"So, what are you working on next?" How Tyler C. Peterson found his next project.

Picture this... your latest film is finally done. You're onstage at a festival, in the thick of a Q&A. An audience member leans into the microphone and clears their throat. “So, what’s next?”

What’s next? You don’t want to talk about the project you just saw? The one I’ve been pouring my soul into for years?

As a film director, this is a dreaded question you’ll always be asked, and you better have an answer. The last thing you want people to think is that your career lacks momentum and trajectory. While gearing up to tour my latest short film “Copper & Wool” across festivals in 2022, I took some time to really think about where my energies should be directed.

When you’re early in your career and still financing your own work, in some ways the world is really your oyster. There’s no manager telling you what your next step should be. No studio executives asking you to make your biggest hit again, but just switch it up a bit. As someone who is creating their own opportunities by writing what they go on to direct, I love the idea of going with the unexpected.

A few disparate thoughts were rumbling around in my head...

1. My last project, “Copper & Wool”, was a quiet, intimate mumblecore film that was improvised and shot on Kodak 16mm.

2. I hadn’t seen many comedies on the festival circuit in 2022, and the ones that I did see often did not appeal to my sensibilities.

3. I had been watching a lot of RuPaul’s Drag Race and acquainting myself with the LA drag scene.

4. Drag may be popular and mainstream in reality and unscripted media, but not so much in narrative film.

In line with going the unexpected route, I knew I wanted to do something with a really strong hook. Something you could easily remember and describe to your friends when you left the screening. You might be able to see where my mind went from here.

Before I knew it, I had a concept and a first draft ready to go for a short comedy revolving around a drag queen who’s labor law lawyer ends up being a crazy super fan. As I was peppered with the question, “what’s next?” for months on end, I had my answer. And it certainly elicited a reaction from people (usually one of intrigue and excitement).

Fast forward six months. “Copper & Wool” has had its festival moment and has now been released online, and I’m a week out from shooting “Stan Behavior” starring RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Ginger Minj and Heidi N Closet, alongside LA drag staple Marta BeatChu. Oh, and it’s a We Make Movies production, of course.

We’ll see what I come up with this time next year when “Stan Behavior” is making the rounds at festivals, but I know I’ve got to keep it fresh and new. If you’re interested in staying up to date with “Stan Behavior” or helping making this film a reality, visit our Indiegogo page here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stan-behavior-short-film-starring-ginger-minj/x/31449599#/

Tyler C. Peterson (Director, producer, screenwriter, and editor) found We Make Movies through the inaugural We Make Movies International Film Festival where his award-winning short film Summer Hill (Best Narrative Short - North Beach American Film Festival, Audience Choice for Narrative Short - Cecil County Film Festival) was screened. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor's Degree in film and "a thirst for challenging industry ideologies." Exploring his own queer identity led him to place diversity as a priority both in-front of and behind the camera and found his own indie production company Lux Daze Media in 2015..


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