Special Edition Story: Crosby Tatum on “Surprise, Surprise”

By Alpha Miguel-Sanford

Crosby Tatum is up for a cause! He is the producer, director, actor, film editor for his first film “Surprise, Surprise!!!” which he and his partner Jacquin Holland have been working for over five years.

Crosby also wants your support for his project.

In his upcoming film “Surprise, Surprise”  a romantic comedy about a smart, but socially under confident college student who tricks his womanizing best friend into switching identities, to date a beautiful, charming internet girl, to save his grades and his scholarship, Crosby wants something out of it. He wants to encourage viewers to encourage self-confidence and increase self-esteem. He knows about being intimated and being left out; he was in that situation before!

Having experienced that, he wants to send out a message about his project.

This is his story:

AMS: Tell us about yourself and what are you currently involved in.

Crosby: I’m a producer, director, writer, actor, editor, musician fromBoston,MA, my hometown.  Currently I am involved in over 5 different film, television, commercial, music projects at various stages and working on a feature film with Mark Wahlburg’s older brother, Arthur Wahlburg, called “Learn From The Master.”  We are currently shooting at the moment.

AMS: When did you start Triceptus Studios? What made you build this company? Tell us about the mission of you company?

Crosby: I started Triceptus Studios back in 2002 as my own venture, inspired by a class project I did at my college, The New England Institute of Art inBrookline,MA.  What made me build Triceptus Studios into what we are today was directly centered around our accomplishments in our early years of inception.  In 2003, we had an award-winning variety TV series called “The Beantown Block”.  We also produced and aired two other comedy pilots called, “DA’ Block Presents” (sketch comedy), and “All 4our One” (sitcom) in theNew England region.  We also worked on several music video & short film projects that were accepted into over five different film festivals in theNew England/New York Area.  We also produced our first music offering, “Laz & Cat – Tricity Vol. 1.”  That is currently on iTunes, Amazon, and many online music retailers worldwide.  We continuously develop new & exciting ideas and content for all entertainment mediums available and in development, which is our company’s mission: “to make creative, innovative, thought-provoking, and exciting entertainment for audiences around the world.”

AMS: You are in the process of creating your first film, “Surprise, Surprise” with Jacquin Holland. Tell us about this exciting project.

Crosby: Well, Surprise, Surprise is a romantic comedy about a smart, but socially underconfident college student who tricks his womanizing best friend into dating a beautiful, charming internet woman, to save his grades and his scholarship.  Its a film that has high stakes, high rewards, and high hilarity, with a story that you can enjoy with your family and friends.  We currently have Maya Gilbert attached to our film.  She is a Hollywood actress who has worked on TNT’s Southland, NBC’s Harry’s Law, and was recently in Ava Duvernay’s 2012 Sundance film, “Middle of Nowhere”.  Myself and Jacquin are slated right now to produce, direct, and act in the film, and we’re talking to anotherHollywood actress to join our project.

AMS: Who is/ are inspiration behind your first film?

Crosby: Believe it or not, this film’s inspiration comes from my experiences dealing with low self-esteem, and social underconfidence issues when it comes to talking with women.  It’s also inspired by my experiences dating online and also taking shortcuts with finding the right girl to be with rather than meeting them out in the open.  My friends are also inspirations behind this story because I believe from my observations hanging with them while they talk to different women, they can just pick girls up by the mere glance at them and grab their numbers up like their eating an extra tall stack of hot-butter pancakes, effortlessly mind you.  That is in stark comparison with myself who has to summon up a big, tall glass of courage, just to say ‘hello’ to someone hoping I don’t mix my words up or trip on my own shoe laces.

AMS: Why is this film very important to you? How will this impact the rest of the viewers.

Crosby: This film is important to me because, this is my story I want to share with everyone.  Social underconfidence and low self-esteem has been an issue with myself for so long that, I feel like I need to make this film to help myself become more open and more sociable with others, including the opposite sex.  At the same time I feel like our film might help inspire and encourage our viewers to become more sociable and confident in themselves, inspiring them for higher goals, and to just be open and honest with themselves in regard to the things they love or want in life.

AMS: How would you finance this film?

Crosby: Great question.  Because our budget is around $350,000 dollars, the best way for us to finance our film is to seek out private investors while also seeking sponsors for financial and vendor help.  To raise a portion of our budget, we just started a 30-day online fundraiser on indiegogo.com, a “crowd-funding” website, to get the ball rolling with financing this movie.  How indiegogo.com works is, we set a financial goal to raise for our film, to acquire talent and begin production.  In our case, our goal is set to $50,000 dollars.  People worldwide join in on our film project by donating as little as $1 dollar, which will lead us to reach our goal before our time limit is up.  In exchange for all donations, each donor gets a reward from us for every donation they make.  We keep the money if we reach our goal or not.  But if we don’t reach our goal, our film will be “negatively affected”, and we might not be able to make our movie.  Our fundraiser is online at: www.indiegogo.com/surprise.  Please share it with your family, friends, and colleagues alike.

AMS: How do you envision this film?

Crosby: I envision our film as an urbanized, “Cyrano de Bergerac”, that meets “The Kings Speech”, “The Social Network”, and “Van Wilder” at the curb.  In some ways, our film is almost like a throwback to some of the crazy, colorful black comedies of the 90’s and early 2000’s.  Such examples would be films like “Booty Call”, “Sprung”, “Friday”, and “Strictly Business”.  Our film will just has a lot more modern day references and technology in it, tossed in with our own colorful, smooth cinematic style we’re known for.

AMS: In creating and developing the idea of this inspiring romantic comedy film, what are some of the obstacles you encountered and how did you overcome them?

Crosby: We had several obstacles that have stood in our way of getting ready to make this film.  One of them is basically money because, to make a great picture with the right cast and crew, your gonna need the money, there’s no way around that.  But, one of the more challenging obstacles we’ve faced was, overcoming objections from those who really don’t see this film in the manner that we see it and getting people on board with our film.  That as it may be, we believe in our goal, we believe in our film and the talent we have, and we’re happy to be in the position we’re in now.

AMS: What do you think are the skills needed in order to become a successful film maker?

Crosby: I think you gotta have a little bit of a thick skin when it comes to being a filmmaker because, it’s highly competitive, very close knit, everyone has an opinion whether you like it or not.  You just have to believe in yourself and your abilities, and you just have to produce and execute solid content.  Relationships are key in this business because it’s talent-driven.  It just comes down to making sure you develop and foster your own style, you have a solid network of individuals to support you, and you continuously stay busy producing, directing, acting, or anything active in filmmaking.  Everything else will fall through.  Just stay patient.

AMS: Do you thinkBostoncould be the nextHollywood?

Crosby: I believe so.  We’ve been fortunate to house many big-time productions like “Zookeeper” and “Grown-Ups” and “The Town” thanks in part to the Massachusetts Film Office which facilitates the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit.  Boston and in particular,Massachusetts has been fortunate to work with many of the industry’s finest from around the world and we want to continue the work.  Until we have a self-reliant major production and distribution studio that can house both independent and major film and TV productions here inBoston, and essentiallyMassachusetts,Hollywood will beHollywood andBoston will always be a place whereHollywood uses for its productions.  We need to change that.  That’s just my opinion on the matter.

AMS: Finally, what is your definition of success.

Crosby: To me, success is saying something that you want to do, and doing exactly what you said you would do.  Results always change.  The outcome might not be what you expect it.  But if you stay focused on your goal, work hard to get it, and not detour yourself away from it, you will achieve it.  The moment you achieve your goal is the moment you’ll find success.  Anyone who wants success, just say what you want to do.  Then go do it.  Success will be waiting for you in the end.

To read other inspiring Success Stories, click here.