This is the next post in a series of interviews with writers who have had their first films, web series, television assignment, etc. make it to the big or small or computer screen. It is an effort to find out what their journey was to their initial success.
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Next up: an interview with Q. Allan Brocka, writer of the Eating Out series
Allan Brocka is best known as the creator of the award winning stop-motion animated series RICK & STEVE THE HAPPIEST GAY COUPLE IN ALL THE WORLD which aired two seasons on MTV’s Logo Network and in 20 other countries. He is also the writer and director of the award-winning feature films BOY CULTURE and EATING OUT.
His other credits include the Sky UK reality series PORNO VALLEY (director), the documentary CAMP MICHAEL JACKSON (director), the feature film NOAH’S ARC: JUMPING THE BROOM (story) and THE BIG GAY SKETCH SHOW (staff writer).
He recently adapted the best-selling children’s novel THE CANDYMAKERS for the big screen.
What is the name of your first screenplay that was produced?
My first feature screenplay produced was EATING OUT.
- Can you tell us a bit about the journey as to how it came about?
The script began as a joke in my screenwriting class at Cal Arts. I wanted to get a hot straight boy to read a gay sex scene. I wrote a scene where a straight guy has a gay experience while a girl he liked talks him through it on the phone. He loved it. I kept adding to the story and it became Eating Out.
- Tell me a little bit about the experience of having the project come to completion.
It was a lot of hard work. The budget was very small and very few of us knew what we were doing. We had to shoot in 10 days in the Arizona desert in the summer. It was rough. But it was worth it. The film did so much more than I ever thought it would. There are even four sequels.
- What was the hardest obstacle to overcome in achieving that first project?
Finding someone who would take the chance on me with their money.
- What have you learned about the industry when it comes to being a writer?
The saddest thing I learned is that most of what you write will never be made. But you can’t let that stop you from writing.
- What are you working on now?
I’m writing two web series and a musical feature film.
- What is your favorite movie or TV series?
My favorite movies are Fritz Lang’s M and John Waters’ Desperate Living.
- Where do you think the movie and television industry is heading? What do you think its future is?
The film industry seems to mirror the rampant income inequality of the world. Big budgets keep getting bigger, small budgets keep getting smaller, and mid-sized budgets are getting scarcer. Smaller budgets for independent films is wonderful for being able to tell more stories but terrible for artists who try to make a living at it.
- What parting advice do you have for writers?
When writing a story, you don’t have to start at the beginning. Write your favorite parts first.
- What do you do when you’re not writing? What do you do to get away from the industry?
I don’t really make a conscious effort to get away from the industry because that would mean getting away from movies and television, which I love and find relaxing. When I’m not writing I travel, hike, and enjoy life with my dog and boyfriend. Also I spend way too much time on Twitter.
- Tell us something about yourself that many people may not know.
I earned a black belt in Karate when I was 7. But only because my dad forced me to.
And check out the other interviews in the series:
Gregory Blair http://ow.ly/KZj9s
Josh Kim http://ow.ly/K7obx
Jim Thalman http://ow.ly/JQ8YT
David Au http://ow.ly/JwM0A
Dwayne Alexander Smith http://ow.ly/J8GJI
Haifaa Al-Mansour http://ow.ly/ITabq
Chad Crawford Kinkle http://ow.ly/HXLq0
Mikey Levy http://ow.ly/HA9Xm
Hilliard Guess http://ow.ly/HcOmr
Amir Ohebsion http://ow.ly/H8aPq
Donald McKinney http://ow.ly/GvPfn
Michelle Ehlen http://ow.ly/GvPr1