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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Interview with Filmmaker Brian Metcalf at 72nd Cannes Film Festival

Interview with Filmmaker Brian Metcalf at 72nd Cannes Film Festival

Brian A. Metcalf (WGA, PGA, DGA, VES, ASCAP) is an Asian-American writer, director, producer and actor. His most recent film, Adverse, is a drama/thriller that he produced, directed, wrote and acted in and stars a large ensemble cast with Academy Award® Nominee Mickey Rourke, Academy Award® Nominee Sean Astin, Golden Globe® Nominee Lou Diamond Phillips, Golden Globe® Nominee Penelope Ann Miller, Matt Ryan, Jake T. Austin, Andrew Keegan, Luke Edwards, Shelley Regner, Thomas Ian Nicholas and more. He is known for his past works 'Sorrows Lost' (2005), which was his directorial debut; his first feature, 'Fading of the Cries' (2008); 'The Lost Tree' (2016), starring Thomas Ian Nicholas, Lacey Chabert, Scott Grimes, Clare Kramer and Michael Madsen; 'Living Among Us' (2018), starring William Sadler, Primetime Emmy® Nominee John Heard, James Russo, Andrew Keegan, Esme Bianco and Thomas Ian Nicholas. Metcalf also helped to produce the documentary, 'Little Gandhi' (2016), which was announced for Oscar Consideration on October 6th, 2017, the first ever nomination from Syria.

His upcoming projects include "Twilight Into Darkness" which will be written and produced by Mickey Rourke and Metcalf. Rourke is also set to star and Metcalf is set to direct and act in the film. Metcalf continues to develop numerous projects for film, television, multimedia. He is living in Los Angeles.


Can you tell us about your new film 'Adverse'?

BRIAN: Sure, Adverse is a dramatic crime thriller about a rideshare driver who must try and protect his younger sister from a drug syndicate after discovering she has gotten herself tangled in debt with them.


Is the story inspired by real events or something personal?

BRIAN: The story is inspired by a combination of real and personal events. I had learned my girlfriend at the time ended up getting herself caught up in drugs and hanging out with a bad crowd so I tried to help her in whatever ways I could. So many of the elements and feelings of hopelessness were written into this film.


Do you have any anecdotes from your time filming? Good or bad?

BRIAN: We had a lot of crazy things that happened on set. I remember filming in freezing cold weather, so between takes we would all do whatever it took to keep warm whether it was to huddle together or run into already warm cars. 


How was the cast for this film?

BRIAN: The cast in this film was amazing. There were so many recognizable names that came in and were complete professionals that gave it their all. Some of the cast were actors I had worked with in the past already so it felt like "getting the band back together again," while other cast was brand new. It was extremely exciting and intimidating to be working with so many talented people that I had grown up watching. And watching them bring to life the characters I had created and performing the lines that I had written was quite an amazing experience.


Do you think making indie films is easier or harder than ever? 

BRIAN: I believe that with technology, making indie films has become alot easier. You can now grab your phone and use that as a camera and shoot it in 4k without problems. Also, shooting in low light situations has become far easier as well. There really is no excuse to not at least get out there and create your own movies and post them up on youtube.

What has been your greatest challenge as a director?


BRIAN: For me, as a filmmaker, it would be raising the finance. As a director, it's always racing against the clock to get as much footage as possible with the time constraints.


You are also acting and producing. Is it necessary to wear many professional hats in the industry today?

BRIAN: I think it is very necessary. For example, acting helps me to work with other actors as a director and to explain what I am looking for easier. I used to be told from actors that they had difficulty understanding my instructions, so I made sure to enroll myself in quite a few acting classes to better understand how an actor thinks. As a producer, I am able to have better control of the project. I feel that it is extremely important in this industry to learn as much as possible. The right projects don't always come to you, so sometimes you have to create them yourself either as a writer or producer. You also are able to get more work if you can wear multiple hats as opposed to just one. Sometimes you are just the writer for a project or the producer or director, and other times you fit all of those roles at once.


Why is it essential for a director to attend Cannes and the markets? 

BRIAN: It is essential for a director to attend Cannes due to all the connections you make and for the overall experience. There were a number of people that live in LA where I do that I have never had the chance to connect with, but ironically I fly halfway across the world to meet them and party with them. 


Was Cannes successful for you this year? 

BRIAN: Cannes was very successful as we managed to get some offers from some territories even though the film is still not finished, reconnected with numerous connections and friends and made new ones.


What will you be working on next? 

BRIAN: I am currently working on a new tv series with Authentic Productions and the executive producers of The Good Doctor and I have several film projects that are being developed.

Interview with Filmmaker Brian Metcalf at 72nd Cannes Film Festival


Interview by Vanessa McMahon




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