DGA Honors: Tyler Perry on the Films That Got Him Into the Guild

Tyler Perry wrote and starred in the 2005 film “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” which surprised industryites when it opened at No. 1 at the box office. Perry, whose Atlanta production center is about to expand, is being recognized for his contributions to film and television.

“I have been a DGA member since my first film, ‘Madea’s Family Reunion,’ which was over 10 years ago,” Perry says. “In those days, I was just telling stories I loved but I was working to understand the filmmaking process and the roles of everyone on set who helped supplement my work as a director, the unit production manager, editor, assistant directors, etc. Man, I had no idea what I was doing but it was an incredible experience and I was hooked.

“I am still telling the stories that speak to me and my audience, but now I have a shorthand with my crew that I didn’t have in those days. I tend to use the same people project to project so we understand each other, which allows for the pace with which we shoot.

“While I used to only act in my own films, in recent years I have had the opportunity to act for some other incredible directors like David Fincher and J.J. Abrams, and it’s been really interesting to see how differently every director approaches the process.”

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