Allen Maldonado is now calling New York City home, temporarily, as he begins to shape the character, cousin Bobby, for the new untitled series executive produced by Jordan Peele (“Get Out”).
The TBS comedy series follows the life of a convict, Tray (Tracy Morgan), who is suddenly released after a 15-year prison stint for good behavior. Tray is shocked to see just how much the world has changed in his newly gentrified Brooklyn neighborhood, discovering that his former girlfriend has married an affable, successful white man, who is helping raise the twin sons Tray never knew existed. Cousin Bobby (Maldonado), just 15 years old when Tray first went to prison, has grown up to be a small-time hustler who is always looking for the latest scam. Comically, he helps Tray adjust to life on the outside.
When you Google the name Allen Maldonado, it’s crystal clear that he’s a mogul in the making. Best known for his hilarious and recurring role on ABC’s “Blackish,” he is also a writer and a member of the writing staff on STARZ’s hit series “Survivors’ Remorse.”
African-American and Puerto Rican, this young man is sharp. The label “mogul in making” is accurate because, as an entrepreneur, Maldonado runs a recording company, Get It Done Records, a film production company, Only Son Productions, and a T-shirt line Vineyards’ Phinest, from which a portion of the proceeds goes to his foundation. And because knowledge is power and education is important, he founded Demo Nerds, a foundation that provides free acting classes, tools and services for at-risk youth and foster children in the inner city neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
And April 30, Maldonado can add “digital mogul” to his resume because he is launching the new app, Everybody Digital, which highlights short films and is described, by Maldonado, as the “ultimate library for licensed award-winning films from across the world.”
Here is a brief excerpt from an interview with Maldonado.
AmNews: No one, outside of the film industry, really watches short films. Why would you ever want to devote such time and other resources for the Everybody Digital app for film shorts?
Maldonado: I am laughing because what you said is true. Most consumers do not watch short films, and they should. I designed the Everybody Digital because, like hundreds of other filmmakers, I was frustrated. Filmmakers pour everything into making shorts, sometimes all the money they have in the world, and there is no distribution for shorts films. Nothing. Now that’s frustrating. So you begin to ask yourself, “What’s next?” and the answer is create a distribution platform to showcase short films.
AmNews: Gotcha! But let’s be honest. I’ve seen a lot of shorts, and the quality isn’t very good. For the most part it’s awful. Keeping it 100 percent.
Maldonado: (laughing). True. We are very discerning in our acquisition of short film titles. We have a very high bar that we will set the tone for our Everybody Digital brand. To help me find the best-of-the-best, I am developing a team in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York.
AmNews: New York? Toss me into the mix. I have an exceptional eye. Here is the other big question—keeping it 100 percent. To compete and become successful in the digital game you need original content. Do you agree?
Maldonado: I agree. Thank you for bringing that up. We are producing an Everybody Digital short film a month and producing an Everybody Digital original digital series every other month.
AmNews: Back up. What’s the budget for your “Everybody Digital” original content?
Maldonado: As a producer, I use the assets that I have at my disposal, which are considerable. I own high-end cameras, a series of editing computers and a network of experienced film and television writers and actors. That makes the cost low, but the quality, well, that’s very high.
AmNews: Scared of you! Lush. So is the Everybody Digital app free?
Maldonado: The Everybody Digital app is free but that gives limited access. To view the full catalog and to enjoy the original content, it’s only $2.99 a month, cheaper than a Starbucks cappuccino coffee.
To submit your film please go
to www.everybodydigital.com. The trailer link is https://1drv.ms/v/s!AoUURjQbq1rijj2RA_D8b000BNCa. To follow Allen Maldonado, go to @Allen_Maldonado.