Bryan Young (filmmaker)
July 17, 1980|
Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, United States
|Occupation||Blogger, author, filmmaker|
|Spouse(s)||Amberley Marie Young (2001–present)|
Bryan Young is a Utah-based blogger, author and filmmaker. Young's films include the documentaries Killer at Large and This Divided State as well as other narrative features. He also blogs on the official Star Wars blog, often syndicating his stories on The Huffington Post and BigShinyRobot.com, which he co-founded and also edits. He also has written numerous pieces for Star Wars Insider. With the release of his novel Lost at the Con, he was recognized by IN This Week magazine as the number one of their Top Five “Authors to Watch” 2011.
Young began working in the film industry in 1999, working as an assistant director and crew member on various independent films and corporate video projects. At age 18, he gained a small measure of local fame in Utah, being the first person to get in line for Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Three years later, he got in line for Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones 21 days early despite the fact that his wife was nine months pregnant. His love of Star Wars has given him prominence in the fandom as a proponent of the Star Wars Prequels, including moderating the "Why We Love The Prequels" panel at Star Wars Celebration V. These contributions to Star Wars fandom led the 501st Legion to induct Young as an "Honorary Friend of the Legion". This also led to a regular column on the official Star Wars blog.
Young has co-directed two feature films, Missy and The Fleapit Three as well as a feature-length documentary The Misbehavers. He has also produced and/or assistant directed numerous films, including the award-winning documentaries This Divided State and “Killer at Large”.
Missy, his first feature film (cowritten and codirected by Elias Pate) was notable in its independent approach, utilizing a single set that the directors built themselves in a backyard. The entire film took place inside a cramped spaceship, where two characters that harken back to "George" and "Lenny" from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, find themselves in a situation where each of them is developing cabin fever.
The Misbehavers, his first feature documentary (also cowritten and codirected by Elias Pate) documented a group of filmmakers who converged on the 2004 Sundance film festival in order to promote the film Abby Singer. Unfortunately, Abby Singer wasn't in the Sundance film festival and the Abby Singer crew had to create their own buzz from the ground up. From impersonating reporters on the red carpets of Park City to invading bars impostering a camera crew from Comedy Central on Main Street, everything and anything was tried to get attention for their film and it was all caught on tape.
A number of celebrities made impromptu appearances in the documentary as they were approached by the Abby Singer crew to attend their screenings. Celebrities included Danny DeVito, Sally Field, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Zach Braff, Willem Dafoe, Rhea Perlman and Forest Whitaker. Donny Osmond also made an appearance in the film.
Due to legal issues, the film has not seen release.
This Divided State
This Divided State is a documentary directed by Steven Greenstreet that details the conflict that erupted at Utah Valley State College in 2004. This conflict dealt with a speaking invitation from the student council of the school to filmmaker and political activist Michael Moore. In an attempt to appease controversy, conservative political pundit Sean Hannity was invited to speak in order to provide balance to the political views being advocated on campus. Hannity waived his normal $100,000 speakers fee, but still demanded that UVSC cover his travel costs, which were equivalent to Moore's speaker's fee. After completing the film and premiering it at Utah Valley State College, the liberal organization Center for American Progress chose the film for its "Reel Progress" series. Young and Elias Pate, key figures in the production of the film, arranged a "self-distributed" theatrical release. This Divided State played in more than 20 major U.S. cities including New York City and Los Angeles. The film ended its theatrical run on September 27, 2005, when it was released in North America on DVD by the Disinformation company. This Divided State has an approval rating of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes from 24 reviews counted.
Killer at Large
Killer at Large is a 2008 documentary also directed by Steven Greenstreet that deconstructed the politics and reasons behind the American obesity epidemic. It featured interviews with former President Bill Clinton, Ralph Nader, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, and Jim Hightower among many others.
It was noted before the film's premiere in New York by USA Today that Young learned so much about the causes of obesity during production that he lost 40 pounds making the film. At the premiere of the film, actor Chevy Chase (who appeared in the film) and his wife Jayni were honored with an award celebrating their efforts preventing childhood obesity.
Young is the author of several published works, including ‘’Lost at the Con’’, ‘’Man Against the Future’’, ‘’Operation: Montauk’’, ‘’The Serpent's Head’’, ‘’The Aeronaut’’, and as a contributor to Mike Stackpole’s collection The Chain Story.
Lost at the Con, a novel, and Man Against the Future, a collection of Young’s short stories, were published simultaneously in June 2011. Lost at the Con in particular received excellent reviews, favorably comparing the novel with gonzo journalism, noir fiction, and geek culture. The novel tells the story of a drunken political reporter who is assigned to cover the fictional Griffon*Con, known as the Mardi Gras of sci fi conventions. While there, he exposed to an underground world of sex, drugs, and depravity he could not have imagined. Young also draws upon the idea of the Hero's Journey through the main character.
With the release of his books, he was invited as a guest to the 2011 Origins Game Fair where he appeared for book signings and was on panels with other authors including Timothy Zahn, Aaron Allston, and Michael A. Stackpole. He returned as a guest in 2012 and 2013.
In 2012, Young published Operation: Montauk, a pulp science-fiction adventure, through Silence In the Library publishing. Deseret News said of the book that "readers will be on the edge of their seats from start to finish." The website Insert Geek Here asked, "is this book a must-read? Yes. Emphatically so. Why? Aside from it being a well written, interesting, fun book that will take you on a crazy roller coaster of a ride? Okay. Four words: Time travel, dinosaurs, Nazis. 'Nuff said."
2014 saw the release of The Serpent's Head and The Children't Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination. The Serpent's Head is about a man called Twelve, a hired gun, taking his laser pistol from planet to planet, hiring his services out to the highest bidder. He finds himself on Glycon-Prime, a new colony at the edge of space. On the hunt for work, Twelve blows into a small, frontier town only to find a massacre, the only survivors a trio of young children, devastated by the murder of their families. The Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination delves into all of the major assassination attempts throughout the history of the United States, in vivid detail. It was illustrated by Erin Kubinek and Scout Young, Bryan Young's middle child.
2015 saw the release of Escape Vector: And Other Stories and The Aeronaut. Escape Vector: and Other Stories are short works by the famed author, taking place across the far reaches of the galaxy. This cross section of works document what rebels, bounty hunters, smugglers, journalists, spacers, and colonists might find in the far reaches of space. The Aeronaut is a tense story, full of action, espionage, and romance, set in an alternate version of World War I. Computational machinery has allowed both sides to make great technological leaps that have made trench warfare even deadlier for the soldiers at the front.
Young is the editor-in-chief of Big Shiny Robot!. He co-founded the site in February 2009 with Lucas Ackley. It is a "geek news and reviews site" geared toward movies, films, games, and comics. As editor of Big Shiny Robot!, he was asked by Salt Lake City Weekly to write a weekly geek column.
He is a contributor to The Huffington Post, often writing about the intersection of comics and politics. He also contributed an essay about obesity to Disinformation's "You Are STILL Being Lied To" anthology, edited by Russ Kick.
He writes a regular monthly column for the StarWars.com about the influences of cinema on the Star Wars universe.
- Blake, Daisy (May 11, 2011). "IN's 5th Birthday: Our Lists of Five: Authors to Watch". IN This Week. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011.
- Horiuchi, Vince (May 8, 1999). "Magic of 'Star Wars' Sends Fan Camping for Tickets". The Salt Lake Tribune. p. A6.
- Snider, Eric (May 15, 2001). "Fan plays out Episode II of waiting game". Provo Daily Herald.[permanent dead link]
- Pete Vilmur (August 27, 2010). "Celebration V: Why We Love the Prequels". StarWars.com / Lucasfilm. Archived from the original on August 29, 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "Honorary Members of the 501st". Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- "The Official Star Wars Blog - Bryan Young". Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- Internet Movie Database
- "Missy (2001)" accessed June 24, 2011
- "Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "USA Today". November 19, 2008. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- Bryan Young. "The Colossus". The Chain Story. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- Andy Wilson (June 13, 2011). "Lost at the Con is required summer reading for geeks". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- Amy L Ratcliffe. "Book Review: Lost at the Con". Geek with Curves. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- Gavin Sheehan (May 11, 2011). "Get Lost at the Con". Salt Lake City Weekly: Gavin's Underground. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "Origins Author Guests 2011". Archived from the original on June 23, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- "Origins Author Guests 2013". Archived from the original on July 20, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- "Deseret News Book Review: Operation: Montauk". Deseret News. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- "Insert Geek Here on Books: Operation: Montauk". Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- "Bryan Young at SL City Weekly". Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- "You Are STILL Being Lied To". Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- "The Official Star Wars Blog - Bryan Young". Retrieved May 30, 2013.