Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-10-17
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Lesbian filmmaker Katherine Brooks on new movie, the film industry
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Lesbian filmmaker Katherine Brooks is taking on a new challenge.

Brooks—whose other films include the lesbian love story, Loving Annabelle and the drama/thriller, Waking Madison, as well as stints working on The Osbournes and The Real World—has taken her career in an entirely different direction with Face 2 Face.

The genesis of her new film came when Brooks realized that she wasn't happy living in Los Angeles so she sold her house and expensive car and moved to New Orleans to reconnect with her roots (she grew up in a small town in the bayou of La. near New Orleans). While living in New Orleans she had major surgery and became bedridden. As she was laying in bed her depression turned into severe depression and she also started running out of money. Brooks knew she would have to go back to LA and get a job in reality TV which she swore she would never do again.

"Here I am recovering from surgery staying with my mother and contacting reality TV producers telling them I needed a job. During that time I ended up trying to kill myself by OD'ing on Demerol," Brooks explained going on to say "that's only happened to me two times in my life, the other instance was when I was a teenager just before I left home. ... I do believe in a higher power and while I was laying in bed I said. ... Help me do something good with my life. Within an instant I got the idea for Face 2 Face.

"I was on my Facebook page and I saw that I have 5,000 friends but I'm completely alone. I've been in this bed for two months and no one has come to visit me so I turned on my flip cam and wrote in my status update 'the first 50 people who say yes, I'm coming to your city to spend the day with you and I'm going to make a movie about it.' Within ten minutes I had almost 100 people saying yes so I had my 50 and that is how it started."

Brooks took the first 50 people who responded and had AAA chart the most economical route for her 11,000-mile trip. At the time of this interview Brooks was in Winslow, Arizona having already met with 33 of the 50 people on her list. When asked what has surprised her the most during her travels Brooks said, " what are the chances that out of 5,000 people on my Facebook page everyone I have met has had some connection to my personal journey. That to me proves that nothing in life is random. Most of the people I have met I have made a lifelong connection with and will stay in touch with them after this project is over."

Which part of the country did Brooks find the most interesting to visit so far? Brooks related that she fell in love with Maine and is going to get a place there when she is finished with this film. "While I was there I felt like I was home so now I am going to start a commune for rescue animals. I worked with a man who helps people with emotional struggles and uses his horse for therapy. I got to ride his horse into the Atlantic Ocean during a sunrise and it was the most beautiful experience I've ever had. While riding that horse I said to myself 'thank God I didn't die because I would have missed this if I was gone.'" Brooks doesn't plan on retiring from filmmaking but will have her home base in Maine.

Since this project is not being backed by a studio or production company Brooks is financing it through donations. Brooks raised the initial $80,000 through Kickstarter and is now selling Face 2 Face movie posters and other memorabilia, giving people a chance to Skype with her for 30 minutes if they donate to the film as well as her upcoming Chicago meet and greet fundraiser with live music by Jordis Unga." I have faith that people will continue to help. Things come to us when we have good intentions and I plan on giving all the profits from this movie to charity," said Brooks.

Looking back at her 16-year-old self Brooks said she never expected to be where she is as a filmmaker. She initially dreamed of fame, fortune and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood but now her work has nothing to do with that. Now all she wants to do is make and do things that will help people.

Her advice to aspiring filmmakers is if you love a movie get the screenplay online to see what was on paper and what the end product looked like onscreen. Also, watch movies with the sound off to see camera movements and placement and watch the directors commentary track to hear how they made their movie. Read interviews with filmmakers you admire and subscribe to filmmaking magazines. "That is your film school," Brooks explained saying that where you went to school is not important to people in the entertainment industry.

Looking back at the reason why Brooks is doing this documentary she said " I believe that technology is a gift if we use it in a positive way. I would encourage people if they are using technology as an escape or to fill a void caused by loneliness to go out into the world and interact with people especially your friends and while you are with people put your phone away and disconnect."

For more information, visit To find out more about Face 2 Face, visit . For fundraiser tickets, visit .

The powerhouse vocalist Frenchie Davis recently was a semi-finalist on The Voice, where she was coached by Christina Aguilera. The "Beautiful" singer made the mistake of saying that Madonna's "Like a Prayer" has never been done in a fashion similar to how Davis reworked the hit. Cue up Loleatta Holloway's version from Virgin Voices: A Tribute to Madonna Volume 1. My votes were hopelessly devoted to Davis during her run on the competition.

When I met Davis at Pridefest last year, I asked her if she felt a connection with the audience and she lit up that magnificent smile. The crowd enjoyed her so much, that she belted out her take on "When Love Takes Over" again as an encore. Davis was on tour with the other contestants from The Voice earlier this summer and is on board to delight attendees at Northalsted Market Days on Sunday, Aug. 14. Davis will be singing at the wedding for Bev McClellan, a lesbian contestant on The Voice.

Just before Exposé performed in Chicago in 2008, I ran into a friend, who asked me if Exposé would be the original singers. I laughed and pointed out that this was a trick question. In 1985 when "Point of No Return" topped the club charts, the three vocalists were not the same singers, who comprised Exposé on its 1987 full-length debut, Exposure. Prior to the release of the 1992 self-titled outing, Gioia Bruno temporarily bowed out of the group when she lost her voice. Kelly Moneymaker filled Bruno's vacated spot. Ultimately, the three singers from Exposé's first two albums entertained the masses at the street festival and will be back this year. New mixes of the signature "Point of No Return" are available at .

Also scheduled to appear is fellow freestyle hitmaker Lisa Lisa. The beautiful singer came out as a breast cancer survivor and was romantically linked to Robbie Rob Clivilles of C&C Music Factory, who remixed her dance hit "Let the Beat Hit 'Em." Lisa Lisa's "I Wonder If I Take You Home" has been sampled by many including Kylie Minogue and Black Eyed Peas.

Darren Criss, who plays the gay teen Blaine on Glee, is due to perform at Northalsted Market Days as well. Criss will be featured in the limited run Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, which opens Friday, Aug. 12.

Shiny Toy Guns will be at the street festival too. This goth-pop-electronic band burst onto the scene with We Are Pilots, but turned heads with a cover of "Major Tom (Coming Home)" for Lincoln MKZ commercials.

Other talent lined up for Northalsted Market Days include "Funk Boutique" freestyle vocal trio Cover Girls, out singer-songwriter Eric Himan and disco icon Ms. Gloria Gaynor. For a complete schedule, please visit http:// .

Dave DeRosa is the mastermind behind the new electro-pop act Genius Lovers. Joined by vocalist Katara, the New York-based band's debut Strange Game shows how Auto-Tune should be done on "Three-Thirty." "Hi-Tech" is fun and funky, worthy of Klymaxx. "Press Play" is a modernization of freestyle straight from the latter half of the '80s. But all of the electronic enhancers are stripped away on the superb showstopper "You Know Why You're Here." Strange Game is out now via Thrill Horizon Records.

Last year the blogosphere went aflutter over Graffiti6. The British band's brilliant lead single "Annie You Save Me" transports me back to the late '80s, where soul, pop and modern rock united on hits like When in Rome's "The Promise" and Love & Rockets' "So Alive." Resistance is futile with the well delivered bridge "stars, please shine for me tonight." It doesn't hurt that lead singer Jamie Scott has handsome looks, blending Jason Priestly and Nick Lachey. Don't be fooled, Graffiti6 does not rely on studio magic. You Tube clips feature the group jamming on a stairwell. The EP Annie You Save Me is out now.

Wynter Gordon burst onto the scene with "Dirty Talk," where she tempts her listener by cooing, "I'm no angel." She followed with "Believer," a club ready collaboration with Freemasons. As an accomplished songwriter, she has penned material for the likes of Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Lopez. Gordon's feel good track "Til Death" is a clever play on words as she sings "til death do we party." Her latest EP, With the Music I Die, also features "Buy My Love," which is the most humorous capitalist cut since The Tamperer's "If You Buy This Record (Your Life Will Be Better)." "Still Getting Younger" is airy and melodic, yet it still has a beat. My foot taps impatiently awaiting Gordon's full-length album.

Like Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendryx and Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse is another musician gone at the age of 27. The British soul singer will be remembered for her hit "Rehab," which is her rebellious rant about the disease that cut her life short. In a day when garish outfits and outlandish behavior overshadow the actual music, the five time Grammy winner is better known for her very public battle with addiction that lead to unflattering appearances in tabloids, instead of her well executed tales of heartache like "Back to Black." Attempts to record a proper follow up were unfruitful, but Winehouse guests with Tony Bennett on "Body and Soul" on his upcoming album Duets II.

Looking for other contemporary artists with Winehouse's Billie Holiday-influenced vocal style? Then check out Glovebox and Angela McCluskey.

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Lesbian CEO takes reins at New Thought Channel 2018-10-22
Chicago-made "the T" Wins Best Indie Series in Streamy Awards 2018-10-22
The Boogeyman comes for the adults in new Halloween film 2018-10-18
Entertainers come out for Michigan Avenue event 2018-10-17
CIFF: LGBT movies, star-studded premieres 2018-10-17
Billy Master 2018-10-17
SHOWBIZ Michael Urie, Todrick Hall, Streisand, Met Gala 2018-10-16
Sisters in Cinema planning media center 2018-10-16
Illeana Douglas 2018-10-14
Jill Soloway looks ahead to celebrating new book in Chicago 2018-10-13
Sisters In Cinema Campaigns to Build Media Arts Center In South Shore 2018-10-12
Personalities speak against anti-LGBTQ bullying for Spirit Day Oct. 18 2018-10-10
Gay film wins top award at CSAFF 2018-10-10
SHOWBIZ Madonna, Matt Bomer, bullying movie, Janelle Monae 2018-10-09
Rebecca Root discusses new film roles 2018-10-03
MOVIE REVIEW 'A Star is Born' is born again for the 21st century 2018-10-03
The many lives of A Star is Born 2018-10-03
SHOWBIZ Aretha, Justin Bieber, Wanda Sykes, 'Wicked,' Robin Williams 2018-10-02
Chicago International Film Fest to screen Widows 2018-10-02
Aleks Paunovic 2018-10-01
New movie reclaims voice of 'Colette' 2018-09-26
CSO performing with 'Bride of Frankenstein' screening Oct. 26 2018-09-26
Fall movie preview 2018-09-26
Reviewing the movies of Reeling 2018-09-26
SHOWBIZ Greg Berlanti, Rihanna, 'Downton Abbey,' Ralph Lauren 2018-09-25
LGBT vampire film has Shakespearean twist 2018-09-24
Aptly named Lila Star takes Chicago scene by storm 2018-09-24
Wash Westmoreland creatively connects to 'Colette' 2018-09-24
MOVIES 'Freelancers' screens at Reeling's opening 2018-09-24
LGBT-themed films abound at 2018 CSAFF 2018-09-19
LGBT films at CSAFF 2018 2018-09-19
Reeling 2018 reviews 2018-09-19
Sykes, Rippon speak at Chicago House event 2018-09-19
Billy Masters 2018-09-19
2018 Reeling film fest lights up Chicago screens 2018-09-19
NUNN ON ONE, REELING The Queens film holds court at Reeling 2018-09-19
NATIONAL Third-gender option, HIV+ military, intersex guide, West Hollywood 2018-09-18
GLAAD celebrates LGBTQ-inclusive 70th Annual Emmy Awards 2018-09-17
'Kevin's Room' screening Sept. 15 2018-09-12
'Kevin's Room' screening Sept. 15 2018-09-06

Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.