We sat down with Scott Brown, the director, co-producer, and co-writer of one of our favorite comedy web series, Blue Movies, to discuss life and all its endeavors, the series, and the future. This is the result of those conversations…
The Campus Socialite: First off, we watched Blue Movies and we loved every minute of it. How did you come up with the concept?
Scott Brown: Thanks, I’m glad you liked it! Blue Movies was really inspired by circumstance. Jareb Dauplaise, who plays Max Chapman and is one of the stars of ‘The Hard Times of RJ Berger’ on MTV, told me one day that he had this great location with tons of sets where we could shoot some sketches. When we visited the set it turned out that we were in an actual porn studio. After the surprise wore off we saw just how much potential this place had. Yeah, it was smaller, and the sets had more beds than you normally see, but it was actually a really impressive place with tons of props and lights. We had been wanting to do a serialized concept for a while, and we thought “what does a porn studio look like more than a porn studio?” From there Blue Movies was born, and with some development help from my friends Logan Burdick and Jonathan Levine we wrote a script and the rest is, I don’t know, history?
TCS: Blue Movies is kind of a strange title. What’s the significance?
SB: ‘Blue Movies’ is the term they used to call pornography in Europe when bathing suits went down to women’s knees and calling someone a “fiend” was grounds for a duel. It’s like when someone describes a comic who uses a bunch of sexual humor as going “blue.” I honestly don’t remember exactly where I learned the term, but it came to me quickly when the idea was first being formulated. A bonus to our show is that a lot of former British colonies, especially India, still use the term, so we get a lot of “accidental” traffic. Luckily though, a lot of them still stick around for the rest of the show!
TCS: You majored in screenwriting at USC, one of our favorite schools. Did it help stir your creativity to be a writer at a party school like that?
SB: I loved my time at SC. It’s funny, I don’t really think of USC as a party school, maybe that’s because when you’re in the middle of something you don’t see what’s around you. Maybe it’s because I was drunk. It’s hard to tell. I’ve slowed down quite a bit since my days at college, but going to a place where people are often acting in really crazy ways can certainly inform your characters. When I write I usually don’t base characters off of specific people, but rather I try to take aspects from observations in general to create a new person. Alcohol, among other things, usually lets you see sides of people they try to hide, and it’s these sides of people I find the most interesting.
TCS: We hear you were a brother in the Kappa Sigma fraternity there. Are there elements from your fraternity life in Blue Movies?
SB: I wouldn’t say a lot, besides the character stuff I mentioned above. There’s a different story to be told from those days, or maybe 5.
TCS: We hear the entertainment industry is hard to break into. How much porn did you have to do to get your own show?
SB: I was actually offered to write porn several times while we were filming the show. I declined, but for a while my friends and I had some fun trying to choose what my porn pseudonym would be.
TCS: In all seriousness though, how did you get your start making movies/shows?
SB: I went to film school at USC, and I studied screenwriting, but I’ve always been drawn to directing as well. While I was at SC I made a lot of my own short films outside of the curriculum, and it helped me learn how to produce. I sold my thesis short film for a little bit of money and started making content for the web while I worked day jobs. Now I’m making a living, albeit a tight living, directing content for the web and looking to move into TV and features along with other planned web serials.
TCS: We hear there’s an actual porn star who makes a cameo appearance in episode 4. Was it intimidating to work with a real porn star?
SB: Tory Lane makes a guest appearance in episode 4, and you know, it was more weird to see how normal she actually was. You think these pornstars are going to be these crazy sex-driven people, but in actuality they are pretty normal. I say ‘pretty normal’ because going into a profession like that there’s going to be some quirks you pick up, like how being naked is no big deal. Still, she was a pro, and had all her lines memorized, and I would even go as far as to say that SHE was a little nervous to be in our show, as strange as that sounds. She knocked it out of the park, and I was really impressed with what she brought to the part.
TCS: Were you a big porn fan before you decided to make Blue Movies?
SB: A Gentleman never tells.
TCS: With a subject like the porn industry, we imagine the cast had to be pretty comfortable with each other before filming. What was the chemistry like on the set?
SB: I was clear from the start with all the actors that Blue Movies had no nudity, and that combined with the fact that everyone responded strongly to the material in the script really made everyone comfortable. As a Director this is something that means a lot to me. We were incredibly blessed to have the cast we did on Blue Movies. I don’t know, it’s a thing that you can’t really appreciate until you see it, but when you have a really great team the project ends up being greater than the sum of it’s parts, and that’s really special. We were like a family for the 5 days that we shot and I’m still fighting to make season 2 a reality, among other reasons, to get that family back together.
TCS: We’re kind of in love with Sascha Alexander. Is she as cool in person as she is on Blue Movies?
SB: Sascha is as cool as she is talented, she was great to work with. We saw close to 100 actresses for the part of Anna, and at the end it was down to Sascha and one other person. When I called her up to talk about the part she made it very clear that she really wanted to play the character. Enthusiasm like that is hard to come by, and casting her was one of the best decisions we made. We’ve worked together since then, but never in such a large role, and I’m looking for another chance to work with her.
TCS: Besides Blue Movies, what projects are you currently working on?
SB: I directed a dramatic web series called ASYLUM that you can watch on asylumseries.com. We were recently very fortunate to have that show picked up by BET for a second digital season that we should be shooting in fall. I’m also currently making digital content for “The To-Do list” which is a feature film that stars Aubrey Plaza, Bill Hader, Donald Glover, and a bunch of other amazing actors. I also have several other projects for the web I’ve written or co-written that I’m trying to get produced, and I’m slowly gearing up to shoot an independent feature in late 2012 as long as the world doesn’t end. I tend to keep pretty busy, it keeps the demons at bay.
I hope you all enjoy Blue Movies as much as we did making the show!