For Darell Brown laughter seemed to come naturally.
Considered a class clown as far back as his days at Beecher High, he was an entertainer. Today he’s begun spreading his wings as a business owner, hoping to build his love of comedy and live and recorded productions into a Flint-based studio.
Brown, 25, launched Brown Boi Productions in 2017. Providing photography, videography and on-camera talent, the business specializes in providing web content.
“I started off doing what I was doing just for fun,” says Brown.
From a family of 11 siblings, he developed early techniques by recording with his brothers. Using social media to promote comedic skits and short videos, he eventually drew the attention of a local business owner.
“You’re super-funny,” the owner told Brown, asking if he’d duplicate his talents by producing a commercial for Dawski Sauce barbecue meat flavoring.
Brown agreed, but only after revealing a surprising secret behind his prolific videography – it was all done by cell phone. The Dawski Sauce commercial went viral, leading to additional exposure for Brown Boi.
The company showcases a variety of its work via Facebook and YouTube, much of it revealing Brown’s comic styles. He performed standup while living in Atlanta.
“I do funny skits, but this isn’t just about being funny,” he says. “It started off that way, but I started to see the bigger picture.”
The son of Charles Brown Sr., pastor of Greater Mount Zion Church of God in Christ, and Angelita Brown, who have supported and invested in his vision, Brown records special events for the church.
Brown Boi also creates promotional pieces for Brown’s brother, mixed martial artist Charles “The Gravedigger” Brown, and videos for another sibling, gospel rapper Joe Brown.
Like many young Flint entrepreneurs, Darell Brown faces the challenge of building a creative business in a community with a blue-collar history.
“When they know you, they want the discount,” he says of his customer base. “They don’t seem to realize the people you see on TV now – someone knew them, too.”
While he envisions a studio based in the city, he also travels to build his reputation as a performer and actor. Locally, he collaborates with videographers Jia Ireland and Alvin Brown, who is a regular contributor and photographer for TheHUB. The trio occasionally partners in projects with support from actress and model Jovan Craig, Brown’s fiancée.
Virtually self-taught in the technical aspects of Brown Boi’s work, Brown says he looks forward to continuing to develop skills that will build it into a viable media enterprise specializing in many facets of production.
“Pretty much the sky is the limit,” he says. “There’s nothing, down the line, I won’t be doing.”