*As President and Partner of Los Angeles-based Tri Destined Studios, a cutting-edge independent film, television, and multi-media production company, Trey Haley continues his leadership role in creating, producing and distributing inspiring urban entertainment ventures.
While his executive position is time-consuming, Haley demonstrates his multifaceted talents and shrewdness by taking on significant roles in other sectors of the African American-owned studios.
On July 2, Haley once again served as Director and Co-Executive Producer of “The Family Business,” a riveting television drama that launched its second season on BET+.
Adapted from the New York Times best-selling novel by Carl Weber, “The Family Business” has been called a “must-see” television experience.
According to the 44-year-old Haley, the television show is about an African American crime family called the Duncans, who are prominent, wealthy, and powerful. Haley said the show has a “Godfather” element to it, meaning it’s about keeping whatever happens in the family.
“By day, the Duncans are an upstanding family who own and operate an exotic car dealership in New York,” said Haley. “But by night they have a dangerous and secret underground business that may not be so above the fray. And if anybody knows anything about Carl Weber’s books, there are a lot of twists and turns. It is never what you think it’s going to be.”
The cast members of “The Family Business” include Ernie Hudson, Valarie Pettiford, Armand Assante, Darrin Henson, Emilio Rivera, and Javicia Leslie.
“The show has a lot of family dynamics in it, where we are not the losers; we are the winners,” Haley said about the drama’s African American family. “The Duncan Family runs the city, so to speak. The family does not work for anybody, they are the ones calling the shots. Everything goes through the Duncan family. It’s real black power.”
While most film and television production outfits these days have significantly slowed or halted their respective shooting schedules, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, “The Family Business,” according to Haley, has implemented a six-and-six production schedule for the show that’s shot in Los Angeles for season two, although the storylines and scenery that’s filmed illustrate New York.
“What you will see right now on BET+ are the first six episodes of “The Family Business,” said Haley, who directed every show during season one, and does the same for season two. “After the first six episodes, we will have a big cliffhanger that will take us to the next six.”
In addition to “The Family Business,” Haley is behind the lens of another television drama called “Influence.” The drama is based on another New York best-selling novel by Carl Weber.
“This show is centered around a powerful African American law firm, owned and operated by the Hudson family,” Haley explained, adding that author Carl Weber loves family dynamics in his books. “It was a feature film that we did. It has a lot of storylines left that we didn’t complete in the movie. There’s work being done to turn it into a television show.”
Haley said “Influence” is about the powerful law firm’s fight to defend a Grammy Award-winning singer, played by Deborah Cox, who is on trial for the murder of her husband, played by Anthony Hamilton. It doesn’t look good for the singer after she wakes up one morning with blood all over herself and the bed, with her husband in the same bed, murdered. The Grammy singer maintains her innocence.
“Influence” premiered earlier this past February on BET+. On July 19 it will air on the BET’s regular television platform. Actors Roger Guenveur Smith, Kellita Smith, Todd Anthony, and Drew Sidora also star in the drama.
Other recent Tri Destined projects, with Haley’s indelible fingerprints attached, include a new show on IG Live called “Showbiz@Home, which he hosts. The show was launched on May 4, 2020. In addition, he directed the 2019 romantic comedy “Always A Bridesmaid,” written by Yvette Nicole Brown. It is currently streaming on Netflix. Haley also directed the Christmas-themed movie “Throwback Holiday,” available on popular digital download platforms, after the film premiered on BET in 2018.
For Haley, his success in Hollywood has roots at the University of North Texas in Denton, where he majored in Radio, Television and Film. Haley, who is a native of Arlington, Texas, also worked as a cable programmer and editor. He ultimately moved to Los Angeles and was mentored by several top music video directors. He also worked with various film and television production companies in L.A.
In the late-1990s, Haley and Nikaya N.D. Brown co-founded Tri Destined Studios. Brown serves as the studios’ Chairperson and CEO. Tri Destined’s vision, according to Haley, is to one day acquire land and build a place that will provide space for people to develop film, television, and multi-media projects.
“We are people of color who would like to own a studio here in Los Angeles,” said Haley. “What Tyler Perry has done in Atlanta is very inspirational to us. We’ve been on that playing field with that mentality for a while. We want to do as much as we can to empower people to get their visions off the ground, in front of and behind the camera.”