Monday, December 14, 2015

Someone to Watch in Hollywood! Interview with Lyle Howry

Lyle Howry

CEO – Founder

Skinfly Entertainment

Producer – Film Finance- Studio Negotiations

Lyle Howry, the founder and CEO of Skinfly Entertainment has been associated with the entertainment industry for more than 30 years. Including ten years in corporate finance, as well as specializing in studio negotiations.

His impressive entertainment career began as an actor on the award-winning television series Moonlighting (1985). Howry then moved interests from acting to international film finance. This new direction took him to London, Hong Kong, Taiwan and numerous other country's to close international finance and motion picture investment deals.

Lyle used his experience and contacts to help co/executive-produce The Dukes of Hazzard in 1985. Reggie's Prayer (1996), distributed by Arrow Releasing Inc., in which football legend Reggie White made his acting debut. Lyle has work on and produced numerous films and television projects with many other top studios and companies.

In 1997 he teamed up with legendary Former Paramount Pictures studio head Frank Yablans and helped secure funding dollars for the feature film A Dog of Flanders starring Jon Voight, Cheryl Ladd and many other top actors.

That project won a Bronze Gryphon Award and was nominated for a Joseph Plateau Award.

Lyle then met with renowned Martial Arts promoter Stan Witz and created a ground breaking rights deal.

In 2015 Lyle released the movie” STREET” staring Beau "Casper" Smart, Mark Ryan and Kate Miner. His next film project was “You Can't Have It” Staring Armand Assante, Dominique Swain, Joanna Krupa Rob Gronkowski and many more top actors which releases in 2016.

Street is out in limited release in theaters now and receiving rave reviews.

Also in development The Ultimate Game -Born in June- Outwitting the Devil

Lyle’s career is far from slowing down as he continues to take on Hollywood!

Interview with Lyle Howry

Tell us about your career. How did you get into film?

Lyle: I owned a successful custom wood finishing business in the early 80's and did many of the rich and famous homes in Beverly Hills and throughout California, so money was not an issue. At the same time I was trying to become an Actor and dabbled in modeling. One day I happened to start a conversation with a producer on one of the sets I was on. I mentioned how It was tough to be an extra actor and to get my sag card.. He jokingly said “well become a producer and if you succeed, you can pick and choose what you want do in this crazy business.”

From that point on I started mingling with people at some of the popular clubs in LA that were very hard to get into like Roxbury nightclub, Bar One and many more. I quickly learned it was all about getting the money, money talks in Hollywood. It's all about who you know and what they can do for you or not. I then moved up the ladder and later on shared offices at Paramount Studios with the legendary Frank Yablans in the Billy Wilder building on the film Dog of Flanders. I helped bring in some of the pre-production funds on the film and I think that was the start of some of my success Frank was a tough but great guy and I learned allot from him.

You’ve spent a long time in the television and film. Was The Dukes of Hazzard your first experience in this industry?

Lyle: No - I was an extra on several television shows and films. I don't even think half of them amounted to anything, but I was star struck working 18 hour days for peanuts holding onto the dream, I guess I have paid my dues.

What has been the highlight of your career?

Lyle: Well I would have to say, first to have my kids see me moving up the ladder and being proud of me, it has not always been easy and still is not easy. Being a single father and juggling career in entertainment and raising sons is the hardest thing I think ever had to do other than raise myself alone most of my life.

I could come and go and do what I had to to survive the streets or whatever came at me, with kids they depend on you as the bread winner. Other than that I think the last few years have been the best, I mean don't get me wrong it has been good but still hard in this business, it never gets easy, as a Producer you are responsible for people, product and money. If something goes wrong you are to blame so I have to eat stress for breakfast. It's not a 9-5 job, I work 24-7 if I have too. I think my back growing up as an orphan gave me the drive to take on almost any challenge put in front of me, people love to tell you will not amount to anything or want to beat you down, you just have to be a fighter and eventually you will get what you want if the cards are in your favor.

What has been the most challenging thus far?

Lyle: Relationships, just kidding. I think the most challenging is to continue to find funding and not bow down to doing a film just because there is a hefty paycheck in it for you. I see so much of that in this town and ask myself how does that film get done or who would put money into a film that you know is never going to make money. I will probably ask myself that question until the day I die.

All joking aside I try to act like the money I am spending for someone is mine and get the most for my productions, I have learned alot in over 30 years in this business and still learn and listen everyday, but you will not always please everyone and you will always get good press and bad, it’s all good if they are talking about you, forget the haters and move forward, keep positive because if you let it get to you will go crazy.

Tell us your dream co-production. If you could co-direct a film with any director/producer, who would you want to team up with and what film or what kind of film genre would you want to work on?

Lyle: Wow, well I could rattle off many but I think I would love to work with Sly Stallone, I will never forget the time we were in the locker room at Holiday Health Club on La brea and Hollywood Blvd, when Sly was doing Rocky and was pissed off because someone broke into his apartment and stole his stereo system.

I remember thinking I wish I could be him then, now I know his story and admire him immensely and would love to work with him. I hope he sees this because he will remember saying that line in a locker room, lol

Another is Leonardo DiCaprio, I saw him at Bar One back in the day and gave him his first Cohiba Cigar, so he said anyways I have to believe him he was young then and a nice kid. I can see why he has made it as big as he is. Wow I could tell stories for ever but I think I would love to work with Martin Scorsese and many more the list is too long.

Recently, you released the film, “Street”. Can you tell us a little about this film and what you’re most proud about this project?

Lyle: Well I helped develop STREET and from the get go wanted it to be a franchise, it turned out to be a great film and was a passion project for me. I had many great filmmakers help me and great crew, never forget your crew they are the ones that make things happen. It was a challenge to do though and at the last minute I had to make a hard decision and give back the first investment money from the first investor in at the time who also wanted to star in the film.

After watching him in casting I just did not feel he was the one for the lead role, not that he couldn't act but something deep inside said you need someone different so I turned down the money and was within 2 weeks of a start date and had to come up with the full budget. A co/producing friend of mine Jeff Ross helped me out and the rest is history. It is out now in limited release and will be in stores in the New Year. It has not been an easy road with it, but it is a great film with a faith based feel with lots of action, there are no swear words in it, yes can you believe that, but several current UFC and MMA fighters like URIAH HALL, Matt Mitrione and former UFC great Frank Trigg with many more real fighters. We also have the ex EWC Johnny Nitro aka John Morrison if you’re a wrestling fan. Also starring legendary British actor Mark Ryan who is the voice of several characters in the Transformers chain well as Bumble Bee, he is also known for Black Sails and many more films and television projects.

STREET is like Rocky meets Bloodsport with a tender message and caring story.

Tell us about your upcoming film “You Can’t Have It”. What is the premise behind the film and who would love to see this movie?

Lyle: Well it is a very twisted but modern day action thriller true to life about what is going on in our country today, it is focused on CIA,FBI Local police, Cartel and spy's all in one place at one time and no one knows who to trust or who is doing what.

Without giving it away it will be a very cool trendy but real to life film that will make you think about what is going on in the world around you and you are blind to it. Great cast Legendary actor Armand Assante, American Gangster, Gotti and many more Joanna Krupa House wife's many more, Dominique Swain Face off,Jillian Murray Code Black and Rob Gronkowski and his brother Daniel and several other great actors. I guess people that would want to see it would be into Black List, Homeland and films and shows of that genre.

Your career seems to only just now starting to take off. What else is in store for Lyle Howry?

Lyle: With 3 films under my belt this year you would think I would take a break, wrong bring it on!! I am in negotiations right now for a 4 to 5 picture deal with a major company and looking at several other larger films. We now self-distribute films domestically theatrically including Indie films that might not ever make it to the theaters. So I can say I have a lot on my plate... Thank you for this interview!

All Indie Magazine: Our pleasure, Lyle!

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