November 2001
Q & A with Brian Evans : Writer, producer, and director of "Cold Feet"

Interviewed by Wilson Morales

Q & A with Brian Evans : Writer, producer, and director of "Cold Feet"

Breaking into the film industry is not as easy a task as one may think. Sometimes, you have to know someone to “get in”, while at other times, who you know is not enough. Brian Evans had a dream of making a film. His only obstacle was that he had little help. Fueled by the power of his strong conviction, he made "Cold Feet" on his own. The film traveled through the festival circuit and enjoyed a limited theatrical release early this year. On the heels of showing “Cold Feet” at a recent installment of the Midnight Screening Series, Brian spent some time with us to share his experience in making this film.

WM: What led you to get into the film industry?

BE: I can't say any one thing got me into film. My brothers and I were always big film fans. We still speak to each other in a sort of short hand, citing lines from our favorite flicks. I got into film more seriously when my brothers and I started an urban entertainment magazine program called, "The World Premiere". My cameraman from that show introduced me to some people who were making an independent film. After watching the process I felt I should take a shot at filmmaking. I studied independently and within a year of that introduction I was on the set of my first project, "Cold Feet".

WM: What inspired you to write the story?

BE: "Cold Feet" was a semi autobiographical story. My brothers both got married pretty young. I took much of the conflict from those situations to create the premise, then created a fictional story from there.

WM: You wore so many hats (actor, producer, writer, and director) in the film, why?

BE: When I wrote "Cold Feet" I had no intention of directing it or acting in it. It just so happened that when I started searching for directors, I wasn't thrilled with my choices. We didn't have much money and we weren't getting a good selection. I felt I knew the story well enough and I had some directing [experience] from our television show so I took a chance. The acting came as I started casting. The more I studied the script, the more I realized that I had written the role of Bruce for myself without intending to. It felt right, so I just jumped in.

WM: Of these many roles [actor, producer, writer, and director], which one are you most accustomed to?

BE: I like acting and producing, but at the end of the day, I'm a writer/director. I want to share my thoughts and opinions through my films and writing and directing provides me the opportunity to do that.

WM: What challenges did you face to get the film distributed?

BE: I think it's very difficult to secure distribution these days. Whereas a few years ago many companies acquired films, most film companies today prefer to produce their own projects. We appeared at many major film festivals and promoted many of our own private screenings before making a deal with UniWorld films which has since become Film Life. We played in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington D.C in fall of last year. I think you just have to keep showing your project to people until you find someone to believe in you.

WM: How difficult is it to secure financing?

BE: For first time filmmakers securing financing is the most difficult part of the process. Once again, you have to have tenacity and keep asking until you find someone who believes in you. Your script is the most important tool. If it's good, you have a slim chance to secure your financing. If it's not, forget it. In other words, take some writing classes.

WM: What is next for you?

BE: I'm currently writing a how-to book for first time filmmakers. I also have a documentary and two feature films on tap for 2002. One's a dark comedy called, "Dead Wrong" and the other is a romantic drama entitled, "A Harlem Love Story". The ink is still wet on both of those deals so I won't give away plot, but they pack some major star power and the stories are great so keep an eye out. Next year's gonna be good for us.