We had the good fortune of connecting with Brandon Gale and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brandon, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
“It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.” A strange choice, since it comes from a French aviator, but this quote is written on an index card above my desk. As a writer, I have a… weakness for flowery language and overindulgent prose. This reminder keeps me sparse, using only as many words as necessary to convey the actions and emotions of a scene. In editing, it’s a freaking godsend. My trusted machete I wield to hack through unnecessary storylines and irrelevant scenes. It makes me a better writer, and makes me a better person. Within this sentence is the Marie Kondo key to happiness we all need in our lives. Roughly paraphrased, do you need this? If you’re honest with yourself about what you NEED, not what you WANT, you’ll discover how little you actually need to be content in life. I’m not selling off all my earthly possessions (they can pry my PS5 from my cold dead hands), but I make that conscious choice rather than surrender to my indulgent whims. The things I hold onto, and the people I hold onto, I treasure more because I know what they mean to me. Having what you need in life, surrounded by the people you love…that’s perfection.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I began writing because I was overflowing with stories and needed to let them out before I exploded. I discovered that my favorite writing told me something about myself I hadn’t realized before. So I began writing to explore myself, and am consistently surprised that those stories are the ones that speak to others. I’ve written comedy and history the most, since they’re my favorite genres and the ones that question our pre-existing notions the most. But regardless of the story, I somehow always come back to the same themes. Love, especially the love you feel from the family you’ve chosen. Idealism, almost foolishly believing in the face of everything wrong that things can be right. And last but not least, Humor, seeing the brightness in the darkest of times and spreading it around. With these three, I make my life better, and work to improve the world around me.
I won’t say my career was easy or hard, because I don’t think I can rightfully compare the experience I had to others. I will say it felt challenging for me, there were plenty of circumstances that held me back for years, and I still have days full of self doubt. But I just keep writing to explore my own mind, and I keep churning out stories that I think are worth telling.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hoo boy, a week long itinerary? That’s hard to fill, there’s a million things to do in this town. Little Tokyo, just to walk around and get some amazing Japanese food, followed by a night in the arts district. Drinks and the best french dip at Cole’s downtown. Stop by Clifton’s Republic and have a drink in every room. A night playing retro arcade games at Button Mash. A trip to Castle Park in Sherman Oaks, where I spent so much of my childhood. There’s too many hikes to choose from, but definitely to the Observatory and keep going to the Captain’s Roost. Visit the pool at the Roosevelt Hotel and act bougie, then a night talking about music over cocktails at Sunset & Vinyl. Maybe a rooftop screening of a classic everybody’s seen before. Trip to the beach in Malibu or visit Venice. A day at the Getty and stop by Roscoe’s on Pico. I could go on, but there’s only so much time and energy in a week! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow, real softball question here… It’s hard to pick! My parents, my partner for being there every step of the way, my friends who listened to me make up goofy stories, my film professors who believed I had a knack for this, the directors who took a chance on my shorts, the partner at the law firm who let me take off early to work on film sets, AFI for welcoming me in, and everyone since. Even the slightest input, good or bad, led to where I am today. Oh, and Billy Wilder, the undisputed king of storytelling. If it weren’t for Wilder, I never would have become a screenwriter.
Picture 2: THEY WON’T LAST (2019) Dir. Portlynn Tagavi Picture 3: JOHN (2017) Dir. Gabriele Di Sazio Picture 4: THAT FAR (2018) Dir. Dimitris Tsilifonis Picture 5: AFTERSHOCK (2018) Dir. Jojo Erholtz