CFDb Interviews Brandon Oliver ~Actor/Director/Producer/Writer
= > At what age did you begin acting?
I started acting when I was in high school. Our church had a drama every Halloween for several years, and that was where I fell in love with acting.
= > What was your first acting role?
My first role was in our church drama the Judgment. I’m not even sure if my character had a name. My first film role was in the movie “Billy: The Early Years” I played a colleague of Billy Graham. It was a great experience for me and I learned a lot being on set.
= > When did you begin writing?
I started writing really about 10 years ago. I wrote a book entitled “The Champion Within.” The book was about the biblical characteristics of champions. The book was never published but I am currently working on publishing it myself as an e-book. As far a screenwriting goes “Choices” was my first completed script. It was written about 4 years ago while I was taking a class online. I was also working on a feature script at the time entitled “Overcoming Austin.”
= > How has God inspired you and used you to inspire others?
I don’t know that God so much inspires me or if He just amazes me by the fact that He is not only able to use me, but chooses to use me. As with all of us I am by no means where I need or want to be in my relationship with God. That being said, I know without a doubt that one reason that I am on this earth is to inspire others to become all God created them to be.
God and I haven’t always had the best relationship. Although I became a Christian when I was 7 years old, there was a lot of time in my life when I didn’t like God. I spent a lot of years being angry at God for the way He created me. I was born with cerebral palsy and couldn’t walk until I was 3, and had to have several surgeries before that. The only thing I every wanted God to do for me was to heal me. I spent a lot of years being angry and even doubting my own salvation because God hadn’t healed me. God did decide to heal me, but he didn’t do it by taking away my disability. He healed me by changing my attitude and showing me that he created me just the way He wanted me to be.
I have always been amazed that God has used me to inspire and encourage others. Whether I am speaking, acting or working as a physical therapist assistant, I have had the opportunity to encourage others, just by doing what I do every day. I don’t think that I would be able to do that if God hadn’t created me the way I am.
With that being said, I have my share of doubters along the way. Whether is was a teacher in PTA school telling me I wouldn’t be able to do the job, or those people telling me I couldn’t be an actor, or people wondering why I wanted to rock climb or study martial arts. There are always people that want to tell you why you shouldn’t or can’t do something. Those people have always given me a lot of motivation to prove them wrong. If there is one thing I have learned in life is that I have to listen to what God says and not what this world tells me.
= > Tell us a little about your film, “Choices” and how the idea came about?
“Choices” was a project that started when I was taking classes at an online film school. I had to write a short film as part of the screenwriting course. I have always found it tougher to write short scripts. This was no exception. Trying to develop the character arc and depth was difficult for me. I am more of a big picture type of thinker and had to reign myself in here. Which was good for me.
The film is about a father who is faced with the same choices we all face everyday. What are we willing to do to be successful, and what will that cost us. It is true that success has a price, but sometimes that price is too high to pay.
I wanted to do the film for several reasons. First, I think it is a very good story with a good lesson. Second I wanted to get my feet wet as a producer and director on something small so I could really learn the whole process before moving on to a feature.
= > Can you tell us about any current projects you are working on?
I am currently working on pre-production for the feature film I wrote entitled “Overcoming Austin.” This is my pet project. This story has been in the making for many years. The story is about a man with a disability and the struggle he goes through trying to understand why God made him the way he did, and his discovery that God really does love him. This story is somewhat based on my life but not totally.
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