CFDb Interviews Brad Wise ~ Writer/Producer/Director
= > How did you get involved in the filmmaking industry?
In 2008 we went on a road trip (inspired by Luke 24) in a beat up RV from Jerusalem, OH to Emmaus, PA and asked people if God was showing up in their life. That turned into a documentary that made it into the Derby City Film Fest and is coming out on DVD this year from Bridgestone Multimedia Group.
= > Please tell us about your first feature length film.
The first feature I wrote and directed was a micro-budget racial drama called “Fenced Off” in 2010. It’s based on the true story of my collaborative partner, Isaac Stambaugh (white) moving into a pre-dominantly African American neighborhood thinking he was free of any kind of racial prejudice and coming to the hard realization that he wasn’t. So together he and I built the story to explore that concept because it felt very real to us. We all have “stuff” that is nestled deep down in places that is worth looking at and talking about. We wanted to tell a story that sparked the same kind of conversations we were having in the office about his experiences.
= > What led to the making of ‘A Strange Brand of Happy’?
The two projects mentioned above, along with Joe’s feature, “Hitting the Nuts” and some short film projects for Vineyard Cincinnati led us to making Strange Brand. Our core team was formed over those years and we just kind of fell in love with making movies together. And we got excited about doing a movie that involves faith in our style. Which I think is a blend of quirky humor, authentic hope and a relatable, dare I say tangible, honesty.
= > Can you tell us more about ‘A Strange Brand of Happy’?
It’s funny. You should go see it with with hundreds of your friends. In the theater. Honestly, I think if you’re someone who is craving something a little different you’ll love it. Our distributor said it’s a bit like “Office Space” meets “Napoleon Dynamite.” I remember seeing those films and feeling like I just tasted some new kind of delicious ice cream I didn’t realize I wanted. I hope/think that will be the case for a lot of people this fall when they see our movie.
= > Are there any other films you are working on that you can tell us about?
I wrote three screenplays in 2012 and will continue to develop those this year. One is a Christmas dramedy called “Regifter” for the whole family. It’s based on a stage play that we produced back in 2008. “Reckless Faith” is a narrative feature based on the true story of Todd and Beth Guckenberger’s experience of moving to Monterrey, Mexico with Back2Back Ministries, an international orphan care non-profit, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. And “Sidewalk Gymnast” is based on the true story of former US National Gymnast, Kim Hamilton’s unlikely path to becoming the first African-American woman to receive a scholarship to compete for UCLA’s gymnastics team.
= > How can others learn more about you and your work?
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