It’s often believed that glamour industry is full of homosexuals and it does also provide favourable environment to the member of LGBT community. Directly and indirectly filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar has showcased contribution as well as condition of LGBT community in glamour industry through his films.
Recently, independent filmmaker Brandon Ruckdashel made headlines through his new project Grinder. Based on true stories, Grinder is a film which narrates the story of a teenager who leaves his home in the suburbs and his abusive father for the promise of a modelling job in New York City.
Like the protagonist of the film, Brandon also moved to New York City, after completing studies from North Carolina and started working as a stage actor off-Broadway. According to him Grinder was inspired by New York City being a meat grinder which eats some people up, chews on them, and spits them out. Not everyone can survive the way this town treats you.
Speaking exclusively to Gaysi Family about the idea behind the concept, Brandon said, “I wanted to take a couple of my personal stories, from getting started in the industry, and put them together into a film. Most the events, which the action of Grinder centres around, are based on my and a few of my friends experiences.”
Here director Brandon Ruckdashel sharing his experience of creating Grinder and interesting facts of behind the scene.
Q. According to you, how society reacts to films based on LGBT theme?
Society’s reaction has been changing over time. Hollywood studios are still afraid to make LGBT films and so it is up to independent filmmakers, like myself, to delve into the rich stories and history of the LGBT community.
Q. Is it difficult to approach producers to invest in LGBT themed films?
Yes, we attempted to crowd fund first and failed quite spectacularly. I was lucky to meet our producer Wes Cole at a film festival I was working at and the two of us really connected. The right people at the right time are always how these things work out.
Q. Does the film deliver justice to the real scenario of the glamour industry for LGBT community? Please share your thoughts on the same.
There are many different people who make up the glamour industry. There are some, who work in many different jobs within fashion, who do in fact behave in the way some of our characters do. I had agents, casting directors, and photographers approach me in the same way our characters do. Being from a small town there is a level of naiveté to how you behave when you move to the big city. I don’t think the LGBT is the only victim of this culture, but it worked for our specific story to tell it within that framework.
Q. Did you face any troubles in terms of shooting and casting? Please take us through the interesting facts of behind the scene.
Every shoot deals with problems when casting, finding locations, and crewing important positions. We went through 3 different actors playing Sarah (one before the night she was supposed to shoot), 2 Rich’s, 2 Luke’s, and a director. I ended up directing after our previous choice didn’t work out. With locations we had a lot of trouble finding local businesses in New York who wanted to be supportive of independent films. I think it would have been easier to find locations in a smaller town where people are less “over it” when it comes to filmmaking.
Q. How has the overall experience been of creating Grinder? What lessons did you learn this experience?
I learned that there is no “easy” part to the process. If one thing works out another thing will become more difficult. It is a balancing act. I’ve had a great time with it through both the lows and the current highs. Like anything else, you just have to stick to it, work hard, and don’t give up on yourself or the project.
Q. Are you satisfied with the response it has received from masses and critics?
The critics have been very kind. I have learned many lessons from the ones who are critical and been encouraged by the many who have said very positive things. Like anything else in art you have to take what someone else says with a grain of salt. You can’t live your life seeking the adoration of other people.
Q. Please take us through your future plans.
At the moment Grinder is in the festival circuit. We’d love to play in a couple countries outside of America and then settle on a distribution deal. At the end of March we will have played in three cities in America (Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and New York City) and this fall we play in Mexico. I’m looking forward to getting a suntan. Hopefully we get a chance to bring Grinder to India.