BRANDON PAYAN – ‘Valleywood’ has a “Orson Welles” in it’s midst.
Films: Dead John, Alien Encounter, Fighting Sleep, Death & Me.

1) So,We hear you’re talented,But complicated—Discuss ?
I’ve always kind of been a social outcast in many ways. Growing up in school I really only had a close group of friends. I suppose that is why I chose to be creative.
2) FIGHTING SLEEP is your next film to be released,What a year,Huh ?
Yes. It actually started when I realized I may be pretty busy this year. I knew I wanted to make a film before the year was over. I have this compulsion that I need to be in production or I just don’t feel whole.
Fighting Sleep is an art film about a man named Tim who has lost everything: His girlfriend was murdered, which in turn causes him to lose his job, etc. He is forced into a spiritual journey by a spirit named Bruce and accompanied by his friend Don who tries to help Tim deal with his problems.
If this year goes the way I hope it does, I should be shooting another film in November. All I can say right now is that it’s a horror movie with some interesting twists and turns.
3) One sentence descriptions – Jeslen Mishelle: Jeslen is a totally fearless and talented performer with a big heart and an awesome sense of humor. Kevin Searcy: Kevin is a good friend, a much better businessman and people person than I am and I admire that. Jeff Murray: Jeff is someone I hope to be more like in the future, his attitude to make the films he wants to and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about it is truly inspiring. Willy Ortlieb: I have a lot of respect for Willy, because he and I are a lot alike and have dealt with the same problems that low budget filmmakers can run into; He rolls with the punches and is a really awesome guy to be around. Adam Beck: Adam is a good friend and an awesome Cinematographer who isn’t afraid to try new things, he’s very patient with someone like me who tends to get very experimental on the fly.
4) BEST of The ‘Pay’ On/Off Set ?
I like to think that I play fair with people who may be having a bad day. I try to show people respect on set. I like to think of myself as someone who is quick witted and knows how to set up a shot that others would say is impossible. I don’t like to play on strengths, because I feel like there’s no creative room when you only do that as a filmmaker.
5) WORST of The ‘Pay’ On/Off Set ?
I can definitely work on being a better acting director. I’m very hands on with a lot of the production work and I really need to be more trusting of the people holding the camera, but there are times when you have to do some of the camerawork yourself to get the result you want. There was a time when I was poor at planning, but I like to think I’ve fixed that tremendously.
6) DEATH & ME, Sore subject or just a matter of time happening ?
Not a sore subject at all. I knew that the indiegogo campaign was wishful thinking. D&M is like my holy grail film that I will most likely have to bring in investors and do a proper job at. I’m in the midst of some planning for making that movie happen. I’m actually happy that i haven’t shot it just yet, because it’s given me a chance to perfect the script and experiment with storytelling techniques.
7) Have you heard,How many times your name is tossed around in “Valleywood ” ?
I have not. I wouldn’t think anyone would be interested in what I’m doing. There are so many people doing so many bigger things than I’m doing. I like to think that I’ve made a few friends though. There are a lot of good people in this business.
8) Is it hard being a husband and father and making movies ?
Yes. I struggled with that for years trying to juggle full time work and making films. My wife finally understood that I would never be happy as a worker bee so we’ve been working together for the past couple of years. I make time for my family, I spend almost 9 hours a day working whether it be writing, editing or learning and I spend the rest of my time with my family.
9) Favorite film you worked on, And why ?
That’s a tough question. I’m going to have to break that in two. Of my own films I’d have to say working on the “Death & Me” short was really exhilarating because I had been wanting to produce this film for going on 7 years now.
But my best experience this far on someone else’s production would have to be “Bigfoot’s Wild Weekend because everyone in the crew had a great sense of humor. That was where I was introduced to the filmmakers around the Valley and started some awesome friendships.
10) Last chance to impress those that could help make ‘Death & Me’ ?
I challenge anyone out there to attempt to make a better film that has the right amount of mainstream commercial viability and unique ingenuity to it, because the truth is ideas like this only come around once in a generation. I would cut my own arm off to get this movie made, because I know exactly how to execute it with the right amount of dimension and quality.


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