What do Ava DuVernay, Married at First Sight, and an epic seafood boil have in common? They’re all right here today as director Chan C. Smith of the Tessa Films roster answers Five Questions with SCREEN. Let’s get to it!
SCREEN: Your favorite commercial ever (not produced by you or your team)?
CHAN: Anything by Procter and Gamble, honestly. They are so good at bringing out natural emotion and challenging our way of thinking about content. Their most impactful commercial to me was the Widen the Screen campaign where they challenged us to think about common misperceptions and stereotypes that exist in the Black community.
SCREEN: Most famous person you’ve ever met?
CHAN: I’ve met quite a few famous people, but the one that takes the cake is Ava DuVernay. I met her on many occasions while working for EBONY magazine and each time I fan-girled in excitement because she is truly my idol. The most memorable time I met her was when she was being featured on the cover of EBONY and I was the BTS content producer. I walked over to her and before I could say anything, she said “Chan?” I couldn’t believe she actually remembered who I was and she was impressed to see that I had moved on from freelance work to actually working for EBONY Magazine. This was the first time that I ever heard someone refer to me as a “preditor,” a producer/editor or someone who can essentially do it all when it comes to creating content.
SCREEN: One meal, one restaurant, and we’re buying. What will it be?
CHAN: A seafood boil from Lowcountry with crab legs, andouille sausage, shrimp and potatoes. I will take that any day!
SCREEN: Your go-to karaoke song?
CHAN: Oh man, my go-to karaoke song is Off The Wall by Michael Jackson. It’s a great song that will get you in the mood for a good time after long days at work. “So tonight, gotta leave that 9 to 5 up on the shelf, and just enjoy yourself…” You have to be able to separate yourself from your work at some point and enjoy what life has to offer!
[Editor’s Note: Leave that 9 to 5 up on the shelf and give this classic a listen right here…]
SCREEN: If you could fix one thing, what would you fix?
CHAN: I would fix poverty in the world. I wish there was a way to help the less fortunate not just with money but to provide everyone with a place to live and food to eat without the stress of worrying about where their next meal will come from or not being able to have things that bring them joy.
SCREEN: Worst job ever?
CHAN: My worst job ever was door-to-door marketing for AT&T U-verse, LOL. I literally quit after 3 days even though I was doing great, I just couldn’t fathom knocking on people’s doors unannounced. Scariest job ever!
SCREEN: What’s that TV show you’re a little embarrassed to admit you love to watch?
CHAN: I actually watch Married At First Sight and all the Housewives shows. These shows are full of drama and I just can’t stay away from them! It’s just something about reality TV that intrigues me.
[Editor’s Note: Here’s a rapid fire rundown of the best moments in Married at First Sight history…