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Apparently, Damon Dash and Kanye West Are Teaming Up to Make Movies, “Cutting Out the Middleman”

Apparently, Damon Dash and Kanye West Are Teaming Up to Make Movies, "Cutting Out the Middleman"

It may not be widely-known that music mogul, and all-around businessman, Damon Dash, is also very active in the movie business, as an actor, director, and producer. He’s produced or executive produced a few Lee Daniels-stamped films (“Shadowboxer,” “The Woodsman,” and “Tennessee”), and even has 4 feature film directing credits to his name, including “Paper Soldiers” and “State Property 2.” 

Most recently, the Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder has been in the news thanks to his lawsuit against Lee Daniels, over the filmmaker’s work on such films as “The Butler,” “Precious,” “The Paperboy,” as well as the aforementioned “The Woodsman,” “Shadowboxer” and “Tennessee.” Dash filed a summons last summer that outlined his claims of having agreements with Daniels (including $2 million he claims he gave to Daniels to produce “The Woodsman”) that provide the basis for why he believes he is entitled to certain credits, ownership and millions of dollars in compensation from all of those films that he apparently hasn’t received.

It all sounds quite messy, and, as of today, there’s no evidence that the case has been resolved.

You can read all about it here

But Dash has even bigger plans than anything he’s done previously, based on the below post he shared on his Instagram page a couple of days ago (thanks to reader Grace for the heads-up on that. I don’t follow Dash on any social media sites, so I likely wouldn’t have known about this otherwise). And as you can see, he’s apparently teamed up with Kanye West for some kind of movie-making initiative. He doesn’t give any specifics, and a Google search revealed nothing more on this revelation, so let’s hope to learn more in the near future, whether from Dash, West, or Q-Tip.

His comparison to Spielberg and Geffen getting together is obviously in reference to Steven Spielberg and David Geffen (along with Jeffrey Katzenberg) teaming up to create Dreamworks in 1994. Each is said to have invested $33+ million of their own money (for a total of about $100 million), and received another $500 million from Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen, to launch the studio. So are we then to assume that this stated new movie-making venture that Dash and West are launching, is being funded in a similar style, with their own money, and maybe an investment from another (or others)? I wonder how much seed money they plan to launch with? Are we talking Hollywood-style, big budget productions? Indie numbers? Is there a specific kind of film they want to make? Etc, etc, etc…

Lots of questions to be answered here.

Kanye West has said that he’s, in part, motivated by the desire to push art (in whatever artistic space he enters) beyond the typical and expected – essentially, he likes to experiment, forcing audience tastes to meet his, and not the other way around. So can we expect an attempt to disrupt not only how movies are made, distributed and consumed (Dash’s Instagram post does say “cut out the middleman), but also what audiences have come to expect movies (maybe specifically mainstream movies) to be?

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the new dash film is ,unfortunately, exactly what some predicted…..some gun busting hood flick.."Loisaidas" trailer is up. I thought the Wire destroyed the one dimensional hood crime film genre.


Cool TroubleMaker, I see your point. Btw, speaking of change, what’s you opinion of Black-ish now (we haven’t talked about it in a minute)? I believe they’ve completely turned it around. Of course we’ll never agree on what’s funny or not, but do you believe or have seen that they’ve settled down into a groove? If so, what changed for you? One more BTW, I do appreciate our exchanges, even if we don’t always agree. I try not to take this too serious. And I hope I am not too, you know, too ni**erish in my style of rebuttal? In my defense, I try to approach each reader as if we’re friends talking in a club or on a neighborhood stoop, and I write like I talk… no fakin’, no pretentious bs.


@CareyCarey All I’m saying is you need to check out that trailer for their new movie. S&A should be posting it any day now. Dash hasn’t improved since he first came out with his first hoodrat movie and that was back in 2002. I’m all about giving our folks a break but I’m not supporting hoodrat films.


Good one TroubleMaker… "they can see that for free on Empire" *lol* Talk about it. ain’t that some mess? Anyway, my preaching would be the same… give the guys a new chance. And, as Alan said, The Woodsman wasn’t a bad film, at all. In fact, as he said, it was pretty good, imo. And look, say what you will about Lee Daniels, but he is talented and he makes folks money. So Dash has connections to folks who have connections with, well, you know how it goes. But granted, their previous films are filled with hoodish hood-mess, but who says they’ll continue in that same lane. Listen, I know you’ve heard of Alfred HItchcock, right? Okay, its been noted that since he wasn”t an American and thus unfamiliar with some of their ways/culture, he’d bring in writers and other professionals to do what he couldn’t. I am suggesting that as our 3 businessmen/filmakers live a little longer and hopefyully learn from thier past mis-steps, they will change for the better. Or at least, we should give them the benefit of doubt and let them grow before shooting them down. Cool? In short, I say, if they have the dough and rusb shoulders with people who "KNOW", then they’re set to go. Lets help them, not "profile" them.


@CareyCarey You need to see that hoodrat trailer Dash has made before you start careying on. All you see is shooting, weed, money, hood, more shooting and more weed. They want someone to spend money on that? People can see that for free on Empire!


A fictional military officer said, "I love the smell of Napalm in the morning. It destroys everything in its path." He was referring to the enemy, they don’t have a chance when Napalm is present. It’s an incendiary jelly used in bombs and flamethrowers. Well, that’s what I’m smelling coming from the mouths of some of the comments in the form of the "profiling" of these three men. These young black businessmen are on a journey which could reap tremendous benefits for them and the black film world. However, for whatever reasons, their dress, their music background or their skin color, some are not giving them a chance, killing their journey just as naplam destroyed the enemies path. These talented young men are not our enemy. We should support them, assist them, help them, not spray them with naplam. Can I get an Amen, please?


"The Woodsman" was a good film that had a lot of dramatic tension. If they can make another movie that good, I’d be satisfied.

Dr. Beat

Between the three of them, Tip is the brains of the outfit. Even working together Dash and West can barely string an English sentence together without sounding like idiots. "This is like when Spielberg and Geffen got together and did dreamworks…me and Kanye making movies.." Good Lord, man. What stories can they tell?


I guess Damon Dash missed the memo… that he isn’t very good at making movies.


@June ISIS is present day if you if your not so OBTUSE ISIS is about Terrorist you to update your history and what does Terrorist have to do with Slavery which is the past and ISIS is the present and the concept was to ask why this Black guy got released from being taken hostage! Got it can some body please explain to her that Terrorism and slavery are two different situations! OMG!


This could be big if they don’t believe the hype about black films and the audience that white hollywood has sold them. they can start by doing films in the 3 to 10 million dollars budget with stories that white hollywood is not telling with black people starring and as they establish themselves do bigger budget films or they can go the other route like 50 cent, get 200 million and do bs movies that hollywood has been doing forever and get a whole bunch of white stars for your movies instead of black stars because you believe this is the way to make money.


"if they’re planning to attract talent to do the work, why would the talent choose them over real studios with solid distribution in place?". Why? Are you serious, money trumps all. But I do see a problem. Whites who had a stronghold on the music business were selling products enjoyed by a universal audience. Even music performed by African Americans (i.e. R&B, Soul and Jazz) they were enjoyed and purchased by non-African Americans. Movies are totally different. Most "black" films are not supported by whites. Additionally, unlike the music that black folks most enjoy, their movie tastes are across the board, most preferring white productions starring white actors.


@LeonRaymond – LMFAO!
no more Precious, The Butler and slavery films – enough!
@LeonRaymond -LMFAO


Hmmmmmmm…don’t know what they have in mind for potential films. I choose to keep an open mind and wait and see.


Unfortunately it takes more than a photo opp to make a good movie the public wants to see…unlike the music business which is nothing but photo-opps…none of these guys has the chops to write and direct a film worthy of attention (they would have done it by now)…if they’re planning to attract talent to do the work, why would the talent choose them over real studios with solid distribution in place?…even DreamWorks began flailing almost immediately after its launch and never recovered…in short, not impressed…and the other thing…these guys market to a demo that loves to get free bootlegs of films, not purchase them…lol


YES, an ISIS/Black America super hero team up/ American Oriigin Story sounds Awesome!


Be afraid be very afraid. We are about to see a flood of ghetto thug movies like never before unless they shock us with some thing new that can be considered high brow and I don’t mean another Slavery film, How about a film about the true story of the Black man that was Kidnapped and released by ISIS and what they told him about America and why they let him go now that’s a true story and whopper! But I have not been able to get the man’s name and any more information about it!

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