You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

If You Missed It…Listen To Last Night’s S&A Podcast With Clifton Powell

If You Missed It...Listen To Last Night's S&A Podcast With Clifton Powell

If you missed all the good talk last night, you can catch it here again…right now. The S&A crew talked about “A-List” celebrities and the Nina Simone production with Mary J. Blige. Tambay gave his interpretation of the Nina script.

In the second half, Mr. Clifton Powell called in and set the record straight about his Spike Lee comments. He also talked about the importance of supporting small, indie films like 35 & Ticking.

A reminder…Join us every Wednesday at 8pm/est. Also, don’t forget to call in or join the chat room. We read everything you say folks!

Listen to internet radio with Shadow And Act on Blog Talk Radio

This Article is related to: Uncategorized and tagged



Best podcast yet, great job.

Dankwa Brooks


First of all I think Clifton Powell had a lot of valid points. Like, I think Cynthia said, at the end I don’t totally agree with keeping it out of the public as far as general public goes. To my knowledge, which is VAST (a lil humor there), Spike Lee hasn’t publicly responded to any criticism and hasn’t really in the past. Again he stated more than a year ago on his website that there was ‘No Fued’ with Tyler Perry . To me that was an expressed effort for the media to NOT take his comments out of context…which they ALWAYS do. The discussion is good and should go on.

Sergio’s point about there being no “A-List” I think was a valid one as well. Finally it seems it is becoming about the FILMMAKER! As a filmmaker myself, it seems like the filmmaker is finally getting mainstream recognition for the Herculean task it is to put together any film. Yes there were filmmakers in the past like Alfred Hitchcock who got all kinds of fame, but now with the Internet and places like Shadow & Act you can find out all about the personnel of a film in its very early stages. Just look at the huge response for ‘Django Unchained’ here at S&A.

Maybe I’m just a filmmaker and fanboy, but I notice every time a skilled filmmaker’s name is on the bill. I was in the movie theater last year and I saw this trailer about a western and I wasn’t that impressed, but when it said from THE COEN BROTHERS I thought “Hey now! I love their work!” Subsequently my “Traidar” wasn’t that much off the mark for I didn’t think it was as good as their previous efforts, but I still enjoyed it.

Ultimately, I think if a high profile director is attached to the project then it instantly becomes more viable than just a star attached.

Another great podcast from “Noelani and the crew”. I haven’t listened to it live yet, but it has become must listen podcast the next day. Keep up the good work!


I am shaking my head in agreement with many of the comments and the following totally stunned me.

“Folks would call Anthony Mackie A-List because he’s in all these movies but he’s not cracking $100,000 up until recently-if that”

Damn, I had no idea! I’ve made over that amount and I was just getting by. I mean, after all the bills were paid, there was not a lot to shout about. So based on those numbers and his status, there’s a bunch of starving black artist out there. If one is lucky or fortunate enough to get in a couple of films at a much lower rate than Mackie’s, they better put that money in their titties or in a can in the back yard, because it could be crying time again…. real soon.

Damn Damn Damn, show business is a cruel game that’s not made for the weak of heart. I believe the person has to really love it and the gypsy type of life style that goes with it. Damn, those number tell me that if a person is not on the A-list or B-list or C minus list, they really don’t exist. Wow. Hell, it ain’t the Mexicans that’s alledgedly taking all the underpaid jobs, it’s starving artist. *smile*

I am curious, what is the average pay for “average” actors?

I see why some men in the business have chicks on the side (like the ol’ Governor Schwarzenegger, who’s down with the brown and loves chasing other folks punani) somebody gotta pay the bills. Ain’t nothing like a sugar momma.


Carey you & I agree on a lot!

Clifton Powell-First, I’m ALL FOR taking stuff behind closed doors but I AM all about having a conversation too (didn’t he bring up Spike after he said “I ain’t gonna talk about Spike? LOL). Naming names & calling people out can be highly problematic, not to mention reeeal elitist. Remember, we’re dealing with an industry that is about perceptions & image. If you’re the guy that constantly blabs about who is doing what, in a crazy ass adversarial manner like we taking our shirts off in the street-you become untrustworthy & seen as a “hater”. Talking openly & honestly about conditions & situations is something, however slight a difference, that’s extremely important & can open folks eyes to what’s really going on. And it’s often more effective. I’m not totally against calling someone out but it they’d better be damn egregious because it is the nuclear option. This whole mess with Tyler Perry, Clifton Powell, Spike Lee, it’s all crap that has taken focus off of the REAL issue, which is the quality of product for an underserved market.

If this were food, what would we say about a restaurant that serves good food but its quality is not consistent? What would we say about that restaurant serving this food in a place that isn’t always the cleanest? Would we still frequent, would we recommend? Do we support blindly? Do we support on a case by case basis? Do we boycott until standards have been risen to an acceptable level? And whose level would that be? It’s these sorts of questions that get overshadowed by the soap opera “I’ll kick your punk ass” (which I personally found hysterical).

The landscape of black film has that sort of collision of Yes & No. Many of us LOVE the fact that there are moguls of color making films “their” way, but many do not like the content of films they produce. Or the films they produce have wildly varying degrees of quality-which to some is highly detrimental. In the 90s, I couldn’t STAND Master P, but before him it was just Russell & Dre as the big dogs when it came to minority owned labels, so I had to salute & respect his BUSINESS (never bought an album tho)

And I agree about the average man discussion, because when I’ve discussed it with other actors, many believed that theatre was “too smart”, as to the reason why people didn’t go. I said “Umm, if I have a choice between seeing a movie for $10 & a play for anywhere from $25 to $150, guess what I’m doing…and don’t let it be a date night! And if it’s bad?!? FORGET IT!”

It’s that sort of “average joe” idea that has made Tyler Perry so successful. It isn’t just the faith part of it-which I used to think was the key-because honestly TD Jakes movies are much more obviously faith based. But now seeing more of Tyler’s projects (especially the ones without Madea), what Tyler does is make movies for “the masses” which I think we can all agree covers a wiiiide swath of educational, economic & most important-taste-levels. Regardless of your state, at some point, everybody can get with Tyler’s movies-at least that’s the business plan. It’s like those pants Ms. Celie made in THE COLOR PURPLE, damn ugly but quite comfortable, reasonably priced & one size fits all! LOL

In doing that, his “lack of structured film knowledge” plays to his advantage. Things that they would teach you in school never to do as a director or screenwriter, Tyler does because in the beginning, he didn’t know any better. As an actor, same thing (TRUST ME LOL) And now that he can know better, he doesn’t give a fuck because why fix it if it ain’t broke-it’s part of his calling card. Can you imagine how bewildered folks would be if Madea showed up doing a looong tracking shot with oodles of rapid fire, extremely heady banter dialogue like Sorkin? Or a really self-indulgent zoom through the object to see what lies within like Fincher? They’d be like “WTF?! Why is Tyler getting all artsy fartsy” Tyler’s strength is his adherence to melodrama, no confusion about who the good/bad people are, no grey areas. His humor, while definitely rooted in “blue humor” of black comedy, is always over the top, never subtle & does not require real work for his audience. As much as I sometimes hate that, it WORKS for him & the people dig it.


On the makeup front-Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose, hands down. AMAZING make up work coupled with amazing acting work. That girl was what, 28?! & you would NEVER have known it, especially Edith’s final years. BENJAMIN BUTTON was damn good too, especially for Brad as the young (old) man & Taraji.

A-List: Ehh…the A-List discussion…I’m not sold on it because A-List in the biz is different than outside. It’s even a stupid discussion for insiders LOL A-List on the street is whoever you know. Sam Worthington is A-List, why? Because he’s hot right now, but that doesn’t mean he can command big dollar payday (which no one really can anymore) and he can’t necessarily get a movie made. Him getting attached to a movie is one thing, but it’s quite another for a studio or production company to get funding. Folks would call Anthony Mackie A-List because he’s in all these movies but he’s not cracking $100,000 up until recently-if that. That’s HUGE to you & me, especially for what could be anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months work, but it ain’t 7 & 8 figures-it’s working actor status. Building, earning, stacking chips, the old fashioned way so that when you reach that big payday, it’ll stay that way.

So when Cynthia posted that with all the different criteria, it was just “who do we like” & I guess that’s really all A-List is anymore. Used to “mean” something in a town nothing means anything LOL I do think though, it’s not quite accurate about movies like SOCIAL NETWORK & TRUE GRIT & KING’S SPEECH. Those films’ box office grew once they were nominated, or grew after a protracted theatrical run. They weren’t out of the gate huge earners, which in the grand scheme of things is how you want it, a constant star instead of a shooting star. But studios are too bloated now to depend on late bloomers & constant stars, they need BIG, BIG, BIG, NOW, NOW, NOW. You can’t use them as the clear example of idea driven movies with non-name stars that made big bank. People aren’t going to the movies for any & everything like they used to, so they need more “glitter” to tell them which one to pay attention to i.e. Oscar noms, explosions, teen girls in varying stages of undress.

That’s why I don’t put Beyonce on that highest of high list. She is the world’s biggest MUSIC star, scratch that, second biggest (Lady Gaga has taken that mantle I believe) but anyway, Beyonce is HUGE! But can Beyonce get in anything strictly about acting, especially something that doesn’t have music in it? Trust me, the major studios could give two shits about OBSESSED making 80 mil. It’s cool, made a shit load of money compared to how much it cost, but it ain’t Titanic/Avatar/Transformer’s money so we could care less. I’m paraphrasing, but that is how the studios view it, like an ant & an elephant.

Beyonce being put up for say..umm…a remake of FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, wouldn’t happen. They’d call Rachel Weisz, or Cate Blanchett. When there are those kinds of special situations & caveats placed on whether or not a person’s gonna be in the movie, that to me kills “A-List” status. Will Smith, Denzel, not that many-if any-restrictions exist to what they can do in Hollywood. Same with Hanks, Cruise, Roberts. Yeah they had films that might have not done “as well” as expectations, but they get that return engagement because the belief is that it was an aberration. Beyonce has a bad movie, two in a row, “well that’s what we expected”. That’s not A-List.

As I said before, I don’t like the term A-List, because it is such a clear separator of actors, the “good” & the “bad” & obscures my sorta naïve notion “Are they right for the part?” Her test will be A STAR IS BORN, and even though this has a lot to do with music, there is Eastwood & MUCH real acting involved & last time that happened, it was CADILLAC RECORDS, in which she didn’t exactly kill it, but was decent.

And yes, everyone is having problems getting money because the pipelines are drying up, the economy is in a crunch. Shit Spielberg owns his own studio and he’s been begging Reliance for $500 Million for forever! It’s why you see film actors/directors/writers migrating to tv, Especially cable. They have constant budget, ridiculous creative control and don’t have to worry about ratings. You watch GAME OF THRONES because you like fantasy or the novels, not because you watch ABC at 9pm while the kids do their homework. When you barely crack a million viewers or just north of that & are considered a hit, folks in the biz know what time it is. That’s numbers in THEIR favor creatively. Spielberg EP’ing 3 shows on the air-TERRA NOVA, SMASH, FALLEN SKIES, smart guy that Spielberg is.

Really enjoyed the podcast guys. Keep doing it!


I thoroughly enjoyed listened to Clifton, so thank you all and thank you Clifton (if he’s reading) for calling in.

I hate I contributed to the “my favorites” listing in the discussion concerning A-list. I enjoyed Sergio’s comments as well as Tambay, Noelani and Cynthia. I’m not in the biz as much as you all; just a fan on the outside with years (a lifetime) of looking in. A-list = “can get a project greenlit”. Gotcha. And I liked the mentioning of Beyonce in the Oscar-snubbed “Obsession” feature. She really DID put butts in seats ‘coz errrybody came out to view that gem of cinema. But where were those same folks for “Cadillac Records”? She can get a project greenlit, I’m definitely seeing it, but what ‘kind’ of projects (from here on out) based on the performances of those two features that I think she had a handle in producing, as well?

And what’s the breakdown with any of our others who can snap fingers and put on the greenlight for stories they want told? What ‘kind’ of features would Hollyweird say ‘yes’ to and ‘no’ to from a Will Smith or Halle Berrrrry or whomever.

And interesting the mention of Steven Spielberg having problems sometimes getting projects okay’ed.

As for Mary and “Nina Simone”, I just, I don’t know. Given the outline you provided concerning the script, I don’t know. Bipolar disorder and Nina being a musical genius, a woman, a black woman, an ex-patriot, etc. etc. etc. There’s so many layers to be uncovered… Will wait and see on this one. Good luck Mary.

Great show, everyone. :)



Hip Hip Hooray for Clifton Powell! The man was on spot on so many issues. On one issue he spoke on the concept of praising in public and Admonishing in private. Now I have to bring in my man Malcolm X.

Malcolm said: “We too have to realize here in America we all have a common enemy. He’s the same man-blue eyes and blood hair and pale skin – the same man. So we have to do what they did. They agreed to stop quarreling among themselves. Any little spat that they had, they’d settle it among themselves. go into a huddle — don’t let the enemy know that you’ve got a disagreement”

.” And when you have a family squabble, you don’t get on the sidewalk. If you do, everybody calls you uncouth, unrefined, uncivilized, savage” ~ Malcolm X.

Yep, in essence, Clifton said the same thing. Don’t tell my brotha and don’t ask my brotha, bring it to ME! If not, the alledged “constructive feedback” is nothing more than hatin’ and ego stroking.

Moving on, the definition of an A-list actor?: An actor who is in demand and his name is easily recognizable vs. the popularity of an actor to a specific sector/culture of movie goers vs. an actor who can get a green light on a film. And yawl chose “green light”?! Well, if that question (what’s an A – list and who’s on the A-list) was ask of 1 thousand people, it’s my opinion that y’alls answer would be in the less the 1%. category. Check it out, do it at home. Say to your spouse, or lover “hey baby, how about a movie? Okay? But lets not take any chances, at least bring back one with an A-list actor” . Now I’d venture to say, the movie picked could feature anyone of 100 or more stars.

On another note, I think Cynthia and the cast, sort of disagreed with Clifton’s opinion of taking it behind closed doors. I mean, I am basing my opinion on someone’s comment of “we need to talk about “it”. Now I don’t know what “it” is or what exactly “we” need to talk about. but I question when and where is the right time to talk about it-what-and with whom?

That leads me to the planned “discussion group” comments. I heard the group would consist of individuals involved in the film business. Okay, will real issues and discourse hit the table? Will it be a discussion of distinctly differing points of view or a popular opinion chat fest? Where is the person or persons that actually buy the tickets? Those that believe they are in the “inner circle” should consider the opinions of those outside the circle.

I hope it isn’t another form of a pretentious Cornell West round table discussion; telling folks what “they” need, and not listening to what the common man wants and needs. He who drive the car, should be sitting somewhere close to the steering wheel. Questions questions questions… what’s the issues, whose points of views are you looking for and why? I believe the film business is designed for the sole purpose of giving viewers a source of entertainment, and thus, giving them something they want to see. Aretha said: “I ‘m giving him something he can feel, to let him know our love is real” not “ I’m forcing something on him, that he can’t feel”

The Emotions….” Don’t ask my neighbor (or your family and friends), ask….

Moving forward, re: Tambay’s assessment of the Nina Simone project.

Taraji Henson’s makeup as a older woman in “Benjamin Button“, didn’t hinder her from receiving an Oscar Nod. And, Flashbacks (although you don’t like them Tambay) can be a very effective tool, if done right. Also, you mentioned the amount of “music” that’s incorporated in the movie. I believe music, which sets a tone and mood, can be the saving grace of a movie. I do know it’s a essential part of every movie. In short, I believe the success of this movie will rest at the feet of the director. The use, and length of the flashbacks, again, if done right, can capture an audience. So, as Clifton Powell mentioned, he got together with the director of his latest movie, before a scene was shot. So, I believe I can safely assume that most movies do not follow the script, word for word, action for action. I say shot the flashbacks, and then edit them as needed. Sometimes, I believe a film needs those flashbacks to set a specific mood. And what sets the tone/mood better than music/music scores?

On to Mary J: Since she is a professional entertainer, I believe she can take her training and natural ability to “perform” and possibly carry this movie. Let me count the ways of others have gone before her…

Jamie Fox, Queen Latifah, Ice Cube, Ethel Waters, Tupac! Whitney Houston, Beyonce! LL Cool J, Tyrese, Gregory Hines, Jennifer Hudson, and the list goes on. Hey, even Janet Jackson carried one of Tyler’s movies. And let’s not forget about Jill Scott. Hey, Louis Farrakhan was a calypso dancer/singer. :-)

But what about a time called now?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *