Brent Ryan Green is a director and producer who has worked on over a dozen projects which have been distributed in twenty-five countries and have been selected by more than sixty festivals all over the world. Having won more than forty awards, Brent is quite successful in the entertainment business. His most recent movie is titled “The Veil, ” and it focuses on warring tribes in an alternative reality.

Brent recently discussed this project, his experiences working in a creative field, and more via an exclusive interview.

Inspiration to make movies

Meagan Meehan (MM): What first inspired you to become a professional filmmaker?

Brent Ryan Green (BRG): Growing up I never dreamed or even thought about making films. It wasn't until I was in college and had a chance opportunity to go work on a film. Even then I had no desire to work in the movie business; I just thought it would be a fun adventure. But after working on that film in Panama for four months, it changed everything. The process of making a film, bring hundreds of people together, in that case from all over the world, to tell a visual story… I was hooked!

MM: When and what has been your “biggest break” thus far?

BRG: After I had worked on the film in Panama, I went to work for the production company responsible for the film.

I worked for them for four years learning everything I could. After that I started Toy Gun Films with Jeff Goldberg and then for our first four years we did a short movie each year. One in Colombia, Tokyo, South Africa and Oklahoma. It was from that experience we were able to raise funds for “The Veil.” So, it has been a bunch of hard little steps and not one big break!

MM: How did you hatch the script for “The Veil”?

BRG: “The Veil” was something that Jeff Goldberg, the writer and producer, and I came up with. We had not only the budget in mind but also the locations when developing this project. While working for four years on short films we had been looking for the perfect feature project.

But after reading hundreds of scripts, it was clear we would have to develop something ourselves. This being my first feature film, we had to be strategic about the script. We knew my home state of Oklahoma would be a perfect place to film. Oklahoma had a 37% cash back rebate program and some really amazing locations that had not been filmed before. That along with what we thought was an attainable budget in mind was inspirational and the genesis of the project.

MM: Do you consider yourself to be a major fan of the fantasy genre?

BRG: Absolutely, I do like the fantasy genre. But I like a wide variety of genres and types of films. When we started developing this project, it wasn't a fantasy action film at all but morphed into that over time.

I hope to do more action fantasy film in the future. I am currently attached to direct a film based on an action fantasy book that is really awesome. So hopefully you will see more soon!

MM: Do any particular writers inspire you, especially from the fantasy arena?

BRG: Of course, there are some writers I track with and like everything they do, but I mainly have a few directors I follow for inspiration, like Ridley Scott and Martin Scorsese. I always look to directors who, like myself are not writers/director for inspiration. Also, I find more inspiration in things around me than in other films. Whether fashion, architecture, or design, I find if I look at other films too much I will just end up trying to copy their work.

Production studio and future projects

MM: Can you tell us about the cast of “The Veil”?

BRG: The cast was so great; starting with our leads William Levy, Serinda Swan, and William Moseley who were all so much fun to work with. William Levy is such a hard worker and brought a toughness during the filming that kept everyone going. William Moseley understood the script and the bigger themes of the film on a deeper level. And Serinda is just an all-around awesome person that girls can look up to.

MM: What prompted you to start Toy Gun Films and why did you choose that name?

BRG: I started Toy Gun Films with Jeff Goldberg after working in the business for five years. At that point, we felt we were ready to take the next step and start a production company.

I was working with a documentary company and getting a lot of great hands on experience. But I wanted to get back to narratives, so we took a chance. Toy Gun Films is a metaphor for the imagination since we firmly believe stories can be stronger than a real gun.

MM: What kinds of scripts do you most look for and why submits them?

BRG: We are always looking for great scripts. There are lots of good ones out there but very few great ones. Also looking for something that is produce-able, in terms of what the market wants and also the budget level. We pretty much only develop our own material or read the script that comes from trust friends; we don’t take submissions. Otherwise, we would spend all of our time reading scripts!

MM: You've filmed all over the world, so how do you get the opportunity to travel and work globally so frequently?

BRG: When we started Toy Gun Films we had the opportunity to work with an organization telling some of its stories! They are based all over the world, so that is what got us traveling. Also as a producer, you are always following the money. That is what has also led me to make films in places like South Africa which have a great rebate, amazing crews, and unique locations!

MM: Where do you envision your career in a decade from now and what advice can you give to those who are trying to break into entertainment?

BRG: The way things progress so quickly nowadays it hard to think what things will be like in ten years, but I will hopefully still be directing and producing films.

As per advice, I would say to green light your own film. Don't wait for someone else to tell you yes or no. That means you have to be very strategic. If you have never made a film before the chances are that the first one you make is not going to have a ten-million-dollar budget. That is the most common thing I see from both professionals and beginner wanting to get into the business: they shoot for the moon concerning budget level and try and make something way outside of the budget range they should.

Of course, everyone wants to have a monster budget to make their masterpiece, myself included. But if you sit around waiting for that to happen, chances are you will be waiting a long time! Think to yourself, what kind of film project can you afford to make in the here and now.

Even if it is just on your iPhone in your neighborhood, if that’s what you have, they use it! Let the creative limitation inspire you. After all, if you can do something interesting with that, hen you'll be able to grow from there.