HG Film & TV
April 20, 2016 12:10 pm
Instagram/Quinn Marcus

We are OFFICIALLY obsessed with writer, creator, actress Quinn Marcus. We met her when she performed at a HelloGiggles comedy show, and we have been in love with her ever since. Who is Quinn Marcus, exactly? Let us introduce you to her.

Below she tells us about making a movie in her home town about her coming out story, Alone with People. We are so impressed by this strong and creative woman!

Thank you for watching Alone with People. Unless you’re reading this before you watch it to make sure that you’re not wasting your time if you do watch it. I’m probably not going to watch it. But only because I made it and I’ve already seen it, so that would be a huge waste of time for me. But to figure out if watching this is a waste of time for you, we first have to know what you would spend this time doing instead. If you were just going to check how many people in 45 seconds have liked your recent Instagram picture then you have the time to watch Alone with People. If you were just going to write down items on your To Do list that you’ve already done just to cross them off then you for sure have the time to watch Alone with People. If you were just going to spray lemon perfume all over the kitchen just so your roommates would think that you cleaned without actually having to clean then you, too, definitely have the time. And also, you should look into getting a job. Or a hobby. Your new hobby could be watching Alone with People! See, we’re getting a lot done. But if you’re a doctor and you have a patient and that patient is sitting across from you right now, you might not have the time. I hate to lose you as an audience member, but you’re the dummy who decided to go to med school.

Hopefully by now you’ve decided to watch Alone with People, though. This movie is based on my life growing up gay in the south. We wanted to tell a coming out story that wasn’t solely negative or depressing. In my opinion, coming out is super awkward and uncomfortable. And straight girls never have to sit their parents down and say, “I like having sex with men.”

I made this movie with my best friends, Drew Van Steenbergen and Andrew Merki, and a crew of 15 who slept in my parent’s basement in Atlanta, Georgia for the 10 days of production. Here’s a tip for any filmmaker: If you want really good Craft Services, don’t pay someone. Just ask your parents. They have no idea that most low-budget film sets aren’t known for their good food. My parents made the cast and crew Greek Chicken and BBQ and no one was ever the wiser. And here’s another tip: When you write a movie that you’re filming in Atlanta in 95 degrees, don’t write that your character wears a sweatshirt in every scene.

We decided to shoot my coming out movie in the place where I actually came out and was met with nothing but support. My ex-boyfriends donated to the Kickstarter, and even offered up their houses for shooting locations. At 15, I was very scared to come out to my parents because I didn’t want our relationship to change. But on set at 22, I was recounting to them which of my sister’s friends I had crushes on back then. When we cast the short film, my movie Mom and Dad ended up looking like younger and thinner versions of my actual mom and dad. My dad met the actor who was playing my movie dad on set and said, “Wow, I’m good looking!” I don’t think my movie dad was as flattered to see his bald counterpart.

During production, I was back in the mindset of being 15, alone and not yet myself, while on the other side of the camera stood my family and friends who finally knew who I really was. At 15, all the thoughts in my head seemed wrong. I hid my true feelings from everyone. But while making Alone with People, I finally got to say all the things I wanted to say in high school. And they didn’t seem so scary anymore. If in high school I had known that in seven years I would be comfortable enough with myself to make the hardest time of my life into a movie, being in the closet might not have been so bad.

When Drew, Andrew, and I decided to make this movie, we had no idea we’d be able to share it with so many people. It’s screened at film festivals all over the world in places like Isreal, Scotland, India, Japan, Australia and Dayton, Ohio. We couldn’t make it to the International festivals, but I optimistically made a Facebook status about when and where the events would be just in case I forgot I have a good friend who lives in Mumbai.

When you write a movie based on your own life and you’re the lead, you start to feel a little self absorbed. But when we went to Dayton, Ohio to share the movie, a 50 year old woman came up to me afterwards and said, “Thank you for telling my story.” And I asked, “Oh, you came out at 15?” She responded, “No. A year ago, I told my husband and kids that I’m gay.” And that’s when I realized she hadn’t really paid attention to the movie. Just kidding. That woman is actually the reason I feel a little less selfish when I write from my own life. We made Alone with People to tell a story that we didn’t feel had been told. So unless you’re a doctor, I hope you have the time to watch.

Alone with People from Drew Van on Vimeo.

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