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Brandon Ladson Talks About Independent Filmmaking and Storytelling

1. To start, please tell us a little about yourself. When did you realize that you were interested in cinema? How did you become into it? How and where did you learn this profession? I became interested in cinema at the age of eight. I self-taught myself how to write screenplays. I learned how to direct and edit when I was studying Digital Media in school.

2. Is Danger on the Street your latest work? How long did it take to make it?

No this year, I did two animated films and two more currently in production. Originally I wanted to make the movie in 2021, however I decided to push it back to 2022 which turned out to be a good thing. It took months to get it off the ground as I had to delay the movie by a few months based on actors availabilities.

3. How did you come up with the main idea of ​​this film and how long did it take you to reach the final script? Did you consult with anyone about it?

I came up with the idea in 2012 after watching a YouTube video. I wrote the original version of the script in 2013 and somewhere along the way I lost it. So I rewrote the script years later and in the midst of that, I had other writing projects going on. There have been a few people that I reached out to about doing the movie over the years, but things did not really materialize until 2021.

4. Your film is a crime and action film. Do you think it is difficult to make a genre film?

I do not think it is difficult to make a genre film. What I believe is difficult is selling it. Do I have a story that people are going to watch? Will film festivals accept the film? The genre itself is not the problem. The problem is getting people interested in seeing it.

5. How do you think independent filmmakers can make their voice heard among the world audience?

Just like anyone else in the film industry, independent filmmakers need to be fighters. They need to treat their movies as if it was the only movie they will ever make and they need to have the mindset that the movie they are making is the best ever. Independent filmmakers has the advantage of telling THEIR story and not the story of the studio. Which means that independent filmmakers should do things like submitting their films to as many film festivals as possible. I would go as far as say that today’s independent filmmakers has a very strong advantage of making their voice heard because of social media. We are living in the age of Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and many more so they can definitely let people know who they are and what is their movie.

6. What lessons did you learn while making this film that you think you could share with other filmmakers?

In the beginning when I started making film, the mindset I had was to spread the word about my movie to see who would be interested however I would acknowledge that anything can change so there is no guarantee that the movie will be made. I believe that by the time I slowly started to get “Danger on the Street” off the ground, I would say that I should have been more confident that the film was going to be made. Obviously things can change that may cause the movie to be either delayed or cancelled altogether. I do believe that filmmakers need to have confidence in their film because if they are confident, then everyone else involved in the production of the film will be confident both in you and the film.

7. How do you see the role of film festivals in providing an opportunity for young filmmakers so as for their works to be seen and gain recognition?

I do believe that film festivals gives everyone the opportunity to see the work of a young filmmaker. When I mean everyone, I mean the number one producer in the world, the number one director, the number actor, etc. Anyone who is anyone that has the pull will be watching a young filmmaker’s work and is so blown away by it that they want to invest in that filmmaker because they see potential. I am like that with actors myself. I am someone who loves to work with actors who are not a big name, nor do that have a lot of acting experience, however they have the potential to be a name for themselves. That is the mindset that I have when I submit my movies into film festivals. I want to believe that someone who is a name is watching my work.

8. Regarding the changes that the cinema industry has observed, do you think the availability of tools and the advancement of technology have helped filmmakers or caused countless productions?

Yes and no. Tools and technology should always improve as time goes on in order to help filmmakers realize their dreams and visions of their movies. At the same time, filmmakers need to be careful not to rely too much on the technical and focus on the most important ingredient of making a movie: a story. There is nothing wrong with making a movie that looks good, however it is important not to spend too much money on style alone.

9. Can academic training be of better use to become a filmmaker or practical work?

There is really no real right or wrong answer. A person can get as much academic training as possible if they want. However, there are things that they do not teach you in school that you will discover when you are out there on set because anything can happen so expect the unexpected.

10. If possible, please tell us about your next project.

As I mentioned earlier, I have two animated short films in production. The voiceover work is completed, and I am currently waiting for the animation to be completed. I am also on a sabbatical from film work; however I am thinking of what future projects I would like to work on as well as what type of stories that I would like to focus on.


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