Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With Cameron Cole
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: Could you please introduce yourself and your past work to our readers?
CC: My name is Cameron Cole; I’m the writer and co-director of Twitterpated. My only prior long-form work is a theatre piece I’ve been developing and writing since 2007; a 5 play cycle called Death (and Straight Boys) that is based on the 5 stages of grief, and tracks 5 major characters over a 12 year span of their lives as friends and chosen family. My experience is all in theater, however my fabulous producer and co-director is a fantastic trans filmmaker named AJ Mattioli. He and his production company Mattioli Productions have been making incredible LGBT films for 12 years, and I couldn’t be more thrilled they’ve taken my film on as their next production.
TGG: Could you tell us about your latest project and what inspired you to make it?
CC: Twitterpated is a modern queer rom-com rework of the classic play Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. There have been a few reworkings of Cyrano over the years, but in my version; Charles is an overweight and under-confident guy who falls for Rocky, a very attractive and intelligent guy, who in turn falls for Christian, a less than brilliant but gorgeous guy. Charles and Christian team up to win Rocky over with Charles coaching Christian in how to win Rocky over. It’s actually my first film script, and the first in a proposed trilogy that would take a classic tale and put a modern queer rom-com spin on it, essentially queering the classics. I started this script back in 2015, when I was about 300 pounds. I spent 2021 losing about 120 pounds and finishing the script. AJ had me put together a pitch deck (a slideshow explaining the characters, story, and film) and used that to secure us a VERY generous sponsorship from a big name corporate sponsor (that I’m not allowed to name just yet), and here we are!
TGG: Congratulations on your weight loss journey! Do you have any tips for everyone who made getting healthy their resolution for 2022 (this includes me)?
CC: I was scheduled for the gastric bypass sleeve, and after doing some research opted to do it only with diet and exercise. The first thing I did was drop sodas (including diet), and that alone will drop 5 pounds or more quickly. I started walking, which also lost me several more pounds rapidly. I was about 30 pounds down when I was introduced to an incredible nutritionist and trainer who re-taught me nutrition and gave me a really simple short cardio program to use during his 90 day program. With the knowledge he gave me and the exercise program, I got down to 180 this Summer. I am currently closer to 190 because I have been too busy with the film prep to do much exercise, but I am still eating healthily and keeping the weight off for the most part.
TGG: Could you tell us about the crowd funding campaign and some of the rewards?
CC: The crowdfund is taking what we have already built with the corporate sponsorship and asking the community to help us pay for a cast. Having the money to secure a cast that the crowdfund brings means we can go after a couple of really cool casting choices. We’ve already locked in Markus Kelle as one of our two villain roles, DeGuiche, one of the two obnoxious Mean Girl/Heathers type characters who verbally mock Charles for his weight. We are close to finalizing casting on the other half of that duo and will be announcing that cast member soon. There’s a drag queen role who is Charles’ best friend that we are working on casting for, and a bartender role we’re working on securing a big name LGBT icon, legend, and path-blazer for (fingers crossed). There are so many cool rewards, including; personal video recordings from drag queen pals of mine like Ruby Roo and Elektra Lite (with more to be announced soon), 1 year subscriptions to Fearless a really awesome independent only film streaming service, personalized softcover copies of the script thanks to my friends at Purple Feather Press, video access to the cast table read of the script, the ability to have a cameo in the film, and tons more goodies to be announced soon!
TGG: Finally, how can we best support you?
CC: As I write this, we are at over 11,500 and almost halfway to our goal! Any pledge helps, and it won’t run your card until the end of our campaign on February 18th. Your money will help us employ a LGBTQ and allies cast and crew here in Brooklyn and help us tell queer stories. Additionally, we are still looking for investors and further sponsorship, corporate or small, so please do reach out. If you have goodies you can volunteer for pledges – that helps too! This very much a film about and by community, and anything you can do however you do it helps!
Our Kickstarter can be found at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mattioliproductions/twitterpated-1
Our movie insta is @twitterpatedmovie, mine is @camandthecity, AJ is @mattiolipro, and we can both be found on Facebook.