Mount Vernon native Marcus Smoot has not only conquered his hometown but has left an indelible mark in the worlds of entrepreneurship, real estate, and filmmaking. His incredible journey from launching an entertainment magazine to founding Smoot Films showcases resilience, creativity, and a relentless pursuit of dreams.
Born and raised in Mount Vernon, NY, Marcus Smoot took an unconventional path after graduating from Iona Preparatory High School in 1997. Opting out of college, Smoot decided to follow his entrepreneurial spirit. In 1998, he ventured into the world of media by launching an entertainment magazine called BTS (Behind the Scenes). This publication uniquely focused on the individuals behind the scenes of the entertainment industry.
Transition to Entrepreneurship:
After successfully running BTS, Smoot sold the magazine in 2000 and embarked on a new chapter in Maryland. In 2003, he made a significant move into healthcare, purchasing a substance abuse and mental health outpatient treatment facility. Over the years, Smoot expanded the clinic to multiple locations, becoming the sole vendor providing outpatient services for the federal government’s Pretrial services in Washington, DC.
In 2008, Smoot delved into real estate with the establishment of Comprehensive Homes, a company specializing in real estate investments. To date, Marcus has renovated and sold over 100 homes, solidifying his presence in the real estate market.
Founding Smoot Films:
In 2016, Marcus Smoot turned a lifelong dream into reality by founding Smoot Films. His vision was not just about storytelling but creating a platform that could showcase diverse narratives. To complement his creative pursuits, Smoot brought in Argentry Reese as a strategic partner. Reese, a former IRS auditor, enriched the enterprise with his extensive background in finance and taxation.
Argentry Reese’s journey in finance began with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Morehouse College, where he graduated with honors. His commitment to excellence was evident as he not only pursued a career in accounting but also obtained the Series 7 and Series 66 securities license, insurance license, and variable product licenses, setting him apart in the financial industry.
Reese’s career trajectory included a crucial role at CNN, where he handled financial auditing functions for prominent shows such as “Wolf Blitzer,” “Anderson Cooper 360,” and “Larry King Live.” His tenure at the IRS equipped him with top-notch training and work experience, making him adept at navigating the complex world of taxes.
In 2008, Reese’s expertise was recognized by the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). He was appointed as a special consultant to provide strategic tax-related advice to NBA players during mandated Team Awareness Meetings. Reese’s responsibilities extended to overseeing performance audits of companies providing tax filing services for any NBA player.
His efforts empowered players to grasp the significance of tax planning, secure substantial amounts through amended filings, and gain insights into legally sound tax strategies that save high net-worth individuals millions annually.
Smoot Films’ Cinematic Journey:
In the dynamic intersection of finance and filmmaking, Marcus Smoot and Argentry Reese stand as a powerhouse duo, each bringing a unique set of skills and experiences to their joint venture, Smoot Films. The company’s filmmaking journey began by writing and producing its first short film, “Brother,” in 2017. The pinnacle of Smoot Films’ success came with the executive production of “Red Winter” in 2020. Collaborating with retired NFL player Vernon Davis, the team delivered a compelling cinematic experience that showcased the synergy of sports and storytelling.
The partnership between Marcus Smoot and Argentry Reese represents a fusion of creative ingenuity and financial acumen. Their collaborative efforts under Smoot Films continue to break new ground, affirming that the marriage of entrepreneurship, financial expertise, and filmmaking brilliance can yield extraordinary results in the world of entertainment.
Smoot Films is impressive, with highlights including licensed projects on BET Plus and BET Her. The library boasts titles such as “Red Winter,” “I Got Problemz,” “Holiday Switch,” “You Should Have Told Me,” “Under His Influence,” and the hit TV series “I Got a Story To Tell.”
As the future unfolds, Smoot Films remains a powerhouse, constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity and captivating audiences. With the highly anticipated “Car Lot” in post-production and the thrilling “Pre by Night” set to begin filming soon, Smoot Films shows no signs of slowing down. This dynamic production company is leaving a trail of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and creatives, solidifying its place in the ever-evolving entertainment industry.
Published by: Martin De Juan