Interview with Writer/Actor Brett Epstein (DIARY ROOM)

DIARY ROOM played to rave reviews at the August 2021 LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was looking for an ‘in’ to create a nuanced, complex, three-dimensional portrayal of a gay lead character. As a Big Brother fan, I knew that the whirlwind highs and lows of such an experience could give me access to the contemporary, darkly comic tone I was going for.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

Six months.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Raw. Human.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Adequately assessing the vulnerability and depth necessary to make the 8-minute diary room sequence soar on the right dramatic and comedic levels.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Non-stop smiles. I felt seen, heard, valued, accomplished. I loved that there were a variety of ages, genders, locations, people etc. It was a powerful realization of the universality of a strong lead character and of film in general.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?


7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

With no shame… Jurassic Park. Magical. Adventure of a lifetime. Fond memories of seeing it in theatres when I was younger and being in absolute awe. Second most watched film: Eighth Grade. Bo Burnham = genius.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Overall: it’s nice to have a compact system of submitting your film to festivals in an easy-to-navigate manner.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Burger from Louis’ Lunch in New Haven. Forever and always.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

The short play series I produce (Rule of 7×7) is returning live off-Broadway this month. I am also finishing edits of a new pilot of mine by the end of this summer.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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