“Stylistically, the way we’re going to tell it, and kind of the intimacy of the story–there’s only three characters–make it a little different from what we’ve done in the past, but I think that’s good,” said Rob Williams about his new film, HAPPINESS ADJACENT.
Williams is a native Texan currently living in Cathedral City, CA. He is also known for directing and writing Back Soon (2007) and Make the Yuletide Gay (2009).
He kindly agreed to answer a few of our questions about his new film and his history
Where was HAPPINESS ADJACENT first screened in front of an audience (where you attended)?
Our World Premiere of HAPPINESS ADJACENT was at the Reeling Film Festival in Chicago on September 24. I am always terrified before every screening, and doubly terrified before any World Premiere, but the audience’s response was extraordinarily positive. It felt amazing! I hope Tampa enjoys it as much.
What was your first experience at a “gay” movie? What did you see, where did you see it and who was with you?
I remember watching Deathtrap, rented on video, with my parents. None of us had any idea it was a “gay” movie – and it’s astonishing to me that people don’t include it in their lists of classic, influential gay films. Anyway, we rented it because I love mysteries. I think my parents were too afraid to say anything, as was I. But I loved it and was secretly thrilled by the gay storyline.
If you couldn’t make movies, what creative outlet would you choose?
I would write, which I do anyway, but if movies weren’t an option, I would try to write full-time. And FYI, my first book – Make The Yuletide Gay: The Novel, based on our hit Christmas comedy film – is now available in paperback and Kindle versions! I spent years working as a freelance writer, mainly in public relations, before I started making movies, and I’ve always been the go-to person for writing wherever I’ve worked.
With a shout out to James Lipton, what turns you on? Or off?
What turns me on? Intelligence.
What turns me off? Republicans.
And in my experience in 2017, the two never meet.
How do you think your film is relevant to the Tampa Bay area?
I think it’s relevant to anyone who can identify with the search for love and friendship. My personal ties to the Tampa Bay area are great, as I have made many friends there over the years through attending the Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and I shot one of my films – Out To Kill – in Tampa and St. Petersburg, with the support of so many people in the area. And Happiness Adjacent takes place on a cruise, and people can take cruises out of Tampa, so hey, there’s one more point of relevance!
How would your friends and family describe you?
I honestly don’t know how my friends would describe me. I make a lot of friends during the moviemaking process, but I’m a different person as a director than I am off-set, and I hope people who get to know me in both settings see me as a dedicated, focused filmmaker who also is laid-back and has a good sense of humor. I love supporting our gay-film industry, and I hope people see that. People might also describe me as opinionated, for good reasons. LOL
Saturday, October 7 @ 10:30 PM