Brandon Deyette, is the Writer and Producer of the amazing film PROXY. Proxy won a host of accolades at many film festivals last year, and is now available for download and on DVD.
Bear World Magazine CEO Richard Jones caught up with Brandon to talk about the movie and its important themes, and how he came to make the movie.
Richard Jones: Brandon its great to see that movie has done so well, tell me what led you to make the film.
Brandon Deyette: Thanks David, well it was a catharsis, i was feeling depressed as to where my life was and i had all these stories in my head, and I decided to write it all out. Aspects of the film are based on what actually happened or could have happened to me or people around me. Fir example I really have an ex girlfriend who miscarried, and I began to wonder what if. I have friends who are HIV positive, and a friend who has a family with 2nd family, whose real story is way more crazy than we portray in the film, we had to tone it down to make it believable!
How long did you take to write the script?
It took me about three days to create the first full draft, then lots of revisions, and then got feedback from friends and other professionals in the industry. It then took 7 months to cast, 1 year of filming, another year of festivals, and almost one year till its now available to download on Amazon and iTunes.
The movie splices together several story lines, did you write the stories whole then splice them in the editing room?
No, the way you see the stories switch about is how I intended it to be.
Is this your first film?
I have worked on commercials for Route Seven, and shorts but yeah this is my first big film project. In fact it was Route 7 Productions that really helped me get this project together. My Boss at Route 7 saw the script and asked if they could help produce and said that if we could raise half the money they would put in half, I said hell i will put in half myself!
Tell me how you cast the movie.
Well the cast you see is totally different to the cast we originally had in mind, except Tess, (Stephanie Jean Davis) that role was written for her. We started out in the usual casting way with the casting network, and Craig’s list, and had people submit a video. But as we evolved, we made changes, i was never originally meant to play Josh, but no one else really got it, but my co-producer (Edwin Scharlau at Route 7 Productions) said to me to just do it. It was tough, i hadn’t acted for ten years, but I got that character, I wrote it! Charlie was also amazing, he has this tender side even though he is big and burly, and that was perfect for the character.
How important was it to show the conversations about life, and the subtle HIV awareness element? As there were elements about hidden families, and pregnancy?
Yeah it was hugely important as I said earlier the stories are very close to home. I have a friend who i argued with about how he talked about hi status. Also today we never really mention the actual name of HIV in conversations with friends, we use lots of other words because we all know what we are talking about. It seems very educational theater to use the actual word rather than allude to it. We wanted the script to sound as real as possible. But the audience understands that’s what we’re talking about without ever saying the actual word.
How was the Film Festival Circuit, how has that been?
Its been amazing, we sent the movie to so many festivals, and a lot said no, that was hard, but we are so thrilled with all the festivals we were part of and to get some lovely nominations. It was also a weird experience personally as I got to sign autographs, and meet some cool people. I also got nominated for best actor, but t be honest i am more proud that Sadako Pointer was nominated for best actress. I feel like a very proud parent. She is also not used to acting at this level, as she is the Grand Daughter of Ruth Pointer (of the Pointer Sisters) , and more used to singing.
What’s coming up next?
Well I cant talk too much but I do have a couple of projects coming up, A Hipster based movie set in and around the Morgan Stop in Brooklyn, and a Tv Show in development! that’s all I can say, he he. But I am excited to be back in New York and working hard.