Tyrone Evans Clark Talks About Homeless Sam & Sally And Filmmaking


What was it like for you to act and direct a film at the same time?

It has been an incredible experience because I get a taste of both worlds. For years I’ve been an actor and been listening to everything the director tells me on and off-screen. I can honestly say it truly feels good to play as the puppet master / A.K.A. the director of my first-time film “Homeless Sam & Sally -The Movie”. Currently, I am known for as an American Entertainer / Actor / Executive Producer / Writer / Director and who is famously known for my 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.


I enjoy dipping and dabbing into both roles because it allows me to almost in a way feel like GOD. I was pulling the strings as the director and I danced to the beat of the director's drum when switching to the actor role. As a director, I realize it is my job to get my message across the screen in a certain amount of time. Every minute and second counts when forming a productive day for a feature/tv show. We don't want delays in time and nothing is for free. For example, as a director, you have to worry about how long you got for renting a spot for shooting a scene. How many actors need to be on set at a specific time. If you go over your time using an actor or renting a space, it can result in generating a very expansive bill after a production day. Sometimes even making sure that your main stars (Lead Actors) are getting all of their needs met. It truly is a full-time job, but you have to really love what you do.


When I was the actor I had to make sure I captured the essence of the character "Sam". Luckily for me, I had more freedom on-set because I was the director and no one in the world can play me better than myself. The character "Sam" is based on my inner demons from the past while battling with the world of homelessness. In this case, as an actor, I had an advantage because of my level of control, but usually in reality we as actors have tons of pressure while trying to perform on-set. If you don't do well you can put production behind schedule. Again nothing is for free and it can cost you your career if you don't do well. I even heard of rumors of my acting counterparts being replaced and some even being blacklisted. I've been truly grateful to not have to experience the darkness of being an entertainer. The most I have received is tons of rejections, but at the end of those rejections, the casting director always tells me that I have done an amazing job. I'm just happy to be able to be seen and show off my theatric gifts to the world.


Overall, I enjoy acting and directing equally the same. It truly was a pleasure working on the "Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie". If I can do it again I would. I have learned so much about production and it takes a village to run a production. In my case, I played all of the roles such as the actor, executive producer, writer, and director. I even provided food, props, makeup, and costumes for the actors/movie-sets.


"Actors are puppets whose strings are moved by the director." - Tyrone Evans Clark

When did you decide that you wanted to make films?

Around 2002 at Benton Harbor High School (Michigan) I created a film relating to communication skills. I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it similar to "Homeless Sam & Sally – The Movie". My film was so popular that my teacher at the time played it to all of the students in the school on a regular basis. My classmates and my fellow peers gain tons of communication/people skills from just watching my film. After I was awarded praise from my fellow classmates and teachers. I decided to pursue a career in the arts / interactive media field. Plus I got major confirmation when I graduated with honors in the top 10 of my class in 2005 with a 3.8 GPA. I even obtain a few popular scholarships during my graduation ceremony such as the Horatio Alger Scholarship, Gates Millennium Scholarship, Rosa Parks Scholarship, Burger King Scholarship, Rainbow PUSH Excel Coalition Scholarship, A.C.E Award Winner of 2005, and much more.


In 2010 I graduated again with honors from the Art Institute of California - Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Science in Game Art & Design. Later on, I end up working for some of the biggest tech, gaming, and entertainment studios in the world. Some of the popular ones I have worked as a 3D Game Artist/Programmer and VR/AR Developer. For decays, I have produced apps / 3D Assets for clients such as Beckman Coulter Diagnostics, STAGE, Storymind Entertainment (Kyiv, Ukraine), Greenhaus GFX, Possible Reality, Remote.com, Visionaire77, 9K9 Interactive, Rareform Pictures, Midnight Oil, Destination Chic Interiors (Brooklyn, NY), Outsource.com, Bark.com, Pantera Entertainment, Game Wizards, etc.


I have even been a Digital Animation Teacher at STEM3 Academy where I taught students with learning disabilities 3D Animation and Game Desing / Game Programming. At STAR Education I was a Tech & Games Teacher and I taught young adults and children about game development by playing / building worlds in the Minecraft game. During my stay at Digital Media Academy (UC Irvine), I was a Game Programmer Teacher Assitant who helped manage the classroom while providing the fundamentals of gaming programming to the students on a regular basis. I'm also a regular on-going seasonal 3D Computer Programming Instructor at UCLA - Recreation where I teach students how to create 3D Models/Animations with Maya, Zbrush, and Substance for VR/XR apps/games. I even trained my UCLA students on game engines (Unity/UE4) while using programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, C++, C#, Python, HLSL, and Node.js.


In my past life, I even worked in sales on and off at Macy's as an associate for sales in fragrance, shoes, clothing, etc. On Pico/Bundy (Santa Monica, CA) I was a Cashier / Balloon at Party City and Party America during my time at AI (Art Institute).


My favorite job that I have ever had is being an Entertainer / Actor / Executive Producer / Writer / Director for films and tv shows. It is truly fun and I can tell it is my calling to provide entertainment for others. Making films really makes me happy. I enjoy sharing my stories with people and making them feel something. I don’t care what type of digital medium they feel it through. I just want them to feel something. Thus, my spectators should be able to feel the soul in my films, video games, and tv-series.


If you have to choose between acting or directing, which one would you prefer?

I enjoy acting and directing but I prefer directing over acting because of the fact I have more control over what I create. At the beginning of the pipeline process, I noticed the production moved smoothly when I have 100% control of the creative series of steps to achieving an appealing digital product. Everyone who has been evolving in this entertainment industry has a favorite project that he/she enjoyed working on the most. I find the ones that allow me to express myself more freely and being able to have options while creating theatric art on the screen to be my super favorites.


Acting is a nice role to tap into as well, but you really have to be able to lose yourself in the character. When I was "Sam" for the "Homeless Sam & Sally" feature I couldn't be Tyrone 100%. Yes; the character is inspired by my life, but I still wanted to exaggerate him a bit for this feature. I didn't want my story to portray something so sad and that's why I decided to add a comical twist to it. People love to laugh. I know I do.


Directing, producing (executive producer), acting, and writing for the "Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie" / "Homeless Sam & Sally" (TV Series) has truly been an honor. I didn't realize how much hard work goes into making a film. Now, I have so much respect for filmmakers and anyone who produces any type of digital medium (video games, movies, apps, etc). Thus, I have more pride in myself for making the popular "Homeless Sam & Sally" franchise.


"Movies are rides to your imagination within your soul." - Tyrone Evans Clark


What is it like to be an indie artist and what are some of the challenges of being an indie filmmaker?

I enjoy being an indie artist because I have total freedom to do whatever I want to do with my digital masterpiece. I don't have to worry about a big production company or network forcing due dates down my throat. I don't really have to worry about a budget because everything is coming out of my pocket. I am the boss and my production is my baby. I can do whatever I want with my baby. The musical artist T.I. has that song "Whatever You Like". "I said you could have whatever you like (if you like)." - T.I.


I can have whatever I like and do whatever I want to do. I have full control over the project.


Some of the challenges of being an indie filmmaker are the fact that all of the pressure is on you. You don't really have a production company helping you or even providing you money for your production. Everything cost and nothing is cheap. The list of must-haves is very expensive such as actors, renting locations, props, makeup artists, wardrobe, etc.


When production is completed and that is if you have a finished film to show off, you still have to find a place and platforms to share your film. Be prepared to be rejected from some festivals who possibly might not be interested in displaying your film at their event. Film Festivals can be very expansive and I can honestly say so far I have spent over three thousand dollars submitting my film "Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie" all over the world.


Again it is nice to be an indie filmmaker but take into count that you are in control of everything. If the ship goes down you will go down with it. It is your baby and no one is going to rescue you unless you have a strong team behind you such as producers or grant providers of some sort.


"I don't mind the challenges as an indie artist as long as I can make a cool feature."

How was your film received on the festival circuit?

My film "Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie" has been received honorably with tons of praise in the festival circuit. “Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie” has won numerous awards such as September 2020 Best Comedy of Toronto Film Magazine Fest (Toronto Film Magazine Winner), 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, being nominated The Monkey Bread Tree Film Awards' Best Genre (Spring 2020), August 2020 Honorable Mention: Feature Film / Best Comedy of Prague International Film Festival (PIMFF), September 2020 Semi-Finalist of Indie Short Fest Award (Certificate of Achievement), August 2020 Best Feature Comedy of Cyrus International Monthly Festival of Toronto, and been selected by prestigious film festivals. I even received the Best Supporting Actor Award (August 2020) from Hollywood Blood Horror Festival.


I also just found out that I have been awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award ("Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie") for Best Actor from the Cult Critic Movie Awards.


I like to win and be honored for the hard work that I put my soul into, but at the end of the day, it's not always about the honors/awards. The most important thing for me to do is to spread my messages to the world through my interactive/digital media.


What is your plan for distribution?

My plan for distribution is to submit it to a few VOD platforms. Everything is digital Today and this generation loves their smartphones. Some of the VOD platforms that I am considering is the Amazon Instant Video, Comcast Xfinity, DirecTV, Dish, Google Play, Hoopla, InDemand, iTunes, Microsoft Movies & TV Store, Sony Entertainment Network, Steam, Vubiquity, and Vudu.


Amazon Instant Video will be able to sell my content and people will also have the option to download it.


Xfinity allows my customers to view my film on their tv screens, phones, and tablets.


DirecTV and Dish are big service providers. They both have over thousands and thousands of subscribers their movies/tv shows.


Google Play and iTunes are platforms for digital content such as music, video games, films, etc.


Hoopla is a streaming video platform that works with public libraries.


InDemand creates, obtains deliverables through cable Pay-Per-View and Video On Demand to tons of subscribers.


The Microsoft Movies & TV Store offers movies/tv-shows on tons of platforms such as Xbox devices, Windows 8 computers, phones, etc.


Sony Entertainment Network is a digital platform that allows you to purchase movies/tv shows on the web/Playstation devices.


Steam is known for being one of the biggest digital distribution platforms for PC gaming, but now customers can buy video content through their platform.


Vubiquity provides on-demand and Pay-Per-View movies/tv-shows to cable providers.


Vudu is an online platform that allows customers to rent titles.


I'm also considering Netflix as well. Netflix is a very popular platform and offers a wider range of award-winning tv series, movies, anime, documentaries, etc.


What kind of impact would your film have on your audience and who is your target?

I want my audience to be more sympathetic to homeless individuals. You don't know a person's story and how they got in that position. Some people become homeless because they lost their job or just couldn't keep up with the rent. Renting an apartment or home anywhere is very expansive and I know usually it can be really hard paying bills monthly, especially if you living from paycheck to paycheck.


My target audience is young adults and above. I really want them to be able to show more compassion for less-fortunate people who maybe are very poor. There are a lot of biases and stigmas regarding homeless people and what they might do to you if you meet them or simply allowing them into your personal space. All homeless people don't have diseases, all of them are not crazy, all of them are not liars, all of them are not drug dealers, etc.


Homeless people are people just like everyone else!


Plus I would want my audience to laugh their butts off while watching this movie. It is a sad and sensitive topic, but I don't enjoy making people cry so I decided to add some comedy to it.


What is the most fascinating thing about the language of cinema for you?

Being able to express myself in so many ways regarding body language, camera angles, the actor's dialogue, scenes, music, creating moods with color/lighting, etc.


For this film I produced, sang, wrote, and performed the songs “Look Me in My Eyes”, “Gotta Get Some Tissue!”, “We Gotta Figure It Out” (Homeless Sam & Sally – The Movie / TV Series Theme Song), “Video Game”, “Hope”, “Inside of Me!” (Courtesy of Tyrone Evans Clark Inc.). The majority of these songs are heard in "Homeless Sam & Sally – The Movie".


Music and sounds really create moods in films/tv shows. They also one of the most important elements of cinema.


It really is all about getting your message across. In films and video games, you have so many ways to get your message across.


At the end of the day, the language of cinema is made up of so many components/elements, but it is up to you what direction you want to go.


"I love cinema and cinema loves me!"


What are you currently working on?

Currently, I am working on a documentary titled "The Corona Hour!". It is made up of cartoon animation and live-action interviews with people who are living in the time of COVID-19. One of the people I interview is Mark Schaefer who is also one of my actors from the "Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie". This feature film will be coming out soon and I can't wait to share it with the world.


I have a few syfy, fantasy, horror, action, and science fiction, book series coming out soon for young adults. These books will be available on just about every digital platform out there, including Barnes & Noble / Amazon Prime Books.


"Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie" will also eventually be turned into a VR Game for people to enjoy. I come from a very techy background. It would be a disservice not taking advantage of my advance technical skills in, VR, AR (Augmented Reality), MR (Mixed Reality), XR (Extended Reality), Computer-Generated VR (CG VR), 360° video, Game Programming (C++, C#), Lighting Design and Composition, Environment/Prop Modeling, CG Compositing, Game Visual Effects (VFXs), Object Animation/Simulation, etc.


More Tyrone Evans Clark Incorporation's films will be coming soon in all types of genres so keep your eyes open!


What inspired you to make Homeless Sam & Sally?

Throughout my entire life, I've been homeless numerous times in and off the street. Most of my adolescence people shun me and looked at me as someone who was crazy or a freak of nature. When I was living in Benton Harbor, Michigan some of my classmates and people who I worked with at my afterschool job (Meijer) were calling me crazy. This is even including my time at the Art Institute of California - Los Angeles (2005-2010). Some people at AI (Art Institute) were telling others to not be my friend and don't talk to him because he is crazy. I forgive all of those people because innocently they didn't know what was going on with me personally. Plus people are afraid of things that they don't understand. Yes; it isn't an excuse for what they did to me, but I'm a stronger person and now I'm ready to share my personal past struggles with the world. In "Homeless Sam & Sally - The Movie" I play as the character "Sam" who goes crazy because he finds out his mother "Sally" who is played by Margaret Newborn couldn't keep up with the rent. As a result, the family ends up on the street as homeless individuals while dealing with conflicts with friends, cops, and the seductive Landlord - Josh (Mehmet Edip).


So far this film has won numerous awards and I expect more coming soon.

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© Toronto Film Mag I 2020