Interview: Rob Williams – Co-Owner of Guest House Films.
Here’s a sampling of his movies and my personal favorites:
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And now may, I present Mr. Rob Williams!
• Who is Rob Williams?
I am a filmmaker – writer, director, producer – focusing on films for the LGBT market. I have made five films to date – “Long-Term Relationship,” “Back Soon,” “3-Day Weekend,” “Make The Yuletide Gay” and “Role/Play.”
• When did you first decide you wanted to be a filmmaker and why?
I started writing first – it’s a cliche, but everyone in Los Angeles really does have a screenplay! – and I went to an amazing screenwriting group that taught me so much about structure and dialogue. One of my earliest scripts was a gay romantic comedy called “Long-Term Relationship” that went on to be the first film we produced and that I directed. But it was really my love of gay cinema and my awareness of the need for more gay films in the marketplace that made me want to become a filmmaker and make films for the gay market.
• Are there any particular writers/producers/directors that inspire you?
• What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your movies?
I’m always surprised when someone takes the time to write me and tell me that they enjoyed one of my movies. Even though we work tremendously hard to make good films and to get them out to the world, it’s always such a joy to hear from someone who liked a film enough to find my email address or track down my Facebook page and let me know. “Make The Yuletide Gay” generated a lot of emails from teens who came out to their parents after seeing the movie (or in some cases, watching the movie with their parents), and it’s incredible that something I did encouraged these kids to come out and be honest with their families. That was surprising and very, very humbling for me.
• Do you believe the industry will ever be fully accepting of LGBT filmmaking? Or do you believe they already are? Why?
On one hand, the industry is completely accepting of LGBT filmmaking and especially of LGBT filmmakers – look at the success of “Brokeback Mountain” and “Milk.” But on the other hand, the industry (and more specifically, the mainstream audiences) aren’t always ready for films with real gay content, such as gay sex scenes, male nudity or even same-sex kisses. I can’t wait for the day when a major Hollywood studio makes a film about realistic gay characters and the issues they face, and have those films get national distribution and have mainstream audiences go to see them.
• Do you have any quirky or unusual stories concerning your work?
The weirdest things I’ve had to do for our films always involve buying wardrobe or props. When we were getting ready to make “Role/Play,” I spent a couple of hours buying swimsuits for star Matthew Montgomery. The smallest swimsuits we could find. He’d try them on, and I’d have to decide which tiny little bikini looked best on him. Tough job. And for “3-Day Weekend,” I took actor Derek Long shopping for a leather harness for one scene – again, making him try on different ones to see what looked best. That’s the part of indie filmmaking that makes people with office jobs really jealous!
• What is the best and/or worst filmmaking advice you’ve ever received?
The best filmmaking advice I ever got was, “Feed your cast and crew well!” Many low-budget films order pizza for lunch every day, and that does not go over well with a crew that has been working really hard, so we always find a good caterer, offer good food, and it makes a big difference. 🙂
• Do you have anything specific that you want to say to other aspiring filmmakers or in general about the industry?
Follow your dream. Make your film. Love what you do.
I want to thanks Mr. Williams for taking the time to visit me at Black Satin today and provide this wonderful interview. It’s greatly appreciated!