BY Stephen Nartey, 3:30pm July 14, 2023,

How filmmaker Tim Story rose from creating his 1st films with a borrowed camera to making over $1bn

Tim Story. Photo via

Tim Story is heralded as one of the most respectable film producers. Seven of his feature films raked in $1.1 billion worldwide, according to Variety. Out of this figure, six films made it to No.1 at the box office. The action comedy feature “Ride Along”, which featured Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, fetched more than $41 million during its first-week debut and gleaned $155 million worldwide. Behind this success is the inspiring story of how Tim Story stormed the movie industry after borrowing a camera to create his first films at age 12.

The first two films Story produced in 1994 after graduating from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts were financed by him. He was expecting to rake in profits from both films, but, it was the first he made a few dollars but lost out on the second. The first film, “One of Us Tripped”, earned him honor at the Black Filmmaker’s Hall of Fame Feature Film Festival, according to enprimeur, while the second, “The Firing Squad”, released in 1998 was a flop. Story borrowed several hundred thousand dollars from sponsors including a $40,000 line of credit from his father-in-law to shoot. The debts he accrued compelled him to put his filmmaking dream on pause to focus on directing music videos. He ran acts for the NSYNC, R Kelly, Tyrese, and John B.

This journey prepared him for the bigger challenge ahead since the experience enabled him to work for film sets and lead big-scale productions using specialized equipment. In 2002, he re-launched his film directing and production dream once more with “Barbershop”, which fetched him $77.1 million. With that success, he followed up with Taxi which featured Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon. Though it slightly fell short of the early revenue he made, this figure was equally impressive as he made $68.9 million. His shelves are stocked with other successful feature films such as “Fantastic Four” which made $330 million, “Rise of the Silver Surfer” – $289 million, “Think Like A Man” – $96.1 million, “Think Like A Man Too” – $70.2 million and “Ride Along” – $154 million. But, his biggest budget films are the Fantastic Four productions (Fantastic Four in 2005 and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2007), which brought him over $500 million. Story believes this success was largely attributed to the cast he used.

The filmmaker also owes part of his story to his wife, Vicky Mara Story. She helped him to finance a trailer for one of his projects by giving him $10,000 she had made from selling her stake in a comic book shop. She was instrumental in establishing the couple’s film production house while also being in charge of negotiations with business managers and attorneys and getting contracts for Story to sign. While Story handles the directing and production of the movies, she manages the business side of the output of her husband’s work to ensure they maximize benefits.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 14, 2023


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