We had the good fortune of connecting with Bryce Marrero and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bryce, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Growing up, I had a hard time expressing myself. I would shut down, instead of voicing my thoughts. So, at an early age, writing (and later, filmmaking) became ways I could say what’s on my mind, and communicate what I sometimes would rather keep to myself. It’s a therapeutic process that I enjoy, though I’m probably crazy for trying to make a career out of it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The journey has been long. When I was seven, I went to acting school for three years, and tried to make a career out of it. But I was more interested in writing our skits than I was acting in them. As a quiet kid, I found writing to be liberating, a form of expression that satisfied my longing for wanting to share my voice. In film school, I got the chance to direct my own scripts, and found directing to be just as liberating, an extension of that form of expression. After graduation, I was ready to hit the ground running…
But found the pavement to be harsh. What they don’t tell you about pursuing a directing career is how much of your own blood you have to bleed. When you’re starting out, it’s your own money on the line, and it can have an adversed effect on your well being. Debt can be just as crippling as any disease. I bled for many years to make my films, but I always found a way to bounce back thanks to my friends, and the wonderful people who were willing to bleed with me on those films.
The last few years have been pretty kind (sans the pandemic). My last film, One Day Notice, played on DirectTV on their ShortsTV channel, and two of my films, HAIR and The Controller, have been endorsed by Issa Rae, and plays on her youtube channel. Writing-wise, I got my first TV writing gig during the pandemic, and joined a wonderful group of writers on the Nickelodeon show It’s Pony. The episode I wrote should premiere sometime later this year.
As grim as the future may seem, given the state of the world, I’m also excited about it. The journey has been long, but it does feel like it’s going in the right direction, with more opportunities on the horizon. I want to continue to push myself, and tell stories that are challenging, confrontational, and make the audience stew in their emotions as they leave the theater.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
No trip to LA is complete without visiting one of our historic theaters. Catching an event here can be difficult, but watching a film at the Million Dollar Theater is the closest you’ll get to feeling like a moviegoer from the 1920s. It’s a gorgeous theater, one where you could spend just as long gazing at its ornate architecture as you could the film. Alternatively, The TCL Chinese Theater and The Egyptian, though situated in the worst part of LA (Hollywood), are also beautiful historic theaters, and worth checking out. But outside of these staples, there are also smaller theaters that are often playing obscure gems. What’s more LA than going to The New Beverly, The Vista, or The Los Feliz Theater to watch a French comedy from the 50s, or a vampire blaxploitation film?
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shoutout to literally every single person who has ever worked or helped out on one of my films, in any way possible – whether it be in pre-production, production, post, or thereafter. The director has the vision, but that vision is nothing but a dream if not for the hard work of their crew. Filmmaking is a collaborative effort, I believe any frame in my film is as much mine as it is the dozens of people who worked on it.
And out of the many, many, many people who have worked on my films, I do have to give a special shoutout to my director of photography, Ursula Loscalzo. We’ve worked together on five films, and numerous other little projects, and she is such a vital collaborator. I have learned a lot from her, and she always brings her A-game in both pre-production and production. My films simply wouldn’t be the same without her.
Other: IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2952696/
Photos by Marc Kharrat, Talia Honomichl, and Robert Upchurch