Thursday, 2 September 2010

Will Packer

A funny thing happens when you start making money outside of Hollywood. Guess what? People started to care 
Will Packer 
Takers opened in the States last week and hit the number one slot in the box office. Takers is a heist film in the vein of Ocean's Eleven and has a stellar cast of Idris Elba, T.I, Chris Brown, Michael Ealy, Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Hayden Christiensen and Zoe Saldama. The film was directed by John Luessenhop but the man behind the hit film is the producer, William Packer (known as Will Packer) who has a great body of work behind him. Along with his partner, Rob Hardy, Will formed Rainforest Films and they have produced films such as Chocolate City, Trois, Trois 2: Pandora's Box, Motives, Trois 3: The Escort, Stomp the Yard, This Christmas and Obsessed.
William was born and raised in Florida and graduated from Florida A&M University in Electrical Engineering. It was at Florida University where he met Rob Hardy and they began to make films together and this along with an apprenticeship with film director, Warrington Hudlin who brought us House Party and Boomerang wetted Will's appetite for the film business. Will Packer's USP is being able to produce films that are extremely successful outside of Hollywood and his first four films are testament to that. His first film, Chocolate City was released in 1994 while he was still at college and did well enough to earn them a distribution deal. After graduation Will and Rob moved to Atlanta where Rainforest Films were born with the aim of making films that would appeal to a Black audience who were eager to see films in different genres starring people of colour. So enter Trois which was the duo's first theatrical release and became the fastest million dollar grossing film distributed by African Americans. After that Hollywood came calling and Rainforest Films signed a deal with Columbia Tri-Star to produce and distribute urban films. Trois 2, The Gospel and Motives soon followed as well Lockdown which became one of Columbia Tri-Star's top selling independent releases. The more successful Will and Rob got the more clout they gained and pretty soon they had enough pull to attract top stars for their films. Hence Loretta Devine, Chris Brown, Idris Elba and Delroy Lindo for This Christmas, Chris Brown, Columbus Short and Meagan Good for Stomp the Yard (which is their biggest success and grossed $75 million) and Beyonce Knowles for Obsessed. So with the release of Takers it looks like Will Packer has come of age and I can only expect great things from him. Expect a sequel to Stomp the Yard in September and a screen version of Steve Harvey's book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Currently Will is working on a biopic of Kemba Smith - an inspiring lady who was sentenced for 24 years in jail but served six years after being released by Bill Clinton in 2000 after he stood down from the presidency. Will has been acknowledged on several high profile lists, including ten producer's to watch by Daily Variety magazine, The Giant 100 by Giant Magazine, Who’s Hot To Watch in 2008 by Jet Magazine and Black Enterprise’s Most Powerful Players Under 40.

Will Packer lives in Atlanta with his family.

1 cool comments:

Tonia @Chic Modern Vintage said...

Why is he doing a movie of Steve Harvey's horrible book. Why?