Deon Taylor is an unabashed creative force in the world of ﬁlm and television. In Hollywood, roles vary and job functions are often blurred and blended and few in Hollywood exhibit the capacity and skill set necessary to bridge all functions and roles successfully – Deon is one of the few who does through his production company Hidden Empire Film Group.
A prolific writer, flmmaker, director and idea generator, Taylor forges his own path, bringing fresh, original content with a unique voice behind it to audiences. Taylor recently wrote, directed and produced the thriller The Intruder starring Dennis Quaid, Michael Ealy and Meagan Good, released by Sony’s Screen Gems in May of 2019. A few months later Taylor followed up that success with another Sony Screen Gems ﬁlm, Black and Blue, starring Academy Award Nominee, Naomie Harris, Frank Grillo, Tyrese Gibson and Mike Colter. Black and Blue is a thriller written by Peter Dowling, which follows a rookie New Orleans African-American female cop who stumbles upon corrupt ofﬁcers who are murdering a drug dealer, an incident captured by her body cam. Taylor also produced, with Jamie Foxx, the upcoming comedy feature All-Star Weekend, starring Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Gerard Butler, Eva Longoria, Jeremy Piven, Jessica Szohr, which Jamie Foxx directed.
Next up for Taylor, he produced, wrote the story and directed the taut thriller Fatale starring two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank with Michael Ealy and Mike Colter, which was written by David Loughery. The ﬁlm has been acquired by Lionsgate for wide release.
In 2018, Taylor directed the ﬁlm Trafﬁk, an intense sex trafﬁcking thriller starring Paula Patton, Missi Pyle, Omar Epps, William Fichtner and Roselyn Sanchez, released theatrically by Lionsgate’s CodeBlack Films. The ﬁlm was nominated for an NAACP, Image Award for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture. Also nominated for 2019 AMAA Best Dispora Narrative Feature.
Last year, Taylor wrote and directed the ﬁlm’s sequel Meet the Blacks 2: The House Next Door, due out in theaters ﬁrst quarter 2020. Film stars include comedy icons Mike Epps and Katt Williams. Additional cast includes Rick Ross, Danny Trejo, Bresha Webb, Zulay Henao, Andrew Bachelor (aka “King Bach”), and comedians Lil Duval, Michael Blackson and Tyrin Turner. Taylor ﬁrst rose to Hollywood’s attention with the success of Meet The Blacks, a ﬁlm Taylor wrote, directed, produced and distributed independently, outside of the Hollywood system. The success of the ﬁlm’s self-distribution created awareness of his ﬁlmmaking skills. Previously, Taylor wrote and directed Supremacy which received critical acclaim participating in The La Film Festival, Muse section and winning the AMAA for Best Diaspora.
Taylor’s ﬁlms have been ﬁnanced by his longtime business partner and lead investor, Robert F. Smith, founder of Vista Equity Partners, which is consistently ranked as one of the top Private Equity Firms in the world. Taylor’s producing partner is Roxanne Taylor, a visionary producer and executive, who manages Hidden Empire Film Group alongside Taylor.
Additionally, Taylor executive produced, with Robert F. Smith, and Roxanne Taylor the series Be Woke. Vote. The digital series, a social media philanthropic initiative to encourage non-voters to vote and young people to discuss political issues affecting our communities, was hosted by CNN’s Van Jones as well as Roland Martin and Tameka ‘Tiny’ Harris. They conducted interviews with major celebrities and newsmakers from Entertainment to pop culture! Interviews included: Kim Kardashian-West, Jamie Foxx, Chelsea Handler, Will.i.am, Michael Ealy, Mike Colter, Sybrina Fulton (mother of Trayvon Martin), BJ the Chicago Kid, Bresha Webb, Maxine Waters, James Lawson, LisaRaye, Erica Ash, Chuck D, Zuly Henao and Erika Alexander. Be Woke Vote was nominated for two Webby Awards (Best Host and Social Content Series & Campaigns News & Politics).
Taylor was awarded the Sacramento Filmmaker of the year award in 2016 from the Sacramento Film Festival, Baron Jay Foundation’s 2018 Trailblazer Award, the Extraordinary Families’ 2018 Visionary Award and named the 2019 AAFCA Horizon Award recipient. He and HEFG received the Entrepreneurial Rising Star Award from the Black Business Leaders Hall of Fame and were presented the 2019 Location Manager Guild International (LMGI) Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Taylor has a background in marketing, sports and promotions. A Nike All-American basketball player from Gary, Indiana, he earned a biology degree at San Diego State University on a full basketball scholarship where he was named the conference’s “Newcomer of the Year.” Taylor went on to play professionally and still competes weekly in city leagues and pro-am tournaments.