As AfroTech just told you, Jordan Peele’s “Nope” had a stellar debut at the box office, earning $44 million in ticket sales.
Peele and co-stars Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya have been receiving their flowers, even well before the film’s release. However, we should also highlight the hidden figures who helped bring the film to life.
Detroit native Robert McTyre Jr. worked on the film as a lighting technician. Looking at where he was just over a decade ago, McTyre might not have believed he would be a part of a multi-million dollar project.
His Rough Patch
Detroit Metro Times reports McTyre landed a position at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) after moving to California in 2009.
Prior, he earned a bachelor’s in media arts and interdisciplinary film studies while living in Detroit. However, McTyre could not secure a job in the film industry.
Moving to a new state led to a fresh start such as a new home and financial security.
When his life appeared to be heading in the right direction, McTyre was fired from his position at LAX. He lost his home and had to live out of his car for several months. Then a car accident left him stranded.
“It got really real,” McTyre said, according to Detroit Metro Times. “I put my stuff in storage and got a 24-hour fitness membership so I could, you know, shower, and then I learned the bus routes. I knew there was a bus that would take all night to loop so I slept on that bus. I would go from that to sleeping on the train and just trying to figure out what I’m going to do from there. At that point, I was thinking about moving back to Detroit, because I’m like, what am I doing.”
His Passion For Film
Fortunately, McTyre’s troubles would only be a small chapter in his story. He later secured a position as a security guard at DreamWorks Animation Studios, restoring his passion for film.
“During late night when I’m patrolling, I can walk through and see the films that they’re working on, how they’re breaking down scenes,” he told the Detroit Metro Times. “But I realized I needed some health benefits and [DreamWorks] wasn’t cutting it. Warner Brothers had health benefits so I got a job there and just by interacting with people as a security guard and really through osmosis I got a feel for the industry and the nooks and crannies that you don’t really think about.”
His Hopes And Dreams
McTyre decided it was time to return to school to fulfill his dreams of working directly on a film. So, he enrolled in the Hollywood Cinema Production Resources program to educate himself on set lighting.
After completing the program, he worked at Universal Filmed Entertainment Group’s California Below-the-Line Traineeship. His time there provided him the gleaming opportunity to work on “Nope” and other projects including TV shows “Westworld,” “Perry Mason,” “Flight Attendant,” and “Mayans M.C,” plus, a Naomi Osaka commercial. Now, McTyre is working on a new film directed by actor Chris Pine.
McTyre’s name will surely be attached to even more projects, including his own — one day.
“I haven’t made a feature yet, but I look at it like I’m getting the tools to do that,” he said. “A lot of people want to be a director, but it’s like do you understand the nature of lighting and all of these things? There’s a lot of things you have to know, so I can go from lighting to director of photography which then gives me the tools to make the jump to director.”