Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With Danielle Rock

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.


TGG: The thing I love most about this column is the ability to put -and-comers shoulder-to-shoulder with established talent. This week we have an up-and-comer, and I can’t wait for you to watch her film.
Could you please introduce yourself?

DR: Hey readers! I’m Danielle Rock, originally from Plattsburgh, NY – aka rural America incarnate. I moved to California in 2019 to go to graduate school at Chapman University for TV writing and producing. Initially, I had big dreams of radically changing myself as a person and becoming outdoorsy, but then COVID hit, and I’ve been at home ever since.

TGG: Oh yes, the Great Pause has had us all inside baking bread. Could you tell us about your film “Coming Out”?

DR: I wrote and executive produced “Coming Out” as my thesis project for school. While a big part of me did it to earn the diploma I paid good money for, it’s a larger story that’s been brewing inside me for a long time.

As a lesbian growing up in a small town, queerness wasn’t really seen, much less talked about. After I realized I was a lesbian, I decided I didn’t want to be in the closet, but I also didn’t want to have an awkward coming out talk with everyone I knew. So basically, I turned my lesbian energy up to an 11 in hopes people would realize I wasn’t straight – and (god willing) stop trying to set me up with boys. Results were mixed to say the least.

“Coming Out” very much embodies that experience and how exhausting it really is to come out in a world that shouldn’t assume you’re straight anyway. I also chose to write this piece as a comedy because the LGBTQ community has seen too many tragic queer stories to suffer through yet another one. I wanted to show young LGBTQ folks that coming out doesn’t have to be this terrifying process. Often, the people that you love and trust are worthy of that.

TGG: What’s something you have learned during the making of the film?

DR: I learned more than I ever wanted to about COVID safety protocols on set. However, I think that nearly soul crushing experience really prepared me for the harsh realities of production. Thanks to my experience on “Coming Out,” I gained a whole new respect for film crews and what it takes to create a safe set for all. I’m going to take that lesson with me in my career and make crews working on any show of mine feel as safe and invested in the creative process as I am.

I also learned a lot about the collaborative nature of production. Often, writing is an isolated experience, but I had great ideas come from my cast and crew that ended up in the final film. I never would have gotten the version I love so much if I hadn’t been open to new ideas.

TGG: What’s next?

DR: For me personally, I’m hoping to work my way up from a PA at Warner Bros. and into a writer’s room someday. Someday I’d like to be a television showrunner.

As for “Coming Out,” I’m entering as many LGBTQ film festivals as I can. There’s also been a lot of demand from my cast and crew to make a sequel, and if I ever have the time and budget to make it, I absolutely will. In the meantime, I’m going to settle for writing the full length pilot version and cheering on my crew in all their upcoming projects.

TGG: I’m really looking forward to what you do next. How can we best support you?

DR: Share “Coming Out” on social media wherever you can! Send it to an LGBTQ person in your life who could use a laugh, or even a really cool straight person! Straight people need to laugh too sometimes.

We’re on Youtube:

and Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/638206701.

You can also follow us at @ComingOutFilm on Twitter, @ComingOutFilm on
Instagram, and @ComingOut4Reel on Facebook because all the good
Facebook page names were taken.

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