On The Table Read, the “Best Entertainment Celebrity Magazine in the UK“, filmmaker Brandon Reich talks about his career in the film industry, and his new project, The Bob Zula.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed filmmaker Brandon Reich about his life and career, what inspires him, and experiences from his latest project, The Bob Zula.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
My name is Brandon Reich, and I’m a father to a two year old boy, and future Elvis impersonator, and I’m a husband to an amazing wife. We live in Austin, Texas with our chocolate lab, I teach improv and sketch comedy, and freelance making films.
When did you first realise you wanted to make films?
I grew up in a small Texas town. There wasn’t a lot to do, so my friends and I would make short videos to make each other laugh. Mostly we would just hurt each other on camera, and watch it over and over. Later in life I thought, man I’d like to do that for a living, so I went to film school, and I’ve been making stuff ever since.
What is your favourite thing about films?
My favorite (US spelling) thing about films are how they influence and change lives for the better. It’s a tangible way I can push back darkness.
What classes or research did you take to support you in your filmmaking career?
I’m a student of improv and sketch comedy from The Second City, and iO. I’ve also graduated from The New York Film Academy, and Columbia College Chicago in film/video. …I’ve also spent a lot of time watching tutorials on YouTube.
What was your first film industry job?
My first gig was interning at the Houston Film commission working locations for films like Mao’s Last Dancer, and The Tree of Life.
What was your most recent film industry job?
My most recent industry job was shooting and producing a short for my friend.
Tell me a favourite experience in your career. Something that stands out in your memories and makes you want to find more experiences like it.
It’s difficult for me to think of one specific thing, but what keeps me going is collaborating with friends. There’s something special about working together to make something that will potentially brighten someone’s day or make them think.
What was your toughest experience in your filmmaking career?
Funny, I thought my answer would be making a feature film, but truthfully it was the moment after it was “done” that was the toughest. It was really hard to abandon.
What is the title of your current project?
I’m always making shorts, but I’m writing a feature screenplay that’s a satire on crime/noir. The title is still to be determined.
What inspired you to make films?
I think it always feels like there is a lack of opportunities in the industry, so I’ve always been determined to make opportunities for myself and others. That has been the root of my passion for indie content.
What is the main conflict of your film?
The current work in progress has a main character who is trying to solve a crime so that his relationships can be saved. It’s a comedy.
How long did you spend in production?
My first feature shot for about two months during nights and weekends. That was before I had a baby…the next feature will have to take half the time.
How long did you spend in post production?
Editing alone was about six months. Then another year for festivals and distribution.
Did you work with a writer, or write the film yourself? Would you do the same again?
As much as I love to collaborate, I have a hard time collaborating with anyone in the writing process. So far, I’ve only written solo except for the many notes and feedback I’ve gotten from friends, family, and mentors.
How did you find your cast and what made you choose them?
For the feature, I mostly looked at online resources like the Texas Film Commission, Backstage, and asked for help from a few comedy friends. The next project, I will pull from Austin’s live comedy scene, and people who I’ve worked with.
How big was your crew? Would you choose the same size again?
The crew we had for the feature was anywhere from 10-20 behind the cam. At one point we had about 50 people on set. I’m really liking the small intimate sets I’ve been a part of these days.
How did you find your locations?
Locations primarily came from friends and family donating their home or business. The Texas film commission also helped a great deal.
Tell me some career goals. What would you like to achieve?
Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been wanting to act more. My passion has always been writing and performing comedy. I mostly direct to maintain the integrity of the script, so a goal would be to get back in the lime light. I’ve also been enjoying helping my friends with their projects because I know how grateful I am when someone helps me.
Tell me something you were surprised by, something you had never realised about being a filmmaker.
I’m surprised of how many people are still waiting in line for their one shot at acting, or looking for funding to have their script produced, or whatever is the current obstacle.
It’s so accessible to make your own content, distribute, and develop your craft in the process.
What are words of advice you have for other aspiring filmmakers?
Make stuff. Why are you not? Look at those obstacles stopping you, and what do you need to do to creatively overcome them? Adjust the script? Ask your parents to hold the camera or be in the film…or both? Don’t have a camera? Use a phone. “Hey mom, I need you to act in this and hold the camera (or phone) for my role. Just make stuff! Learn from the experience, and repeat. Keep making stuff.
Give me your social links so people can come and find you!
The Bob Zula | Check it out now on Prime Video!
YOUTUBE | https://youtube.com/c/BrandonReichFilms
FACEBOOK | https://bit.ly/2CqEnFz
TWITTER | https://twitter.com/brandonjreich
INSTAGRAM | http://instagram.com/brandonreichfilms
WEBSITE | http://www.BrandonReichFilms.com
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