Catching Up With Filmmaker Tom E. Brown

Jan 11, 2018

A highlight of every Festival is becoming acquainted with the phenomenal and talented filmmakers whose work we showcase. Tom E. Brown, who directed Frameline40's award-winning PUSHING DEAD, is not only one of these amazing media makers, he's also a local, making him even more connected to and involved with the Bay Area scene.

We recently caught up with Brown to chat about his Festival experience with PUSHING DEAD and upcoming screening in our Frameline Encore series. Icing on the cake: he shared deets on his current projects, and told us the secret way to his heart (hint: it involves getting him a beer at the upcoming Q&A).

Tom E. Brown, Photo: Frazer Bradshaw 

FL: It was a pleasure to have you at Frameline40, where PUSHING DEAD premiered to a very positive audience response. Can you share a little bit about your experience during the Festival and how you feel working the Festival circuit differs from other exhibition channels?

TB: We had a great time at Frameline! Hard to beat a packed-house screening at the Castro. It was really nice for me, since most of my cast was there and they got to feel the love from the crowd.

Festivals can be super fun. And sometimes not. Depends what you are hoping to get out of the festival, and who is running it. Frameline has an amazing team, and it's one of the warmest festivals I've attended, ever. And we did many, many festivals with PUSHING DEAD.

We just ended our run on the circuit. I'm tired. Or maybe I'm tired because I'm drunk.

PUSHING DEAD Frameline40 Q&A at the Castro Theatre, Photo: Barak Shrama 

FL: In addition to PUSHING DEAD screening three times during the Festival, your film also won the Frameline40 AT&T Audience Award for Best Feature (congrats!!!). Looking back, can you tell us how your experience and exposure at Frameline impacted PUSHING DEAD and your work overall?

TB: I was really touched when we won your audience award. That meant a lot to me, especially since this is a very important and personal movie for me. And I'm happy to report PUSHING DEAD has been getting love all over the place, and we've picked up a bunch of awards from some great festivals. To win your remarkably handsome audience award right out of the gate was really helpful for us. We had a lot of requests to screen the film after that news was released...

I'm really distracted by my neighbor coughing violently on the other side of the wall. Okay, he stopped. Now he's playing the Star Spangled Banner really loud. I'm going to assume he's okay...

To recap, Frameline was a wonderful kickoff to our festival run. Thanks for that!

PUSHING DEAD, Photo: Frazer Bradshaw 

FL: We're thrilled to bring back PUSHING DEAD for a Frameline Encore screening later this month. What do you look forward to about screening the film again in SF for new and returning viewers alike?

TB: I'm thrilled, too. Thanks for bringing us back! And big thanks to our kind distributor, Synergetic! I'm excited we get to offer a free screening in our hometown. And I love The Roxie. I've invited many of our local actors, so I'm predicting we'll have a fun Q&A. I always look forward to the screenings, but showing it in SF is really special. It's a very San Francisco movie, 100% made in the Bay Area.

Also, I'm hoping to get lucky, since my relationship didn't survive the feature. Somebody please buy me a beer.

Brown and Robin Weigert on PUSHING DEAD set, Photo: Steve Pitre 

FL: Outside of the Encore screening, where can viewers catch PUSHING DEAD? Any Distribution updates you can share?

TB: We have distribution, but not all of the details just yet. We're planning for a small theatrical release soon, followed by a few VOD options, Blu-ray and DVD. Readers, please follow us on Facebook and we'll keep you posted... and on Twitter... My producers are going to be proud of me.

And it's popping up here and there around the globe, too. It's going to be huge in Russia.

PUSHING DEAD, Photo: Frazer Bradshaw 

FL: Очень круто! Can you share any details on upcoming projects?

TB: I've got three projects in the works. A short is in production about a puppet who falls in love with a piece of citrus. That one's called EDVARD. I've also got two larger comedies in development. One is a feature about a lefty, vigilante, old cop named SHADESACK, loosely inspired by a character I played in my friends' short film. The other is an episodic called TENDERLOIN, set in its namesake, about life in San Francisco with a focus on gentrification and homelessness. All of these feature unconventional gay characters.

Brown in scene from SHADESHACK, Photo: Frazer Bradshaw 

FL: Finally, any words of advice for aspiring LGBTQ media makers?

TB: Making a movie is really hard. Make sure it's something you believe in. Put your heart into it. It's often a long road from page to screen.

And always be kind! Life would be a lot easier with more kind people.

Thanks Tom!

Be sure to catch PUSHING DEAD on Thursday, January 25th, at 7PM at the Roxie Theater.