Shallit: Magic Johnson lends his star power to indie film
By Bob Shallit -- Bee Columnist
Published 2:15 am PST Wednesday, January 11, 2006
A local film company is getting a huge assist
- from basketball star-turned-entrepreneur Magic Johnson.
We reported last year that Hooks &
Taylor Entertainment was discussing a deal with Johnson, the
former L.A. Lakers star and NBA Hall of Famer. Now, a Johnson
Enterprises spokeswoman confirms, the deal is done.
Johnson will become executive producer of
"7eventy5ive" - the local firm's horror film that
was shot last year mostly at the company's soundstage, a former
pear warehouse in the Delta town of Hood. Johnson's role will
include backing an unprecedented publicity campaign for an
The film will get "cross-promoted"
at Johnson's Burger King restaurants, movie theaters, TGI
Friday's restaurants and 24 Hour Fitness centers. A tour of
TV talk shows is planned.
And, with the help of Def Jam Records'
marketing department, filmmakers Deon Taylor of Sacramento
and partner Brian Hooks will do a grass-roots marketing campaign
at colleges, nightclubs and local TV shows.
"This takes us to a whole other dimension,"
says Taylor, a one-time Florin High basketball standout who
went on to play college and pro hoops and then got into the
music and movie business.
The upshot: Taylor says the film could get
enough traction to duplicate the success of another small-budget
horror film, "Saw," which brought in more than $100
Current status: Reshoots of a few scenes
are being completed later this month at H & T's studio
Hip-hop musician Wyclef Jean is starting
to work on the score for the film, which revolves around a
college prank that goes gruesomely awry. The planned theatrical
release date? Fittingly, Halloween Day.
About the writer:
Reach Bob Shallit at (916) 321-1049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back columns: www.sacbee.com/shallit.