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April 2006
Preaching to the Choir: An Interview with Roger Bobb

Preaching to the Choir: An Interview with Roger Bobb

by Wilson Morales

April 10, 2006

I first interviewed Roger Bobb about 4 years ago when he was working as an Asssistant Director to a number of films, including 30 Years to Life (by Vanessa Middleton) and since then he's continued to work as an AD but also has had the ability to be part of the production team as a producer as well. Just last year, Bobb worked on Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman as a 1st Assistant Director, where it grossed over $100 million dollars on a budget of $5 million; and this year, in working with Perry again, Bobb served as a Co-producer / First Assistant Director to "Madea's Family Reunion", which opened and broke box office records at $30 million and stayed atop for 2 straight weeks. Needless to say, Bobb has a good track of picking good projects. His latest project which is coming to the big screen on April 14th is the first feature film being released by Codeblack Entertainment and that is "Preaching to the Choir", directed by Charles Randolph-Wright. Bobb is the Associate Producer on the film. He also is currently supervising post production on the Tyler Perry television series "House Of Payne" and in pre-production on his next movie "Daddy's Little Girls. In speaking to blackfilm.com, Bobb spoke about his involvement on "Preaching to the Choir" and the success he had thus far in working with Tyler Perry.

How did this project come to you?

Roger Bobb: Like most projects, I got a call one day from the Executive Producer who had heard about me from another producer who I had worked with and wanted me on the project. That is the purifying thing about this business; your work truly speaks for itself. For me it was great because I had just finished producing State Property 2 and I was anxious to work on a film with a more positive message.

Can you explain your role as the Associate Producer and the Assistant Director on the film?

RB: I was first hired as the First AD which entails scheduling the film and running the actual shooting process. The AP credit came during post production. The other producers were having difficulty obtaining distribution and my experiences producing other "black" films and producing Tyler Perry films helped secure the distribution deal that we eventually signed.

This film has been making the festival rounds for over a year. Was it by choice, or were you (and the other producers) waiting for a better deal to get it on the big screen?

RB: It was by choice we wanted to create a buzz while we secured the right deal. We could have signed deals for lesser screens or straight to DVD, but we truly felt that we had a quality movie that given the right circumstances and distribution partner, would be successful theatrically as well as on the small screen.

Did you have a hand on choosing the director?

RB: No the director was attached prior to me coming on board and they made an excellent choice.

Why go with CodeBlack Entertainment as a distributor?

RB: Jeff Clanagan's CodeBlack Ent made sense. He saw the film in front of an enthusiastic audience at the ABFF and recognized the potential. He has experience releasing films to the urban market, and the deal that he has with Radio-One, TV-One ensured a good marketing push. Most importantly he offered us the most guaranteed screens of all the other distributors.

What other films are you looking to produce?

RB: Any film with a positive message that is well written and can find and will resonate with enough of an audience that will translate to financial success, this is a business!!!

What are some of the struggles for a black producer? There are a number of black films out there but we never get to hear about or see them until it's on DVD.

RB: Like our white counterparts finding good material is always difficult. Although there are a number of films out there, not all of them have the production value that is necessary or have a story that will translate with enough audiences to warrant significant release. However with the success of The Gospel and Tyler's plays and films I do see a window of opportunity for faith based content.

How excited are you about the success of Madea's Family Reunion?

RB: Very excited and so is my accountant (smiles) just kidding it is a blessing to be part of something that motivates and touches people in a positive way. I know that Tyler's films are not for everyone but people need to respect the positive messages in his films and the fact that like Spike and John he is committed to employing minorities behind the camera in key positions.

When will you step up and direct your own feature?

RB: Soon, I just have to find the right script and the time, as we speak I am supervising post production on the Tyler Perry television series "House Of Payne" and in pre-production on his next movie "Daddy's Little Girls" all while also working on the release of "Preaching To The Choir". But like life, it will be in God's time and by his design.

PREACHING TO THE CHOIR opens on April 14th in select markets, which includes Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, D.C/Baltimore, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Augusta, Norfolk, Cleveland, Memphis, Charlotte, Richmond, Raleigh-Durham, Indianapolis, Dayton, Columbus, Jacksonville, Louisville, and Minneapolis


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