Self-Delusion and Other Obstacles
For this Creator Conversation, I interview director/writer, Brandon Bergin, about his feature film, Self-Delusion and Other Obstacles.
First off, tell everyone a little bit about yourself.
My name is Brandon Bergin and I am the writer/director of Self-Delusion and Other Obstacles, but in real life I am a videographer/editor for an advertising agency.
What is Self-Delusion and Other Obstacles about?
SHORT SYNOPSIS: Self-Delusion and Other Obstacles is an offbeat romantic comedy about Nick Peters reuniting with the girl of his dreams, only to discover he must “out” the man of hers.
LONG SYNOPSIS: When the girl of his high school dreams moves in next door, Nick Peters is determined not to shy away for a second time. But before he can declare his love, he discovers she is waiting for her boyfriend to propose. Her boyfriend, however, is “in the closet” and has no real intention of proposing. So, Nick decides to lure him out and accidentally finds himself entangled in a comedic love triangle. Nick soon realizes to win the girl of his dreams, he may have to make out with the man of hers. Self-Delusion and Other Obstacles is a sweet romantic comedy that will leave audiences pleasantly surprised.
As a writer, explain your writing process for the script for Self-Delusion.
I wrote the script in the morning before my day job, on my vacations and sometimes at night. I just kept writing and re-writing until I had a script. After I finished the script, it sat on my computer for a year until a chance meeting with producer Mark Mason.
Mark enjoyed the script and wanted to start shooting, but it needed some work, so I took his notes and began the re-writing process.
Even after we cast the movie and were set to go into production, I had to do one final draft after receiving more revision suggestions from a trusted advisor.
There was also some re-writing done on set and some tweaks in post-production—apparently my writing process is to just keep re-writing.
Have you personally been in the “friend-zone” with someone you wanted to be more with?
The friend-zone was my specialty. I could probably name every girl I have been just friends with from the fifth grade all the way up until I met my wife. I’ve always been better at being a girl’s friend than her boyfriend.
As a director, how did you grow and what did you learn when making this movie?
[pullquote-right]I became more comfortable working with the actors and was infamous for saying, “That was great. Let’s do it one more time.”[/pullquote-right]Since this was my directorial debut, I learned everything about making a micro-budget movie during this experience. I remember the butterflies I had in my stomach before the first day of casting because I was going to direct the auditions and I had no idea what I was doing. Fortunately, as time went on, I became more comfortable working with the actors and was infamous for saying, “That was great. Let’s do it one more time.”
What was the greatest challenge you overcame in this production?
The audition process was grueling and almost ended the movie. After months of casting, the lead character still eluded us. We wanted a great actress who was stunningly beautiful and willing to donate her time.
I was beginning to think this person didn’t exist, until Cassie Self walked through the door. She met the beautiful and willing to donate her time criteria, but could she act?
We started the audition, and she nailed it. We offered her the role immediately, and this is the email that launched our movie: “Okay, I’m in!!!! I read the script in its entirety. What a fun piece!!! I can’t wait to get started. So looking forward to working with you. Thanks a bunch. —Cassie”
It’s worth noting that, due to schedule conflicts, it took six months before Cassie was able to audition.
Where was the movie filmed?
The majority of the movie took place in Tulsa, with a few scenes shot in Sand Spring, Sapulpa, and Bixby. We shot at my parents house, my in-laws house, friend’s houses, actor’s houses, producer’s houses, parks, City Hall, churches, schools, and any business that would let us in the door.
What is your favorite shot or moment in the movie?
[pullquote-left]…there is nothing cooler than hearing people quote your movie after they watch it.[/pullquote-left]My favorite moments in the movie are the funny little lines of dialogue that are sometimes missed on the first viewing and because I love movie quotes there is nothing cooler than hearing people quote your movie after they watch it.
If you had all of the money needed, what would you do differently?
If I had all the money I needed I would hire Wes Anderson or Jason Reitman to direct and pull up a chair next to him to see how it is done.
Anything else you want people to know?
Making a micro-budget feature is a rollercoaster of emotions from the highest highs to the lowest lows, but it if you keep pushing forward and don’t give up you can achieve something most people just dream about.