5 Questions with Ramaa Mosley - Director of The Brass Teapot

TMS: I had a chance to see The Brass Teapot the other night. From our review, I was obviously impressed that this was your first full length feature. Can you tell us a little bit about your history as a film maker?

RM: I made my first film when I was sixteen years old. It was a documentary about the environmental problems and how children felt about the world. I was very cause focused and dedicated to making work that would help change the problems in the world. Upon graduating college I directed a music video for some friends and within a week of completing that project had offers from all the major commercial and music video production companies.  In some ways you could say I sold out but I also think that directing commercials prepared me to make movies. I went into advertising but always had my heart in narrative. I desperately wanted to make a feature film. I developed a successful career but kept looking for the right project, then I found The Brass Teapot.  

Having made my first feature and experienced the struggle of independent film making I'm excited that I get to direct commercials.  So far it's seamless for me. I can go and experiment on a commerial and work for a week or two and continue developing as a film maker in between films.

TMS: I read somewhere that The Brass Teapot was originally being developed as a comic book story. The characters, especially Yoel and Gilad, would have served a comic well. Is this true and what made you decide to turn it in to a movie?

RM: Yes. Tim Macy and I co-wrote the comic book. While we were developing it we also started brainstorming about what a film might look like.  The comic book ended up informing the movie and vice versa. I felt that having the comic book helped make it a little easier to get people onboard with my vision of the tone.  Without that it would have seemed so much more darker to just read the script.  The comic book allowed people to see the levity in the story and the humor.

TMS: I sensed a bit of a Coen Brothers influence. In tone, the movie is a bit similar to (one of my all time favs) Raising Arizona. Am I correct or would you say I'm completely nuts? On the same note, who would you consider to be your biggest influence as a film maker?

RM: You're a genius. Thank you. You are the first person to spot that.  I love the Coen Brothers.  Blood Simple has had a huge impact on me.  I think my favorite film of theirs is Fargo but Raising Arizona is a close second. I love how there is so much to laugh about and to be frightened of in their films.  They make movies that you can not pin down tonally. I think this is like life. One moment life is ridiculously funny and the next it is scary as hell or emotional.  I like that feeling in films. I was a young child when ET, Close Encounters and Splash came out.  Those films also impacted me. Witches of Eastwick was a very dark movie but at the time it was considered a comedy. That's what I attempted to do with The Brass Teapot on a much smaller scale.

TMS: What is the release schedule like for The Brass Teapot? I see that's it been released in certain areas but is also available on Amazon streaming (that's where I saw it). Any plans on getting a Michigan release? I know tons of people that would adore this movie.

RM: We have a limited theatrical release. Probably this weekend is our last in LA and NY. People who want to see the movie in a theater where they live (as it was intended) can request it on Gathr.us and help to champion the movie coming to your town. Gathr is great because if we get enough people willing to attend that screening, they book the theater and BAM - our movie plays there. Yes, it's also available on VOD and itunes.  

TMS: What are Ramaa Mosley's future plans? After this movie, I'm really looking forward to your next one. Are there any new projects on the horizon or will you be too busy promoting this one for a while?

RM: Even as I was making The Brass Teapot, Tim Macy and I were developing our next two features.The scripts are finished and ready to go. I'm excited to start sharing those projects with producers. One is a magical comedy and the other is a magical thriller. We like magic. Actually, we like when unusual events happen to ordinary people and they have to rise to the occasion, transforming into better people as they go.

We love magic too! Thanks to Ramaa for taking the time out of her busy schedule and really think you should take the time to see her movie!