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?
The thing we don’t do historically and culturally is stick together but we are stopping that now if we stick together we don’t need any middle men from others cultures… We know we can do it on our own…but we are so powerful together…pause and we have our own money..we already made history in music so we can do that for fun so we’re gonna do movies… This is like when Spielberg and Geffen got together and did dreamworks…it’s time…me and kanye making movies and my brother Qtip was there to bless the deal #independencewon #cutoutthemiddleman photo by @raquelmhorn @loisaidas @damondashstudios @dressedtokill_ddstudios @toohonorable_ddstudios @qtiptheabstract
A photo posted by @duskopoppington on