The action/adventure movie genre might not ever be the same, thanks to writer, director and producer Doug Spearman. Spearman's new independent project, Hot Guys with Guns (which has started filming) is slated to enter into post-production by Thanksgiving and be released by the beginning of January. The film has received funds largely through monetary contributions made through the fundraising website Indiegogo.
Windy City Times: So where are you right now in the process of making this film?
Doug Spearman: We're almost entirely cast, we're really lucky we just got Alan Blumenfeld, who's an actor who was on Heroes, he was on Mad Men; he's amazing and I'm super happy to have him on board. We started pitching investors; small investors are how we work.
WCT: You hold several positions as the writer, director and producer. What is it like taking on so many jobs for the same project?
DOUG SPEARMAN: I'll probably sleep sometime after Thanksgiving. Seriously, I am up all the time. I'm awake all the time. It's all I think about, it's all I do, it all I talk about. I've got to make sure everything is where it's supposed to be when it's supposed to be there, on time ready and prepped. I have to sort of be the overlord on everything. I've got to keep watch over all of this. I'm bringing everybody in so I have a responsibility to make this as a professional, hard-working and well-working experience as I possibly can.
WCT: Hot Guys with Guns is going to be the first gay action film ever created. Why do you think it took so long for this to happen?
DOUG SPEARMAN: Really, I don't know. I think everything comes about when it's supposed too. So maybe it was just time for it. Maybe the universe was just waiting for me to just write the script.
A lot of time, with gay men, people don't necessarily want to see us do things like hold a gun or be aggressive. It wasn't that long ago that you really saw gay men with real lives in television and film. Hollywood likes us over the top or tragic and So we don't usually get stuck in story lines where we get to do a lot of action/adventure unless we're the bad guys. There's certainly a lot of gay bad guys. There was a film called Hannah that came out over a year ago and the bad guy in Hannah was gay, but in terms of two guys in action, where they have to fight their way out, we never get there.
WCT: What do you think it will take for gay characters to fully break into the mainstream?
DOUG SPEARMAN: Well, I think it takes us [gay people] writing them. We have to do more and more. In Germany, there was a show where there was a lesbian and a gay guy that actually were detectives, kind of in a private investigator service, and I know that CBS was in talks years ago about a show called Mr. and Mr. Smith, about two gay private investigators. But the only way we can make these stories happen is if we change the story. Did you ever see The Pelican brief?
DOUG SPEARMAN: Well, you're a reporter. Do you know how many movies there are about a reporter who finds a story and has to go on the run?
WCT: Quite a few.
DOUG SPEARMAN: Exactly. I mean, why couldn't any one of those have been a gay reporter?
WCT: Very true.
DOUG SPEARMAN: I mean, human beings are human beings. It's just the fact that when you find out who they sleep with, we tend to have an idea of what their lives are supposed to be or give value to their lives, based on their sexual orientation.
WCT: That's a very good point.
DOUG SPEARMAN: You cannot imagine how many times I've been told by people who liked me and wanted to see me succeedand told me not to make a movie with gay characters in it. And you won't believe how many of those people are actually gay.
WCT: So even among gay members of the film industry there are those who say, "Don't write gay characters?"
DOUG SPEARMAN: Yes; agents, producersa lot of money people. But if we don't do it, then it will never get done.
WCT: What is your favorite part about working on a projectnot only this project but any project you've worked on?
DOUG SPEARMAN: When it starts to come alive. There's a tipping point when you know it's happening, when you know it's there. My three favorite moments are when I finish a script, when I hear it read and when I'm on the set. There's nothing greater than being on a motion-picture set.
WCT: When did you have that epiphany for the first time?
DS :I remember the first time that I was on stage and I hear applause and I was like, "Oh my God, this is amazing." I was 15 and I was in a play in high school, a musical. I was in Fiddler on the Roof. I was in a really big number in the end of act one and it was sensational. We were high school kids and the crowd went wild; I just remember it felt like love. You could literally feel the force of the air moving created by peoples clapping, and the sound of it felt like love. I thought, "This is amazing; I want to be here, feeling this my whole life."
WCT: Social media plays a huge role in the funding of this film. How much harder would it be to complete this movie without social media?
DOUG SPEARMAN: It would be impossible on a lot of different levels. First of all, you've got to build buzz now. You've got to get people to talk about the movie and talk about what's going on and talk about the fact that you're actually doing it and it's here. You want people to start looking out for it. If I can raise a certain amount of money I can show people I can raise more money and I need social media more than ever to get this done. It's the most important part of this program.
WCT: Do you think that Hot Guys with Guns will help change how films are funded and made?
DOUG SPEARMAN: No. I think it's going to change a lot about gay films. I think it's going to make you look at characters and go, "Aha! I know these guys but I'm just not used to seeing them like this." But, no, I'm using the formula a lot of people are usingIndiegogo and Kickstarter; I'm not the first person to use that. I'm just following in somebody else's footsteps.
I'm learning from other peoplehell, even Whoopi Goldberg. One of the reasons I decided to do it this way is because Whoopi Goldberg has a project, a documentary that she wants to make, and she's using Kickstarter. If you wait for other people with big money to allow you to do something you'll never get it done. You've got to push.
The movie is still accepting donations; people can still contribute to Hot Guys with Guns by visiting www.DougSpearman.com .