Bryan S – Los Angeles


Photo by David Miller

Photo by David Miller

Bryan’s a nice guy.  And he makes nice films.  A spoof he made of Michael Jackson was so well liked that Jackson called Bryan to ask for a copy, sparking a friendship that lasted 20 years.

Bryan, 52, hails from Eastern Canada, but moved to Los Angeles to attend the American Film Institute.  He worked as a temp for a few months, but in his own polite way schmoozed into a job working for Johnny Carson.  His career really took off when TV’s “Bloopers & Practical Jokes” hired him to produce, write, and direct a series of short films called “Undershorts.”

“I’ve been an independent filmmaker the last 28 years or so.  I’ve been self-sufficient.  I work out of my three-level home.  I write produce, edit and direct my movies.  Even though I’m connected to the industry, I’m an outsider.  I don’t go to Hollywood parties.  I’m not the see-and-be-seen [type].  I make films, but I’m not being governed by someone else.  Someone asked me what’s the definition of success, and I said, “The freedom to do what you want when you want.  So I guess I’m successful.”

Bryan loves to read and he loves the outdoors.  “I especially like to go for walks.  I like to go to coffee shops, even though I’m not a big coffee drinker.  It’s just nice to get out of the house and talk to people.  I like to people watch.  I’m a huge dog lover.”  His dog actually stars in his latest film—a family friendly movie called “First Dog,” about a foster boy who finds a lost dog belonging to the President of the United States.  Bryan got the idea after a friend gave him a dog that used to belong to President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy.  After Bryan got a call from Nancy Reagan inviting him to their Bel Air home, he got the idea for the movie.

“The movie’s done close to half-a-million rentals on Redbox; it’s had over 50,000 ratings on Netflix, and it’s at all the outlets.  Overseas, it sold out 80 percent of the market and so a lot of the buyers are interested in the sequel.  I’ve never done a sequel before, but this was so popular… and my dog’s been bothering me to get another job.  You know how actors are.”  He says it so dry it takes me a second to laugh.

When it comes to dating, Bryan is much less confident than with filmmaking.  “If I get the date, I’m good at the date I think.  It’s just getting the date.  Because I don’t get out much, I don’t meet people.  I’ve dated many attractive women, but you can only look at a beautiful painting for so long—there needs to be substance to that painting.  Beauty’s in the eye of the beholder, so maybe someone doesn’t see them as a 10, but they may be my 10.  I like strong women; I like intelligent women; I like successful women.  I’m kind of a homebody, which is why I’m still single.  I’m kind of shy, too.  I’m more the Canadian polite.  I saw [Canadian] Martin Short a few weeks ago, and the first thing we said to each other was, ‘Sorry’.

“I think what I miss the most is I’ve had a lot of great adventures in my life, but I have no one to enjoy them with.  I believe that you grow from each other so there are things they can teach me and I can teach them.  I’ve had a saying for many years—and this goes for relationships and writing partners and business partnerships: If the two of you always agree, one of you is unnecessary.”

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