With his first big film coming out this August, Darryl Rayvoyn Terrell has a lot to think about. This director and producer is looking forward to the release of Number One Contender, a martial arts film that shows what happens when a man must fight for his life. Terrell’s film is slated for release on August 26th, and it would appear that this is the culmination of all his industry experience.
Terrell’s work as an actor has included roles in Approaching Midnight and Detroit Bad Boyz, but Number One Contender will be his major directorial debut. He claims that he has always wanted to work in the entertainment industry, and today he defines himself as an “independent actor, filmmaker [and] director.”
Terrell has not had it easy on his way to success. He worked in modeling, but quit in the 1990s because of “politics.” He decided to come back to the film industry years later to work in film promotion. After traveling through California and Chicago, Terrell realized that there were not many opportunities for a black man to take on a hard-hitting lead role. This led to the start of his production company.
Terrell began writing films and shorts, “doing anything [he] could,” according to a Youtube interview. He hoped to gain a name with his hip-hop music videos and films. Terrell’s first film, Lucky, has yet to achieve a release date. Apparently, the “actors got too big,” and Terrell had to put it on the backburner to focus on other projects. Might we expect a release date soon? Perhaps.
Now, Terrell is completing post-production on Contender, which began filming in September of 2013. This action movie is “big,” following the story of a man whose brother gets caught up in an underground group in Detroit and is soon unable to pay off his debts. His must learn to fight for his life.
Essentially, Terrell does not want to be a filmmaker who is typecasted. In reference to the topic, the director says, “We only do what we see every day instead of trying to jump out of our comfort zone and do something different.” His desire for diversity is palpable.
Terrell has one piece of motivational advice for aspiring filmmakers out there – use the word ‘no’ as motivation. This is a filmmaker who has been turned away just because of the way he looks. In the interview Terrell says, “People put me in a box.” At the same time, he acknowledges that the culmination of positive and negative experiences have led him to success. “I don’t know if it’s going to work or not. But why not try?”