Bruce Wayne Gillies: Writer,Producer & Director
filmmaker, Bruce Wayne Gillies has been creating, writing, producing, directing, and working on motion picture productions for more than seventeen years.
As a 15 year-old high school sophomore Bruce picked up his dad's Super 8mm camera and began his filmmaking career
by shooting scenes of his friends during the first Olympics, in costume with a soundtrack.
Bruce continued his directing campaign in college as an undergraduate helming multi-camera coverage of NCAA college
sports. He's created, written and directed several
professional televison news and entertainment programs for cable and PBS.
Gillies worked professionally as a director/editor at WCMU TV while attending college at Central Michigan University majoring in Cinematic
Arts. He was also a production manager at Cable Vision Inc., Mt. Pleasant, MI, and as
a Radio D.J. at WCFX, Clare, MI
and WLMA, Alma MI.
He also spent fourteen-plus busy years working in
Hollywood and overseas as either Line Producer, 2nd Unit
Director, UPM, or 1st A.D.
on feature films, music videos, commercials, and television.
In addition, Bruce
has even focused his sense of motion pictures towards the internet creating content with the launching of ShortFilmChannel.com
Bruce Wayne Gillies grew up near Detroit in the suburb Southgate, Michigan, and moved to Hollywood
directly after college to pursue his writing and directing career.
He now resides in Southern
California with his wife
and newborn son.
Q & A with Bruce Wayne Gillies
Film Addiction:2003 was a busy year for your with the production of
three feature films. Tell me a little about the 2003 films. Did any of the films have theatrical releases?
Wayne Gillies:The first movie I did in 2003 is already played in the Toronto Int'l Film Festival and in the Sundance
Film Festival. It's gone by a couple different titles and is currenly using BAADASSSSS! It's co-written and directed
and stars Mario Van Peebles as his pioneering filmmaking father Melvin Van Peebles. I wore several hats on this project
at the Line Producer, 2nd Unit Director, Unit Production Manager and the First Assistant Director. This was for Showtime
and was picked up by Sony Picture Classics and will be released in theatres in May 2004. Following BAADASSSSS! I was
executive producer and unit procution manager on the Ken Kwapis written and directed feature for Showtime call SEXUAL LIFE
starring Anne Heche and James LeGros. This project is just finishing post production and is currently under submission to
film festivals. Toward the end of 2003 STANDING STILL from Insomnia Entertainment brought me on as Executive Producer
to shepard their freshman foray in to the feature film business through production. We are presently preparing to mix
the sound on this project that stars James Van Derbeek and Mena Suvari and was Produced by Trent Othick.
Tell me about your experience producing Mario Van Peeble's film.
the film for Mario was challanging due to our budget constraints and thrillling due to the subject matter. Making a
low-budget movie about the making of a low-budget movie brought more ironies than you could shake a stick at. We're
protraying on film what is acutally happening to us in real life. That's a whole other story. At the end of the
day I think we hit a major league home run. It's turned out to be a really great movie as testified to during our Sundace
screening wherein audience members came up to us and gave unsolicited tesimonials; "... I've been coming here (Sundance) for
seven years and that was the best movie so far." WOW! The
film actually premiered at the Torontot Int'l Film
Festival and was picked up for domestic distribution my Sony Picture Classics - the same people who brought you Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon - so they know how to get it out there. http://www.sonyclassics.com/badass/The film is due to premiere in theatres this May 28th 2004. The name went through several
stages originally known as GETTIN' THE MAN'S FOOT OUTTA YOUR ASS and OTHER LIFE LESSONS and now BAADASSSSS!
You take on a lot of roles as producer, director, writer, which one do you
enjoy the most?
While producing movies has provided my main source of income, my directing
is the most enjoyable
- filmmaking, I'm a filmmaker - I can produce, I can
write and I can direct - a triple threat. I am student of Hitchcock,
Kubrick, Wells, and modern masters.
You just finished a screenplay "K&R: Executive Risk. Tell me a little about
the screenplay and what are your plans for it?
K&R: EXECUTIVE RISK is an action-adventure about Executive
JACK OLSEN as an ordinary man before separatist rebels Kidnap him for Ransom. He's held hostage deep in the jungle and forced
into action in this terrifying, extraordinary adventure when his K&R: EXECUTIVE RISK insurance policy is inexplicably
denied. I hope to be able to produce this project on location in the Philippines. I have made three films there
and would love to make this simple story there as well, however, after finishing this project the political climate changed
dramatically due to the terrorist networks. No one is in any rush to make a terrorist-type movie in the jungles of the
Philippines. So I wait for the climate to change back...
You directed the film "Bull Fights" , which was shot using Panasonic 480p Progressive
Scan Format. What was that process like compared to shooting on film? Do you like the format enough to ditch film as
Shooting on the 480p format was driven by budgetary constraints.... Shooting digital is similair
to film but the color and the lights are a little different. Film and digital formats comparison scenerios are tatamount
to telling us that if Mark Twain had written Hucklyberry Finn on really cheap paper it wouldn't be a good story. That's
not true - it's a great story no matter what format the story appears in - as long as you don't lose focus on the story.
Good movies are simple stories about complex characters. Bottom line. Who cares what they are shot on?
The film Bullfighter, you mentioned it had some troubles. Are you
continuing with the project or did you scrap it?
Bullfights was a disappointment and although I offered
to take the movie and
finish it on my dime, the producers denied my request and as far as I know the movie remains unseen
by the public. Very sad. There's a fun little romantic comedy there, albeit, unfinished.
You have a website dedicated to short film, what is your draw to short films?
What is the premise of the website: www.shortfilmchannel.com?
I cut my teeth on short films when I co-wrote, produced and directed CAR TROUBLE
DARLN' and realized in 1992 and 93 that there was no outlet for short films after you made them. To that end, and until
this day I intend to launch a short film channel station to broadcast, cablecast, or webcast shorts like MTV
show Music Videos (or used too - MTV2 now). Have a host and play short films - there is an
immediate over abundance of material. They started making short films when they started making films over one-hundred
years ago. One and two reelers - there's a butt-load of shorts and still they do not have their own channel - it's a
movie channel for shorts! I'm working on it but it takes a lot of time and money and it's never as fast as you'd like
it to be.
What are your latest projects (directing, producing, etc.)?
I am currently
actively shopping scripts I have written for directing jobs and am producing a project involving Shane West as Darby Crash
the late lead singer of the punk rock band The Germs in 1980's Los Angeles - starting shooting mid-March.
|Mario Van Peebles in "BAADASSS!"
A Closer Look: BAADASSSS!
This movie recounts the trials & tribulations that Melvin Van Peebles went through to make his now classic
independent film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song in 1971. Mario plays his Dad in what clearly is a labor of love. Part documentary,
part drama, but mostly comedy, BAADASSSSS! got a standing ovation at its premiere Jan. 20th at the Sundance Film Festival.
|Van Peebles and dad
I hadn't seen the movie on which this one is based, but it didn't matter. If you are a fan of the cinema
it would be impossible not to root for the elder Peebles as he encounters one problem after another. As a black man trying
to make a major motion picture without studio backing, he is the ultimate underdog. Excellent entertainment & a great
bonus at the end where we get to meet the rag-tag crew who eventually get the job done.