Everyone In The Film Industry Needs To Stop Doing This – James Cullen Bressack

James Cullen Bressack, Filmmaker: Nowhere else in the world outside of the film industry will somebody try to convince you that the thing that you want is not actually what you want.

Film Courage: James, off camera you mentioned an interesting analogy based on a conversation with your friend about distribution. 

James: Distribution and also what audience’s expectations are. There’s a couple things that I would talk about within that but for instance I know for me I have a responsibility when I’m making a movie for an audience is when I make that movie they’re spending that same $7.99 (whether it’s my movie or a studio movie) to rent it or to buy it ($4.99 or whatever it is). It’s the same amount of money. So I have a responsibility to the audience to over deliver with beyond my budget as well as give them what they’re expecting of a movie. If they’re ordering this movie and this movie is a turkey sandwich, I can’t come out and then say Okay, well I know you were expecting a turkey sandwich, but let me give you some lasagna. You don’t order that at a restaurant and somebody comes out with lasagna and goes Well, I think you want lasagna more. That doesn’t work that way. I think of it also when I’m talking to distributors, distributors are expecting a certain thing. When you explain to them the movie they want to know what comes in it. So you could explain what’s inside the turkey sandwich but you can’t say Guys I know you want a turkey sandwich, but why don’t we get some pizza? It’s just that if they want a specific thing that’s what they want and so you’ve got to find how to be creative within making that thing versus trying to convince them that they’re actually hungry for something completely different. I relate things back to food because food is a universal language in the sense that everybody no matter how much they know about movies, they know enough about food. When you think about food in that sense it takes the ego out of it because it’s not you going Well my personal dreams and goals for this sandwich or this. You start going Okay well I could add this to it, I could add this to it…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

About James Cullen Bressack:

James Cullen Bressack is an American producer, director, and screenwriter. At the age of 18 he received critical attention from audiences and critics alike when he made his debut feature, My Pure Joy. One to push boundaries, James followed up with the bold and unapologetic Hate Crime which forced audiences along for a brutal home invasion, the first found footage feature ever to be made in the style of having no cuts. The entire film plays out painfully in real time. It was promptly banned in the UK for its fearless story telling, one of three films to be banned in the last 25 years and remains so to this day. The prolific filmmaker refused to slow down completing seven more features including Pernicious, 13-13-13, and Blood Lake, starring Shannen Doherty and Christopher Lloyd, which made James the youngest director to ever direct for television. 

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

After writing and directing the haunting Bethany, James shifted his focus to producing. He has now produced forty-eight features including releases for Lionsgate and Cinedigm and is a member of both the PGA and SAG/AFTRA. His impressive body of work has won him numerous Best Picture and Best Director awards on the film festival circuit. James has achieved all this at the age of 29 and refuses to slow down as he continues to push the envelop and make films no one thought possible. His most recent features include Beyond The Law, starring Steven Seagal and DMX along with Survive The Game and Fortress which star Bruce Willis and Chad Michael Murray. He also just completed photography on the feature Hot Seat starring Mel Gibson, Kevin Dillon, Shannen Doherty and Sam Asghari.







FORTRESS featuring Jesse Metcalfe, Bruce Willis, Chad Michael Murray, Kelly Greyson, Ser’Darius Blain, Shannen Doherty. Directed by James Cullen Bressack. Written by Alan Horsnail. In Select Theaters, On Demand and Digital on December 17, 2021.

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