First, a bit of trivia. Former Movie Fail contributor Michael Capodiferro is also a director and writer. Following graduation from the dramatic writing program at Hampshire College, he was hired as an assistant director and producer for the upcoming webseries, Spooners.
Spooners: The Webseries is directed by Bryan Horch and is based on his award-winning short of the same name. Horch has devoted his career to effecting social change through film and television. His work has spanned comedy shorts, documentaries, PSAs and music videos. He is particularly interested in issues that face LGBT and deaf communities with a strong focus on human rights and reproductive health.
In the original Spooners, a gay couple heads out in search of a new bed. Unfortunately, the process doesn’t go as smoothly or discretely as either one might have wanted. The full short can be seen here:
I recently had the chance to sit down with Horch to discuss The Webseries, which is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.
Hi Bryan, thanks for joining me.
Before we get into Spooners, I’d love to hear about your background. How did you get into making movies?
I’ve been doing filmmaking since I was a kid. I got a video camera in high school that I used to make short films with my friends in the neighborhood. Mostly short, ridiculous, middle school humor type of films. Then I went to Ithaca College and studied film, communications and sociology and in that time I kind of got serious. Like, filmmaking is a serious thing and it needs to be about social change and social justice issues and that sort of thing.
So after college I got into doing more documentary filmmaking. I worked for production companies that did films for the National Geographic Society and I worked on a couple of PBS documentary films. One of them is the Chicano! History of the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement. And so I was involved in that kind of filmmaking.
And then I realized I wanted to work with people more. I really got into American Sign Language when I was living in Austin, Texas, across the street from the [Texas] School for the Deaf. I became an interpreter, so when technology advanced to the point where you could make your own films for pretty cheap, I got back into filmmaking as well as interpreting. I had my own production company and was still doing more documentary and educational films.
And how did that lead to Spooners?
Well I remembered what I used to be really passionate and excited about was making films with my friends. Like getting together with a group of people, coming up with an idea, coming up with a script and making short films. So I started doing that, and I decided I needed some more help in terms of the narrative structure and everything.
I went to a program in San Francisco for screenwriting for a year where I wrote a feature-length film. And after that, I started thinking about just doing really tight, well-made shorts.
So I was doing this screenwriting workshop class, and at that time I was living in Amherst, Massachusetts. My partner and I realized we had been sleeping on our double futon that we’d had since college – for the past 10 years. It was time to upgrade.
I was like, “Well, what do you do? How do you even buy a bed? I don’t even know where you start.” So I went into a chain bed store that was in the area and when I walked in there – there was nobody else shopping there – but the salesman was asleep on one of the beds. I had to clear my voice and get his attention. (Laughs.)