The entertainment industry's shifts are seismic, but visionary Jeff Clanagan has managed to remain in front of the next wave for over two decades. As Codeblack Enterprises President and CEO, Clanagan continues to set industry precedents by producing and distributing content that defies conventional wisdom, and is leading market growth into a territory that was once dismissed as barren.
In 2012, Clanagan ventured into an unprecedented partnership with Lionsgate, a leading global entertainment company, to bring his expertise in feature film, television programming, comedy specials and digital content to this new partnership. As a division of Lionsgate, Codeblack Films is a vertically integrated entertainment and new media company focused on providing independent studios, filmmakers, globally-recognized celebrities, intellectual property rights holders and brands operating in the entertainment and sports industries cross platform monetization solutions.
The passion of Codeblack Films executive team is to super serve the global black community and help its content and brand partners access the power of the $1-trillion African American consumer market. The African American population continues to expand both in pure numbers and in buying power and has a major influence on entertainment, technology and media trends. CF's analysis and understanding of the social context of this fast evolving market, values, attitudes, behavior, trends and pre-trends, allow us to position our content and brand partners in the center of influence and develop the best strategy to maximize benefit.
Codeblack Films employs a transmedia approach which involves the discipline of leveraging brands and products across multiple platforms, by creating a diversified portfolio of developed content and technology applications with an overarching brand narrative that is then distributed through both traditional and new media outlets.
In 2011, the highly successful independent blockbuster film, "Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain" was marketed using Clanagan's signature, targeted techniques and grossed an average of $20,000 per theatre, which was groundbreaking for an independently produced and distributed film. The film set a record as the best performing concert series since "Martin Lawrence: Runteldat" in 2002 to break the $5 million mark.
Jeff Clanagan, recognized as one of Black Enterprise Magazine's Top 50 Hollywood Power Brokers and a member of Ebony Magazine's Power 150, is responsible for the release of nearly 200 DVDs. His projects have generated over $150 million in revenue.
Previously, in his role as President and CEO of UrbanWorks Entertainment, Clanagan developed and implemented the company's strategy. At the time of Clanagan's departure, UrbanWorks was positioned as a leading distributor of home entertainment.
Clanagan entered the entertainment industry as a concert promoter for vanguard artists Run DMC, LL Cool J, The Isley Brothers, MC Hammer, and Luther Vandross, among others. His first role, after transitioning from backstage to the back lot, was as President of Master P's seminal No Limit Films. At No Limit, Clanagan was responsible for the production of the successful films Foolish and Lockdown, and facilitated the firm's growth into a $40 Million pioneering force in the urban home video market.
Clanagan was eventually tapped by Peter Guber's Mandalay Sports & Entertainment, for a role as President of Mandalay Urban Entertainment. Under Clanagan's direction, Mandalay received accolades for award-winning films like Civil Brand, which was recognized at international film festivals including the American Black Film Festival, the Urban World Film Festival, and the Pan-African Film Festival.
Executive Vice President & General Manager
Quincy Newell’s career in the entertainment business spans over 20 years where he has held senior-level posts at a variety of independent and mainstream music and film distributors.
In 2002, Newell partnered with entertainment veteran Jeff Clanagan to launch UrbanWorks Entertainment and guided its growth into becoming the #1 independent producer and distributor of urban home video, generating more than $250 million in revenues.
Newell then served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Codeblack Entertainment, a joint venture with the world’s leading music company Universal Music Group. While at Codeblack Entertainment Newell directly managed the release of over 50 titles including such notables as Lee Daniel’s “SHADOWBOXER”, KEVIN HART’S independent box-office hit “LAUGH AT MY PAIN” where Newell was also responsible for overseeing the production and creative direction for all facets of the film and its release and T.D. Jakes’ WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED: ON THE 7TH DAY”. Newell was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his role as Producer.
In 2008 Newell joined forces with Rhino Entertainment founder and entertainment veteran Richard Foos and Hollywood trailblazer Robert Townsend to produce the insightful documentary film “WHY WE LAUGH: BLACK COMEDIANS ON BLACK COMEDY”. “Why We Laugh” went on to become an official selection of the 2009 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL and premiered on the SHOWTIME network in 2010. Newell served as writer and producer.
Over the next four years, Newell went on to serve as producer on a variety of stand-up comedy concert specials featuring notable comedy veterans such as; ARIES SPEARS, DERAY DAVIS, COREY HOLCOMB and GARY OWEN. His specials can be seen on SHOWTIME and COMEDY CENTRAL.
In 2012, Newell joined Codeblack Films, a Lionsgate company, to oversee operations for the new venture as its General Manager. Newell quickly moved to grow its library of films and within the first 12-months, Codeblack Films produced and released the surprise follow-up hit from superstar comedian and actor Kevin Hart “LET ME EXPLAIN” which went on to generate over $32-million at the box-office. Newell served as the film’s Executive Producer. Following closely was the theatrical release of Shola Lynch’s 2013 NAACP Image Award winner “FREE ANGELA and ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS”, Charles Murray’s soulful “THINGS NEVER SAID” starring Omari Hardwick and Shanola Hampton, George Tillman Jr. and Alicia Keyes’ critically acclaimed and NAACP Image Award nominated “THE INEVITABLE DEFEAT OF MISTER & PETE” starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, the independent thriller “REPENTANCE”, starring Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie and Sanaa Lathan, the Golden Globe nominated film “FRANKIE & ALICE” starring Academy Award winner Halle Berry and “ADDICTED” adapted from the best selling erotica novel by New York Times bestselling author Zane. Newell also spearheaded the rights acquisition of the Omar Tyree book trilogy “FLY GIRL” which is being adapted into a feature film by producer Effie Brown and Academy Award winning writer Geoffrey Fletcher. Sanaa Lathan has signed on as the film’s star and Executive Producer. Newell currently serves as Codeblack Films’ Executive Vice President & General Manager.
It is Newell’s core belief that successful businesses seek collective good along with shareholder value. Integrity, stewardship, courage and compassion are his main guiding principles.
Newell holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and is currently a Juris Doctorate candidate at the University of West Los Angeles School of Law in Los Angeles, CA.
Acquisitions & Development Executive Director
Candice Wilson is a multifaceted Creative Executive with a diverse background in both film and songwriting, and has consulted and worked alongside some of the industry’s top executives and talent to provide top tier support and execution. Always on the hunt for original and provocative material to produce and distribute, Candice finds new and inventive ways of bringing products to market. Candice wears many hats at Codeblack working on different projects in various stages of pre-production, filming and delivery, proving it is possible to find a happy medium between commercialism and creativity.
Born in New York and raised by techie and clothing designer parents, Wilson has always held an interest in both the practical and creative side of arts and entertainment. With a background in script development, film production, physical production, post-production, art direction and delivery, Candice oversees development through from inception to completion.
In an industry that is often more interested in the bottom line than artistic merit, Wilson has managed to remain strong in her desire to carve out her unique niche. As a producer and production coordinator, Candice has worked with some of the most formidable directors and actors in the business, as well as discovering unique, often unheard voices and stories, bringing them into the mainstream. Wilson naturally transferred her past experiences as a songwriter and astute business acumen into establishing her as a natural power player in the industry.
Candice Wilson holds a B.A. from Temple University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Established in 2009, Candice co-founded the Steven D. Olensky Memorial Fund, which has biannually awarded scholarships for single parents pursuing their college degree. Candice enjoys spending her free time volunteering and exploring her passion for photography.
Currently, Candice Wilson manages all Acquisitions and Development for Codeblack Films a Lionsgate company.
Simóne J Banks
Social Media Marketing Manager
With over ten years of digital marketing and branding experience, Simóne J Banks, Social Media Marketing Manager for Codeblack Films, began her work within the intersection of audience engagement and brands while living in Philadelphia. With a curiosity in exploring ways corporate brands could leverage creative culture by meeting their target audience in spaces they were already comfortable, Banks developed a creative production company and began producing events to introduce new products on behalf of brands such as Heineken, Glaceau, Monster Energy Drink and more.
Understanding the importance of both experiential and digital engagement, Banks connects the two by developing and executing global digital marketing campaigns and strategy for Codeblack Films.
Tracey Edwards, a forward-thinking industry professional known for her entertainment management acumen, joins Codeblack Films as the Administrative Manager. A graduate of California State University, Northridge with a B.A. Degree in Radio/TV/Film Production and Mass Communications, Edwards has built an impressive career in entertainment that has spanned the radio, television, film and music industries. In addition to managing all aspects of the office of the President, she will handle talent relations, and P.R. outreach, as well as provide marketing and new business development support.
Prior to joining Codeblack Films, Edwards worked in Artist & Repertoire (A&R) at EMI Records, RCA Records, and Warner Bros. Records, where she served as an A&R Administrative Manager in Urban Music. She also had several guest writing stints along the way, including features in the Music Publishing edition of Urban Network Magazine. Her creative know-how has made her an invaluable asset in the industry. In fact, Edwards originally joined with Codeblack during its early inaugural years in Home Entertainment distribution and production, coordinating the executive administrative affairs of the President and CEO (Jeff Clanagan), and ultimately serving as a Director of New Projects & Acquisitions with Codeblack Entertainment. Edwards’ irrepressible spirit is second only to her unique ability to facilitate and administrate at all levels of entertainment management – from talent development to production to distribution. Her enthusiastic and focused work ethic has made her a long-respected and sought-after industry professional.
A native of Michigan, Tracey Edwards was raised in Southern California. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and regularly gives back to the community. In addition, she is a passionate advocate for children’s charities and regularly volunteers her time at the YMCA. Edwards resides in North Los Angeles with her family.
Kazuko Golden is Quincy Newell’s Executive Assistant. She is a Midwest native from Obama’s senatorial state and Abraham Lincoln’s hometown. She earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Producing from Columbia College of Chicago and a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Earlham College in Peace and Global Studies and Sociology/Anthropology.
Golden was a photojournalist and conflict resolution student in Northern Ireland during the “Troubles” and South Africa during the truth and reconciliation political Post-Apartheid transition. She has a love for storytelling stemming from the Eyes on the Prize series and the folk singers Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie. Her first vinyl album was Michael Jackson and her first tape was N.W.A.
Her directorial debut and graduate independent short film was accepted into the short film corner of the Cannes Film Festival and a number of festivals worldwide. While in graduate school, she interned at the Emmy Award winning Kartemquin Films and assisted with the 20th Anniversary premiere of "Hoop Dreams" and the premiere launch of "Life Itself, a Roger Ebert Documentary" at Sundance. With over ten years of photography and film experience she has produced a number of short films and worked as production crew and talent on a number of feature films and documentaries.