dispatch: sxsw

If Gay Films Want Straight Audiences, Do They Need More T&A? Gunfights? Vin Diesel?

How do filmmakers turning out gay-themed flicks get non-gay audiences to care enough to buy tickets? Kevin Iwashina — former Hollywood agent and Parlay Media producer for independent films like 8: The Mormon Proposition, Man on Wire, and Brotherhood — knows a thing or two about crossover appeal, and going after the hetero set.

Queerty‘s Daniel Villarreal sits down with Iwashina at South By Southwest to find out yes, you can still make your movie about bisexual zombie-bots who love opera and pig Latin, so long as you make sure you address wider human themes—excellent advice for any serious filmmakers and aspiring YouTube stars.

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  • zenflo

    Kevin. Daniel.

    Oh, mgjh sngg.,s ;gtjm muittttttttttttt

    (“Head impacts keyboard following swoon”)

  • Matt

    How about good storylines? Do they all have to be romantic comedies? How about an action film that just has a gay hero? A low-budget thriller involving a gay couple? How about just making gay versions of popular movies (not similar in quality to Blacula, but the same concept)? So tired of seeing either the same plot from gay films or terrible production values or acting.

  • Tylertime

    I haven’t heard of any of those movies listed above….man on wire, brotherhood, etc. if i’m gay and haven’t heard of them then how in the world do they have crossover when they haven’t even hit the gay audience.

  • Yuki

    I think all they really need is to make the focus not be on the character’s homosexuality, but the plot; a romantic relationship can be involved, but you could make it the same as any current action movie except that one character is male instead of female (or female instead of male). Of course, some people still would refuse to see it simply because it’s a “gay film”, but still.

  • alan brickman

    being gay is not enough…a difference shouldn’t be the only reason a good film gets made…

  • McShane

    Films that simply have a heterosexual love story as a central theme tend even to be a bit tedious. Americans have forgotten about wider, broader human themes i.e. (simple a detetective or supoerhero could have a homosexual attachment. Other characters could. Someones sexual choice doesn’;t need to be what the film is about, unless you are very simple minded.

  • McShane

    “Savage Grace”, a film about the emotionally twisted Bacland family, with Julianne Moore was exceptional, with several of homosexual subplots. Intense, well made.
    ” Alexander” had it not been such a disaster in other regards
    was about a famous gay historical figure.. I don’t know of any films about Richard the Lionhearted, or Abe Lincoln, but those might be promising.

    I know that it is silly to presume that bank robbers and other criminals had to have been gay-the assumption that gay people are are all passive is crazy. Look at “Dog Day Afternoon”: which could even be remade. Or something along the lines of ‘Midnight Cowboy”.
    You could even portray several soldiers in love, in battle.

  • EWE

    Do what most of them do. Erase the gay out of the character. I see it all the time. Even gay people in everday life are “straight acting” and looking for down low more straight acting “dudes”. GAG. PUKE. LOW SELF ESTEEM.

  • Joe

    It’s certainly possible but it isn’t easy. Anyone involved in creating films or books knows that coming up with a crossover piece will be part hard work and part luck. There’s no real formula but if a story is compelling enough and characters are ones that an audience can identify with in some way, that’s half the battle.

  • Klarth

    re: No [email protected]EWE:
    Is it so impossible to just not be as attracted to people who are more genderqueer? Humans vary, and so do their tastes. We aren’t all Johnny Weirs just because we’re all gay males, and we don’t all have to want to be with guys like that either. And it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re self-hating, or have drunk the kool-aid of heteronormativity.

    I’m sorry about your apparent bitterness.
    I get it, but it’s not relevant to the subject of this post.

    We’re supposed to be talking about how to make crossover “gay” films happen, not why the bromosexual you hit on didn’t return your interest. (Everyone knows stories about other people on the internet are always stories about the speaker. Just telling it like it is.)

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