After six years, shooting in 25 locations, three states and two countries, the comedy film “Border Brother” was released in the historic Fox Theater in downtown Bakersfield, Calif. on April 20. Second year Lane student Brian Ross has been thrusted into the spotlight, as the film’s main character.
“‘Border Brothers’ is a comedy film about a down-on-his-luck pool boy who is rapidly losing his business to Mexicans,” Ross explains. “My character (Brian) attempted to smuggle large quantities of marijuana from Mexico to Arizona.”
The plot thickens as Brian loses the pot and accidentally smuggles two illegal immigrants across the border. The film then turns into an epic journey as the three try to help one another as they are pursued by not just immigration police, but the mafia and Mexican drug lords.
The film was mainly shot in Bakersfield and Ross dealt with interviews. Local news stations covered the event and the movie was promoted on radio shows, podcasts and YouTube shows. “I did not realize how much work goes into promoting, even if you are just acting in the film,” Ross said.
Ross was in high demand during the film’s release. “It felt surreal to have so many people want to take a picture with me and sign the poster after the showing,” Ross said. “Everybody told me they thought is was hilarious and makes me super happy to hear.”
“Comedy has always been my life,” Ross said. His original focus of study was theater at Bakersfield College. After many years of pursuing the typical California dream, he realized that he enjoyed being behind the camera as much as in front of it. “A dear friend told me Eugene had a great Multimedia Program at LCC,” Ross said. “I figured it was a great opportunity to learn all aspects of media and entertainment.”
Ross has been pursuing an Associate of Applied Science in the Multimedia Arts Department at Lane since 2015. His studies at Lane results in improved video production skills, photography and audio production, giving him a solid foundation to pursue a career in the media arts industry.
After his first year attending Lane, Ross was contacted by the director of Hectic Films Production, Rickey Bird Jr., who discovered him on Youtube. He explained that Ross was perfect for the role and was very adamant about having him audition. “I wrote the character basically for Brian to a point where I don’t think anyone else could have played him,” Bird Jr. said.
Ross read the script and absolutely loved the hilarious concept. After being cast as the lead, he attended all the auditions held in Los Angeles to find the best chemistry between the lead and co-stars.
In addition to production in Bakersfield, other scenes were filmed in Arizona, Nevada, Mojave Desert and Tijuana Mexico. Post-production was in California and Eugene, Oregon.
Production for ‘Border Brothers’ lasted one year, followed by a series of hiccups during post-production.
“The film fell victim to production issues and we had producers jumping in and out of the project. By the time it was deep in post-production, I was already a year done with my studies at LCC,” Ross said. However his schooling background gave him the opportunity to lend assistance.
“I was actually able to help re-record the voice work and assist in some editing from the Lane Media Arts labs. I even cut an unofficial trailer, and currently am helping re-master some of the audio and editing issues with the first theatrical release, all from my media station here in Eugene.”
Ross wore many hats during the making of “Border Brothers.” In addition to filling the lead actor role, Ross served as a stuntman, stunt driver, minor post-editor, audio producer and he also assisted with writing some scenes.
Now that the movie has had its first release, Ross is aimed at getting “Border Brothers” released in a theater in Eugene. “I am trying my best to get a showing here in Eugene,” Ross said. “I would love for the Bijou to showcase the film.”
Currently, there are very few avenues to view this film. “I would be proud to have Eugene as the second place to show it since this is my hometown now and my studies at Lane Community College helped significantly with the post production of the movie.”