and I want to keep getting awards/honors for my work, but at the end of the day it's not always about the honors. The most important thing for me to do as a Filmmaker/director is to get my message out to the world. Hopefully it touches someone and allows them to express themselves and to know it's okay to feel. "Films are just another way to touch souls and give people vivid dreams of inspiration". - Tyrone Evans Clark