Week Six - An interview with Brian Pelletier
Hey ladies, so this week is my second interview. This time it's with the director and writer of any film I critiqued before, Fishnet, and he is Brain Pelletier.
So please enjoy it and next I will be back with a special episode to discuss a very sensitive subject to the LBTQ community.
T.S How did the whole idea of Fishnet come about?
B.P I was in school and had to fulfill an independent study requirement. The semester before I completed a writing class and loved it. So when the time came for me to declare me project, I said I wanted to write a screenplay. The professor, Alan Sacks, told me to get him an outline of the story by the end of the day. Well, I had no clue what I was going to write about but was under-the-gun. At the time, I was on Myspace and saw a posting by my friend Crystal (who is the costume designer for Fishnet). Crystal was a dancing in a burlesque troupe here in LA that I choreographed for. One day she up and moved back to her home in Texas. I started brainstorming reasons for a sudden move out of town and out came an outline for Fishnet.
T.S How long did the project take, from concept to shooting the first scene?
B.P I wrote the project at the beginning of 2006. After school was over, my manager helped shop it around and fine tune some of the project. I put the script away by the end of the year to work on a website OutliciousTV and spent time producing web series and content kind of like your site. Last October (2009) I was premiering my short film "Everybody Is Having Sex... But Ryan" at Atlanta's Out on Film festival and pitched the idea of Fishnet to a few people at lunch including Rebekah Kochan who plays Trixie. The enthusiasm was contagious so I was determined to shoot it in 2010. I started developing it for a low budget shoot almost immediately and we started shooting in April 2010.
T.S As this is you're first full-length feature will you be taking a break or moving straight onto you're next project?
B.P As much as I want to jump into my next feature project, I think my wallet is going to hold me back for now. It's fine because it will give me time to work on getting Fishnet out there. I'm considering shooting a dance short in the Spring.
T.S Well I did a expose on Fishnet a couple weeks ago on my show Cin4LeZ, so my viewers know about the film and they've also seen the trailer, can you tell us a fun fact that happened while filming or some triva about the film that we don't know already know?
B.P Since we only shot it in 10 days, we were shooting a lot of scenes back to back. One problem that I never thought of was that there were costume changes between these scenes. Well, some scene require corsets which have to be laced up in the back. I think about everyone in the crew learned how to lace up a corset by the end of the shoot.
T.S Were all the actors in the movie easy to cast or was it a difficult process?
B.P Casting was real easy. I already knew Rebekah from the time I met her in Atlanta. Jillian (Sulie) came along as a recommendation from my friend Patricia (Annie). I think four of the actors went to the same acting school. We were able to build a very good team.
T.S Besides Landmark in Atlanta where you had your premiere, what festivals have you got lined up and where would you like to be invited?
B.P I'm waiting to hear about one in NY. I should know soon. After that, there's a little break for the holidays and then we'll know more. I'd love to get into Palm Springs this January. And of course it would be nice to screen at the big GLBTQ fests (Outfest, Frameline, QFest, Newfest).
T.S If someone can't get to one of these showing where and when can we see this Fishnet?
B.P By late Spring/early Summer 2011 I hope to have it available on DVD, iTunes, Netflix etc. Keep an eye out for it.
T.S Could you tell us a bit about yourself and please not the cookie cutter..lol?
B.P Well I'm 29. I was raised in Connecticut. I came out at 16 and had to leave home. I moved to LA when I was 19 and started work as a dance and eventually did some work as a choreographer. I put myself back in school and started to work on film projects. I hope that wasn't too cookie-cutter :-/
T.S How was the experience and would you do another lesbian movie?
B.P It was great and very different! All of my previous projects were with casts that were 95% male and now this was 90% female. Much different dynamic and unlike all male sets people weren't trying to jump each others' bones. I would love to do another lesbian movie. Right now, I don't have any lesbian story ideas floating around in my head but I'm sure another one will pop up.
T.S What advice would you give any filmmaker trying to make their shorts into features?
B.P Don't be afraid and don't listen to anyone that tells you, you can't do it. It was a crazy experience, and hard, trying to pump out a feature in 10 days with almost no money. If I was asked to do it again, I would probably say "hell no" and request more time and money. But, I'm so glad I did it. And there is something about determination mixed with ignorance which makes you accomplish things everyone else thinks are impossible.
T.S This is a viewer's Question. Could you tell us if any of the actresses are gay and which ones?
B.P We had a few gay actresses on set. Jillian (who plays the lead Sulie), Meghan (Angela) and Patricia (Annie) are the ones right off the top of my head. Surprisingly for a lesbian film we didn't have more. haha!
T.S Lastly....What is you're one wish for Queer Cinema?
B.P I want to see more stories where the characters just happen to be gay and the story isn't about them being gay. I want to see a series like Law and Order where one of the detectives is gay/lesbian. As gay people our life isn't about being gay, we work, we shop, we dream and lead normal lives just like everyone else. I think if more gay films have broader appeals to reach a wide range of people, I think we'll see more acceptance from the world at large.