WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- You could just tell, when you meet him, that Brett Haley is a little different. Not as in odd – just talented and focused.
He went to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts to learn to be a film director and that’s what he has become – not doing the big, studio-backed features yet, but that may come.
And you wouldn’t be able to tell, watching his latest feature, “Hearts Beat Loud.” It looks as slick as most studio releases, with recognizable faces and names.
“I'm also proud of what I've done because I've done it completely outside of the system,” says Brett. “None of my films are studio-financed, I've had to make them truly independently, go to Sundance, sell the movie, get it out to the world. It's been a hard road, so I'm proud.”
And he should be, but it’s been something of a tough road. First off, everything takes longer than he thought it would.
“I think, as a kid, you come out bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and you think you're going to make movies and it doesn't work like that,” says Brett.
The other lesson he quickly learned what that, as an independent, he had to learn to write.
“But I'm a natural, born story-teller and I've always wanted to direct movies and the only way I was going to direct movies was if I had screen plays,” he says.
All-in-all, things have turned out well. What he came to UNCSA to start, is well on its way.
“When I was here as a student, I said I'm going to be a director – going to be a film director – and so far, so good.
See parts of Brett’s latest feature, in this edition of the Buckley Report.