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Cruzin with Filmmaker, Jesse Scott Bryan
Jesse Scott Bryan is not a newcomer to the film industry, but like most independent filmmakers, he has worked under the radar honing his skills as a writer, director, and producer.
With a new business partner in Jack Andrews, and film company, In The Box Entertainment, Jesse believes that 2017 will take him to that next level of film production success. Jesse has also partnered with Tatum Studios, Inc. (Owned by Barbara Tatum) and is now their COO. What could be better than having a new production company and partnering with a new studio?
Jesse's new film, CRUZIN, premieres on January 6th, 2017 and will screen at the various film festivals throughout the year.
A mystery thriller about a teenager who gets more than he bargained for after purchasing his first car and was created by Jack Andrews, a then 15-year-old, who also stars in the film. The film was shot in Upton County, GA., where Andrews grew up. The log line for CRUZIN says it all: “If a deal seems too good to be true… it is!”
The film features SAG/AFTRA actors, Barefoot Bill Pacer and La Donna Allison, along with Team Oscar Winner, Patrick Walker and Cory Chapman - from the acclaimed, I'm Not Ashamed film.
Jack Andrews reached out to Jesse about producing and directing CRUZIN because he thought Jesse could deliver the kind of film he envisioned. The story intrigued Jesse because he felt it was the film that could reignite the "coming of age" genre of films he set his path on pursuing.
The two raised the $5,000.00 budget for the film with $3,500.00 from crowd funding and an additional $1,500.00 from personal contributions. Once they had the money, they gathered 20 talented cast and crew members for a three day shoot.
In fact, things went so well with their filming of CRUZIN, Jesse decided he'd like to do more films with young Jack Andrews, to help him with his vision, and to create a production company. Jesse says that CRUZIN will be used as their Calling Card to get the budget they need for their next production – a feature film, 'Papa Legba'.
The two formed, In The Box Entertainment film company, making Jack Andrews a very young co-CEO of a professional film company at age 16, and allowing Jesse to focus on his filmmaking game plan.
Jesse knows full well that being an independent filmmaker is tough when you are competing for dollars to become "successful." And the best way to stay successful is to have your films, at the very least, make the money back that was originally invested in making it. That’s why, even though CRUZIN is a “short film” – it was shot like a feature film. And they need investors to see how they turned a $5,000 budget into a $120,000.00 production value. That is a 2000 percent return on investment.
With CRUZIN done, their new film company in place and the association with Tatum Studios, Jesse has turned his attention to the film festivals that are vital to an independent filmmaker.
Sundance Film Festival, for example, was created by associates of actor, Robert Redford, and chaired by Redford, in 1978. The festival has become the largest film festival for independent filmmakers where nearly 50,000 people attend. Many who participate in these festivals are crucial to moving a movie forward commercially. Buyers, Distributors, Reviewers, Producers, Marketing companies, etc., are looking for great films they know exist outside of the "Hollywood" filmmaking machine.
Jesse fully believes that CRUZIN is poised to get those good notices and launch a film deal.
I sat down recently with Jesse - whose looks reminds me a little of a young Sean Penn from Fast Times at Ridgemont High (I must ask him if he has heard that before) - to find out more about the filmmaker's plans and goals for his new film and company.
Jesse on his partner, Jack Andrews
I met this amazing kid, Jack Andrews, on one of my sets. I noticed that he was always making something happen... no matter what it was. Plus, he was so eager to learn!!
One of the virtues of independent film is that it forces you to be resourceful."— Robert Redford at Sundance Film Festival 2015
Jesse Scott Bryan's Bio
Jesse Scott Bryan is a Writer, Producer, and Director, and is Partners with Jack Andrews at the newly formed “In The Box Entertainment”; along with being COO at “Tatum Studios, Inc.” (owned by: Barbara Tatum)
Jesse, or as his friends call him “Scott”, started his professional career off at the age of 16 – joining the military. Several years later – he was looking in the mirror (staring at his reflection in a suit and tie) and started wondering… “how did I get here”. Jesse spent years going from Industry to Industry, as a CEO, COO, VP, GM, Director, etc, etc, etc… and ultimately became an Operations Specialist. However, it was the fall of the Housing Industry that gave Jesse the opportunity to finally follow his dreams and reinvent himself in the entertainment industry.
Starting out by filming for the real estate Industry (e.g. filming homes that were ready to hit the market), Jesse found himself in a position to Produce his 1st Commercial. It was this moment that he realized he had found his calling. After a stint of Acting, Producing, and Directing – Jesse and “Barrington Marson” met and immediately started working together on the movie A Few Loose Screws (i.e. 1st AD). That was just the beginning.
5 years later – Jesse has filmed everything from Weddings, Live Concerts, and Corporate Events, to Music Videos, Commercials, Indy Films, & even Created, Directed, and Produced a TV Pilot/Show “AMP”. Jesse is also Producing and Directing a TV Series (pre-production) “ten90” and is currently working on the reinvent of 80’s storytelling – starting with the short film “CRUZIN” (Co-writer/Producer, & Director); along with Creator, Writer, Producer, and Actor – “Jack Andrews”.
Today, Jesse is working diligently with Jack Andrews to take “In The Box Entertainment” to the next level. “We are not just working on our own Scripts and Productions (like C.K. and CRUZIN) – we are also branching out to Produce Films and TV Shows for others, like ten 90”, says Jesse. “My goal is to have us booked and scheduled a year out… bringing back the look and feel of 80’s productions and storytelling, creating great entertainment, and ultimately making money – every day!”
Q&A with Jesse Scott Bryan
Q) Scott, as a independent Writer, Producer, and Director, who were some of your influences to get into the film industry?
A) I have always loved the ways that 80's movies told a Story - something that each and everyone of us could relate to. Especially - the coming of age stories. For, as adults, we spend a lot of time looking back, remembering, and reminiscing. John Hughes is probably my biggest inspiration to become a filmmaker. When Hughes passed away... I feel that an entire genre of film making died with him. I want films to inspire people, again. I want to bring back that storytelling, character development, look and feel of 80's films... along with the music - the scores that became soundtracks to our lives. Whether it was Hughes, Zemeckis, De Palma, or Spielberg... in the 80's - they knew how to tell a story!
Q) Did you go to film school, or what was your training background to get into film?
A) I am a Veteran and have over 20 years of Executive Operations Management Experience. I did take college courses for Computer Technology, at Regent University, while in the military... along with some online courses. However, it was the collapse of the Sub-prime Market and Housing Industry that put me in the position to film something - for the 1st time. The real estate industry was trying to figure out ways to increase home sales. I was a consultant and was asked to start filming homes - to put online... giving home buyers a virtual tour of the homes. From there - I ended up producing my 1st commercial - for a Real Estate Company. I realized how much of a passion I had to create and immediately started getting on any set that would have me... even as an extra!
Q) How long have you been in the business now, and what has your professional film experience been like?
A) I started out in the Entertainment Industry in 2009 and had a 2-year hiatus from 2013-2015. When I came back - I immediately fell into the same Atlanta Indy "trap" that so many of us do... shooting on pocket-budgets and no $$$/Plans for success. However, this time I was going to do it right! 7 months ago... I started taking things in a different direction. I split from a 7 year partnership and set out to do things the right way. 1st up was treating being a filmmaker like a business... for, even tough I want to create original and entertaining film - this is a business... and must be treated as such. Just the last 4 months have been totally amazing. I now have a new partner, an entertainment lawyer, a CPA, a publicist, etc, etc, etc... PLUS - my last film not only had a budget... we also had SAG Actors, a Regional Oscar Winner, and Professional Crew (e.g. some being LA pros).
Q) If you had to compare your films and directing style to anyone in "Hollywood", who would people compare you to?
A) This will sound pretentious and possibly narcissistic - no matter how I answer it. BUT, I do Write/Direct/Produce a lot like John Hughes. His style fits my style... 80% of the time. Give me a Crime Story/Mystery/Action - I would say I take more of a Michael Mann approach. However, one of the best Creators in the business, today, is JJ Abrams... and I would love to learn more of his storytelling style and the look that he gives to film. Top all that off with some “Antoine Fuqua” style – I would be a very happy man! Hahahaha
Q) I hear that you have a great partner at your film company, 'In The Box Entertainment'. Tell us a little about him and how did you guys hook-up?
A) I met this amazing kid, Jack Andrews, on one of my sets. I noticed that he was always making something happen... no matter what it was. Plus, he was so eager to learn!! So... there we are, one day, and I mention a TV Show Pilot that I was going to be producing. I asked Jack if he would like to work on it and be part of my crew, and he answered, "I will have to talk to my mom". I just stared at him - having NO IDEA why he would have to talk to his mother. I asked, "why"... and Jack informed me that it was the Content - "I will have to run it by my mother and see what she says". I returned with - "how old are you???"... "14, Jack says". You can imagine my response. But still - he had so much ambition, eagerness to learn, and creativity! Here - my mission was not only to turn my talent and passion into a business - I wanted to bring back 80's style storytelling, filming, look, feel, and music. So, Jack calls me up and tells me about an idea he had, called CRUZIN. Then he tells me that he wanted it to be shot 80's style! Jack says, "you know that Tom Cruise is my favorite actor... well, 80's movies are my favorite movies. I want CRUZIN to be like one of those awesome 80's movies". I knew immediately what we had to do - we created "In The Box Entertainment" and set out to make people truly want and love to go to the movies (Again). CRUZIN is the "Calling Card" to make all of that happen! We already have a Feature Film ("Papa Legba") on Deck and will use the look, feel, and success of CRUZIN to help open the doors to Budgets we will need to shoot something like "Papa Legba". We are already on our way.
Q) What is the name of your current film, and when and where can we expect to see it?
A) CRUZIN will be Premiered on January 6th (Friday)... Prime Time... at "The Ritz" Theater in Thomaston, GA.
Q) So, you and I were talking about some those great coming of age films of the 80s, likeThe Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire, which brought us such great young actors as Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, and Anthony Michael Hall. Those actors became known as the Brat Pack that I understand you plan to launch a new set of actors using that moniker. Tell us a little more about that and your plans?
A) The Success - the Storytelling, Look and Feel of 80's Movies was not just because of their amazing Writers, Directors, and/or Producers... it was also because of the Actors (AND the Music)! Just like Music was such an intricate part that gave the "feel" to 80's movies... the Actors were also "Rockstars"!! This was, of course, not an accident. The Production Companies created the "Brat Packs". IMAGINE - This was before the Internet. Reporters, Paparazzi, and Tabloids followed the "up and coming", youthful, talent in Hollywood. They reported on every move that each one of them made... and the Studios were banking on it! Each one of these talented actors built a name for themselves... and then the Studio would call them in for another film. This is a tried and true formula! We at In The Box Entertainment have already been creating a New Brat Pack... with the youthful and up-and-coming talent in ATL. We will be introducing this new Brat Pack in our 1st Feature Film - "Papa Legba".
Q) It's my understanding though, that the term Brat Pack, was actually given to these actors, who although talented, were living a kind of wild existence in their personal lives, partying and such, and the actors never really cared for the term. Yet, the title stuck and those actors were in very many successful films in the 80s and 90s. Is it your hope that you can reignite that success with your actors and films?
A) As I mentioned in my previous answer - The Studio(s) were counting on some controversy with the Brat Pack Members. I am not looking for that... WE are looking for the best of the up-and-coming in Atlanta to join our Production Company. We will, of course, contract them (e.g. 5yr - 2 Film) and Introduce them all thru our Feature Film, "Papa Legba"... we will then help promote them, watch for their success, and pull them back in for additional film. Especially once their names are pulling in viewers! Market them, help develop them, introduce them... and pull them back in to help make future productions a success!!
Q) What is your favorite Brat Pack movie of the 80s and why?
A) The Breakfast Club. Basically - a single location, simplistic storyline, but a direct look into the lives, feelings, and emotions of a diverse group of teens. No matter if you were poor, rich, smart, an athlete, popular, a geek, etc... it showed how we all have problems (it's how you deal and learn from them that makes you whom you are). This would be a great story to diversify and tell today... showing - no matter your race, color, creed, or sexual orientation... we are all the same (just different details).
Q) Who is your favorite Brat Pack actor female, and male?
A) I was truly partial to Anthony Michael Hall. He always made you smile, laugh, and remember what it was like to be a kid.
Q) Is your current Brat Pack of actors already working in film projects of yours, and who are they?
A) It is a surprise! We are still looking for a couple of actors - specific looks, styles, etc... I can tell you that they will all be in our Feature Film (in development) - "Papa Legba".
Q) Georgia is enjoying the title of being the Hollywood of the South because of all of the film and television projects currently shooting here. Your film company, In The Box Entertainment, and films are Georgia based. What do you love about filming in Georgia?
A) Okay - of course - the 20% Tax Break and 10% Bump are attracting more and more Production Companies, Studios, and Filmmakers to Georgia. From an Indy Stand Point - there are so many people here, trying to make their way in the industry, Cast and Crews are very easy to find and put together. Add the geography - Georgia has everything that you could want and/or need for a Short Film, Feature Film, TV Show, Etc... any landscape that you could want and/or need - Georgia has it!!
Q) It was great chatting with you Scott. What sites can people follow you and your films?
Thank you. We look forward to seeing your films and Brat Pack actors.
A) On Facebook Scott A. Bryan, Jack Andrews, and Cruzin. We are currently working on our new website. Please check us out on Facebook, Google us for updates, and watch for us in your local theater.
Thank you Scott! Much success to you and Jack Andrews, and your crew at In the Box Entertainment with Cruzin and your movies to come.
CRUZIN Teaser for IndieGoGo Crowd Funding Campaign
Anybody who says they make money in post-production is lying. Anybody who says they make money in visual effects is lying," he said. "If you own the movie, you make a lot of money."— George Lucas speaking at Sundance Film Festival 2015
'The Brat Pack' Then
The term "Brat Pack", a play on the Rat Pack from the 1950s and 1960s, was first popularized in a 1985 New York magazine cover story, which described a group of highly successful film stars in their early twenties.David Blum wrote the article after witnessing several young actors (Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, and Judd Nelson) being mobbed by groupies at Los Angeles' Hard Rock Cafe. The group has been characterized by the partying of members such as Robert Downey, Jr., Estevez, Lowe, and Nelson.
However, an appearance in one or both of the ensemble casts of John Hughes' The Breakfast Club and Joel Shoemaker's St. Elmo's Fire is often considered the prerequisite for being a core Brat Pack member. With this criterion, the most commonly cited members include:
* Emilio Estevez
* Anthony Michael Hall
* Rob Lowe
* Andrew McCarthy
* Demi Moore
* Judd Nelson
* Molly Ringwald
* Ally Sheedy
Interesting to note that the Brat Pack was not a term of endearment. In fact, it was a term that the actors associated with it detested because the reporter for New York magazine who penned the title, actually did so admonishing the actors for their, in his view, rather "wild" party lifestyles, like many of the characters they played in film.
But, as fate would have it, the Brat Pack moniker worked for the producers who made some of the most successful films of the 80's with this core of actors.
The famous dance scene from The Breakfast Club
Brat Pack Best Movie Ever
What's your favorite Brat Pack movie from the 1980s?
Calling All Actors
'In The Box Entertainment' will be going into production with plans to produce several movies in 2017/2018.
If you are an aspiring actor, an established actor, or really thinking you'd like to give acting a try, then send your photos, demo reel (if available), resume and/or letter of introduction with your contact information to:
Who knows, you might become a part of the new Brat Pack in a series of new successful films.
Follow Jesse Scott Bryan on Facebook
Scott A. Bryan is on Facebook. Join Facebook to connect with Scott A. Bryan and others you may know. Facebook gives people the power to share and makes...
On a very sad note since this article was published, Jesse Scott Bryan passed away on Sept. 8th, 2017.
Our hearts go out to Scott's family, his wife and friends, and to his partner, Jack Andrews.