On Friday, May 15th, Legacy Housing's Sales Manager, Dave Powers entered our marketing office. He looks to me and said, We are building homes for Tyler Perry. We just got off a Zoom meeting with him.
My mouth dropped to the floor and after I picked up my chin, I said, THEE Tyler Perry? I was shook. The entertainment mogul, writer, actor, director, philanthropist, and producer Tyler Perry is needing Legacy to build mobile homes for a project in Atlanta? I said to myself, Write this down because I couldn’t wait to hear more.
Tyler Perry - Actor, Author, and Much More
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20+ years, Tyler Perry is a house-hold name in the entertainment industry. Perry had been inspired by Oprah Winfrey and decided to start writing letters about his past difficult experiences that he later turned into the musical I Know I’ve Been Changed that he wrote, directed, and produced in 1992, and then later in 1998 in Atlanta. His second successful attempt at his musical, after overcoming the first 1992 flop, boosted Perry into finally earning critical acclaim and then lead to the magical birth of one of his most iconic characters, Madea.
In the early 2000s, Perry took inspiration from his mother and other mature women in his life and created the sassy, witty-tongue grandma, Madea who he played in his play, I Can Do Bad All by Myself. Madea grew quite the following and appeared in other plays touring across the country until 2005. Perry’s entertainment empire grew as he entered into the film and TV industries with his debut film, Diary of a Mad Black Women which included Madea as well as other characters played by Perry.
Over the next five years, Perry partnered with huge stars in the entertainment industry such as Idris Elba, Janet Jackson, Taraji P. Henson, and Angela Bassett to boost the presence of award-winning African-America actors/actresses in acclaimed films in Hollywood. In 2009, Perry produced the Oscar-nominated film, Precious, adapted from the novel Push, by Sapphire, with Lee Daniels and Winfrey which is an absolute must-see film. Perry was not only involved in producing and directing films during this time but also created several TV series and still made supporting role appearances in films such as Gone Girl starring Ben Affleck back in 2014.
Perry’s Sylvan Road Come Up
After the wrap up of many successful installments of Madea in 2019 and the start of two new TV shows on BET, Sistas, and The Oval, Perry had another big project he was finally excited to announce. In October, Perry announced the grand opening of his Tyler Perry Studios located on a former 330-acre Confederate military army base. In true Cinderella story fashion, Perry finally got his name, “Tyler Perry Studios”, on the Freeway Exit sign next to the Exit he used to take when he first moved to Atlanta, Sylvan Road.
Perry told Ellen Degeneres on The Ellen Show on October 2nd, that he was “so grateful” for that since he had been a struggling actor and homeless during the early years of his career when he moved to Atlanta. Perry, who turned 50 last year, is in the process of naming all 12 sound stages after people he’s admired over his long career in the entertainment industry. Stars such as Haley Berry, Oprah Winfrey, Denzil Washington, Will Smith, Sicily Tyson, and many more are being honored at his Tyler Perry Studios.
If none of these things ring a bell, then yes, you’ve been sleeping on Tyler Perry because he has been shaping the presence of African-American films, TV, and plays in Hollywood and throughout the entertainment industry as a whole.
Tyler Perry works with Legacy Housing
So how did Tyler Perry end up working with Legacy and having us build mobile homes for him? Well for those answers, we went to Dave Powers, Senior Sales Manager here at Legacy Housing Corporation. We met with Powers and went over some questions about the Tyler Perry Project that was taking place in Atlanta, which we now know, was for his Tyler Perry Studios re-opening.
Here are his responses below.
Q&A with Dave Powers on the Tyler Perry Project:
Q: Start at the beginning, how did you and/or Legacy get involved with actor Tyler Perry?
A: It was actually brought to us through a retailer Roberts Family, dba Texas Built.
Q: What was your initial reaction when you heard that Perry was in the market for mobile homes?
A: It was kind of crazy, really wasn’t sure they were talking about the same Tyler Perry at first. Of course, once we did a zoom meeting with him over the details of the deal, it sunk in.
Q: What was your sales team’s reaction when you told them you were working with Tyler Perry?
A: The first reaction was wow that is really cool, then, of course, why can’t we come up with a deal like that. Lol.
Q: If allowed, what type of models did Perry end up ordering from Legacy?
A: He ordered 48 homes in total. 45 were 16 x 80’s 7 bedrooms & 7 bathrooms with mini duct split in each room. Then he ordered 2 14 x 40’s that had 8 sets of washers & dryers with folding tables in the center, and then a 16 x 60 that was bare no walls no anything, basically a storage facility.
Q: Did you have to sign an NDA?
A: No, we did not have to sign any type of an NDA, however, the retailer had to sign a time table contract spelling out when it all had to be completed. It was quite a time crunch, but we made it.
Q: How many mobile homes did Legacy end up building for Perry?
A: 48 in all, however, they are looking at buying 3 more customized homes for VIP’s, that is quite a bit fancier.
Q: At what moment did you realize that this was going to be a big project for Perry?
A: When we did the original zoom meeting and walk through a house with the production studio, and then they laid it out, I was like oh this is going to be very tight schedule and with putting the mini ducts in each room, that is 7 A/C units in 1 house, and it takes the same amount of time to do one full-size A/C as it is to do (1) mini-duct system and we had 7 per home. I knew that was going to be a really big production nightmare. Getting them off the line wasn’t a big deal, it was getting all the mini ducts charged up and working, and then getting the homes ready to transport to the studio.
Q: How was your overall experience working with Perry & his team?
A: Mr. Perry was very gracious and really nice to work with. Also, his production studio heads were very accommodating and nice, however, some of the people on the ground organizing were a very big challenge to work for. I don’t expect they realized what all was going to go into this project and they were super worried we were not going to make the deadline. BUT WE DID!!
Q: Was this your first experience working with a celebrity client?
A: No, this was probably the most time I’ve spent working with one, however, I did not have a lot of communication with Mr. Perry. I spent more time talking and working with his people.
Q: Now that you've worked with Perry, do you foresee any future projects with him?
A: Yes, as I said we are working on 3 VIP homes, and there may be another deal coming. Also, we have had another big celebrity to start the process for another big project. We will see where that goes, however, I can not mention names right now. This could for sure lead to some more deals.
Q: If you could work with Perry again, would you?
A: I look forward to being able to work with him on future projects at any time.
Q: What surprised you working with a celebrity client?
A: How nice and how real and down to earth he is.
Q: Do you foresee Legacy working with more celebrity clients in the future?
A: I sure hope so we try to be very flexible and willing to work with anyone. I know we have some big veteran affairs deals we are working with some very influential people.
Q: Are more celebrities getting into the mobile home industry?
A: This project opened some eyes and with COVID-19 giving movie production so many issues and many industries are trying to figure out how to continue business in this environment I believe it could definitely open up some more opportunities for Legacy Housing Corporation.
Q: Why do you think celebrity clients are wanting Legacy mobile homes over our competitors?
A: One of the big reasons is our value and our flexibility to put out what they want. We didn’t make them take just what we offer, but we were willing to customize and build what was going to work for them. Most competitors just tell the clients here is what I have taken it or leave it. We didn’t do that. We came up with something that was very unique and worked perfectly for them.
We want to thank Dave Powers for answering our questions about the mobile homes built for Perry and sharing his experience working with Perry on such a large project for his studios during the unprecedented pandemic.
Perry’s “Camp Quarantine” ft. Legacy Housing Mobile Homes
Perry’s debut of the “Camp Quarantine” project aired on CBS News this morning, July 29th, which featured our Legacy homes built for Perry and his studio staff at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. The Legacy mobile homes built for Perry were developed out of our mobile home plant in Eatonton, Georgia, less than 2 hours outside of Atlanta. As you can see by the photos from the CBS News interview, the homes turned out great!!
We are honored to work with the Hollywood Star of Fame actor and media mogul, Tyler Perry on a project that he developed to keep his studio staff and crew safe working during a global pandemic. Tyler Perry Studios is now one of the first studios to re-open up during the pandemic as most of the film and television industry has been put to a halt. Safety is a priority for his staff and their families, and we were honored to be a part of that mission with Tyler Perry and Tyler Perry Studios crew who we worked with during this project.
Please view the CBS News interview with Perry from earlier today to hear more from the actor himself about his mission to re-open Tyler Perry Studios. Feel free to leave us a comment below on your thoughts on our project with Tyler Perry and what other celebrity clients should we work with next? We look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe.