Partnerships always make things better.
It would seem, though, when the partners are in a relationship AND working together, it might just get to be too much.
But Director/writer Wade Gasque and his partner on many levels actor/writer Mark Strano seem to have a great formula, allowing them harmony at home that also helps create a beautiful film together.
“Tiger Orange,” a hit at last year’s LGBTQ film festivals, is now available On Demand and DVD July 7.
“I initially wrote the script on my own,” says Strano, “but Wade went deeper into the story and characters.”
Strano says some of the movie is based on some of own experiences with his character Chet “being the high school version of himself.”
The story of “Tiger” takes place in a rural town that is really a love story between two brothers. Not sexual love, but truly a strong bond that only family can have. Strano’s Chet is the brother who is left behind to take over the family business while his more vibrant brother Todd goes to the big city to pursue his big dreams. Tragedy brings Todd back, opening the door to resentment, jealous and insecurities.
While the story digs down to the emotional core, Gasque says nether he or Mark have gay siblings so that aspect is not based upon their own lives. “But I liked the idea of two people sharing the same emotional experience from their own perspective,” says Gasque.
Gasque and Strano met in acting school and had an immediate connection, Gasque says, “and were always helping each other out.”
That connection worked into some professional, as well as personal, collaborations, including the previous festival short film hit “Housebroken.”
But “Tiger Orange” is both their first feature length film as director and writer and they wanted to get it right.
Casting was crucial. The part of the brother, and the chemistry the two would have, had to be real. They also know that in today’s world, finding someone with a name and presence would really help their film get attention from producers as well as audience members.
In walks Frankie Valenti, a name that would help their movie. Most audiences actually don’t know him by Valenti as he is best known as porn star Johnny Hazzard. But they didn’t want to capitalize on his looks and sexuality – they wanted to make sure he could act and had chemistry with Strano. “Frankie would admit that he was pretty green when it comes to acting,” Gasque says, “but we rehearsed a lot and he worked very hard and listened and learned.” He adds, “His performance comes from a place of honesty.”
Gasque said that if he really couldn’t act, no matter how much attention his name would bring to the project, he wouldn’t have hired him. Gasque obviously was right as Valenti gives a terrific performance as well and has gone onto other acting roles that don’t involve pornography including the wonderful internet series “Child of the 70s.”
Strano also received acclaim for his work, winning the Best Actor award at last year’s Outfest Film Festival. “That was really fun,” Strano says. “By the time we were entering film festivals my head was focused on the producing aspect of my work and getting the film distributed and noticed. So this was quite a nice surprise.”
To catch a beautiful movie of two diverse brothers, their conflicts and blossoming love (but not with each other), get “Tiger Orange.” Available now On Demand and to order a DVD, go to www.wolfevideo.com.