In the afterglow of sex, a generation gap opens between two men as they struggle to define trust in the age of open relationships and NSA hookups.
Interview with Writer/Director Doug Tompos
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I’m in a writing group in Los Angeles and one of the topics that came up was about the state of marriage in our culture today - what it really means anymore, is it possible for people to be monogamous, should they be?, etc. The story came out of my wondering what it would be like if I had to enter the dating scene again after being in a long-term relationship and having never been on any dating or hookup apps. I started asking friends of different ages what their experiences were like and it struck me that a lot of people are struggling to find and even define intimacy right now.
There are very polarized views on monogamy in the gay community, and the variety of relationship ‘rules’ and arrangements people have was mind-blowing to me. Everyone seemed ‘right’ in their own view, but with all those different permutations, how could anyone ever find someone who would be ‘right’ for them? That really intrigued me and became the impulse for the film.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
It takes a smart and sexy look at the challenges of dating in the age of TINDER and GRINDR while flipping the expectations of a traditional “coming of age” story.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I think we all struggle to define trust and build intimacy in relationships, no matter what our orientation. This story may be specifically about an LGBTQ relationship but I think it will resonate with anyone.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
I wrote the script with Adrian Gonzalez (the other lead actor in the film) in mind. The point of view of his character, Cris, was harder for me to get behind so his input in the process was invaluable. We went through various incarnations of the script as we dug deeper into the real issues behind it, but overall, the heart of it stayed pretty consistent.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
I tried to present a balanced and honest expression of the two men’s points of view in the film, so it’s interesting to see what comes up for people. It tends to provoke a strong response either on one side or the other, depending on the viewer’s own past relationships, age, and experience on dating apps. I had a fear that this would only be relevant to a LGBTQ audience but I was very encouraged when my editor, a straight male in his 20’s, saw the footage for the first time and said “Wow. I really relate to this. This is exactly what I’m going through with some of the women I date.”
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Not really but I do continue to live with the questions the film brings up and try to sort through them in my own life. Since we shot the film, I’ve become single again, so I’m experiencing firsthand a lot of what’s in the film.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I would love to have this film reach more people and expand beyond an LGBTQ audience, be that through more festivals or on another platform of distribution.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
We’re primarily interested in connecting with film festival directors, producers for future projects, and journalists.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I guess I’d hope that anyone - young, old, male, female, gay, straight - will see what’s universal in it, and that it inspires them to look at their own views on relationships and ask some potentially difficult questions, not only of themselves but also their partners. Maybe that will lead to a deeper connection and intimacy for them. That would make me happy.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What really is your definition of trust in a relationship and what really defines intimacy – is it emotional, physical, or some combination thereof? Is sex just sex?
Would you like to add anything else?
I was asked recently about taking ‘risks’ as a filmmaker and what that means to me. I think one of the hardest things for any artist to do is to not let fear of non-acceptance compromise their vision, and to express authentically what they see as the truth of the human situation they are exploring. To let it be personal and to stand up for that vision.
We live in a time of rampant lying and glibly false representations of the truth and I would just encourage all of us to not give in to the pressure to create for popular appeal, but to create in order to help the world see beyond the divisions and limitations to what connects us all humanly. I am very inspired by that kind of work and feel emboldened every time I encounter it.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
This summer, I’ll be shooting some critical scenes from a script I’m developing that deals with the issue of power in our current culture – its use and abuse and what it is to have it and then lose it. I’m also developing a film inspired by an iconic pop figure and their struggle to transform their hedonistic lifestyle to a legacy of selflessness.
Interview: May 2018
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
COMING OF AGE
In the afterglow of sex, a generation gap opens between two men as the struggle to define trust in the age of open relationships and NSA hookups.
Director: Doug Tompos
Producer: Risa Bramon Garcia, Steve Braun, Doug Tompos
Writer: Doug Tompos
About the writer, director and producer: Doug Tompos brings over 25 years of professional acting experience to his writing and directing, including work on Broadway and in a long list of Film and TV projects.
Risa Bramon Garcia has worked extensively as a Director, Producer (Oliver Stone’s NATURAL BORN KILLERS), and Casting Director in film (JFK, WALL STREET, etc) and TV (recently MASTERS OF SEX, THE AFFAIR and SEAL TEAM).
Key cast: Doug Tompos; Adrian Gonzalez
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): Film festival directors, producers, journalists.
Social media handles:
Facebook: Coming of AGE
Made in association with: The BGB Studio and Fugitive Kind Films
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? The American Pavilion at the Festival de Cannes, Sunday 5/13 at 4 pm – LGBTQ Series