You may know her from the award winning (Atlanta Film Festival, L.A. Outfest, Paris Cinema Festival) and controversial film, Loving Annabelle. You will know her from her current film, a thriller, starring Sarah Roemer, Elizabeth Shue, Taryn Manning and Will Patton, released last week titled
. AND you definitely know her from the Emmy Award winning MTV hit shows The Real World, The Osbournes, Newlyweds and The Simple Life (to name a few) where she served as director/producer. BUT now, you will know filmmaker/director/producer
through a very personal and intimate journey as she takes on the most challenging and possibly most important project of her life, about the
of her life, in a film currently in production titled
In a passionate, spirited and revealing 40 minutes, Kat, as she likes to be called, got up close and personal with me about her new film, life, gay marriage and Lady Gaga.
So Kat, you have packed your life into a vehicle for the next three months and you're spending it on the road traveling to meet 50 of your virtual friends to make a film about the experience. Can you talk about how you conceptualized this?
I was recovering from surgery and was heading back to L.A. to work on reality shows. When I returned home to New Orleans I swore off working on reality tv... I felt disconnected and alone. While surfing on Facebook, I was staring at this huge number of friends and it started to trip me out. How can I have 5,000 and have no one to call a real friend? I needed to connect, to reach out and be face to face with other people. Why the need for so many Facebook friends/fans? Is it like high school, to feel popular? I wanted followers because I thought it made me feel better but instead, I felt invisible.
You're halfway through your journey. What can you say about the Face 2 Face experience so far?
I wasn't expecting to connect as deeply. I wasn't expecting
be so much about
. [I know] it seems narcissistic because it was all about what I needed. But all of a sudden, these people, these virtual friends, shared their life with me and suddenly it became really about them!
This has been emotionally challenging also because I'm connecting so deeply with my new friends and then I have to leave. They are in my heart, I carry them with me and then I meet the next person and I want to give them all. I am a part of their life for a day and whatever they're going through... AND that's what has been so surprising... not one person has been camera shy or not shared something monumental.
Why do you think this is?
I came into this project 100% authentic, nothing fake. I believe they see that, pick up on it and are being real.
What impact on you is it having to meet these Facebook friends?
This experience is bringing me in touch with humanity.
I've quit smoking after one of my new friends on this journey died from cancer.
This trip has empowered me a little bit. Life means more to me now. And to truly connect with people now has become more genuine. [I've learned] that you really can't know someone until you meet them face to face. You need to smell them and see them to really connect - you can't do it through a computer!
I know you're an activist, especially when it comes to the matter of equality, so what do you think about the recent same-sex ruling in New York?
Finally! I always try and think very positively about change and it keeps getting better... its inspiring. New York is the hub of all of us and it represents a lot of what we are as a culture in America. [Hopefully] this will set a fire under people's asses and stop being so silly.
Let's talk GAGA? I've been following your tweets about her. They're crazy fun! What's going on? [At this point, Kat revealed a secret!]
People think I'm a super fan, obsessed with Lady GAGA. [But really] I have been researching Lady GAGA from when she first came on the seen. She is the most original, complex and fascinating individual. There is something about her that is absolutely, without a doubt intriguing. I am doing the research for my next film. Its about a music journalist and her relationship with a mega-pop star. [Its about the] exploration of fame and how someone can be one of the most famous people in the world and still feel very alone and misunderstood.
When is Face 2 Face slated for completion and release?
My main goal is to get it to the 2012
. I hope to be done in October and if all goes as planned it will be screened in January.
Kat is brilliant and engaging. Speaking with her was so comfortable. It felt more like a conversation with a friend rather than an interview. I was moved by her sincerity and openness. There were a couple of times when Kat even got emotional when talking about the experiences of meeting her new friends. She feels (about Facebook/Twitter) "technology is not bad if used in a way to connect with people," explaining that it "gets dangerous when used as a bandaid for loneliness."
What I found so beautifully cosmic about Kat Brooks is that her life seems to have come full circle in such a meaningful way - from reality tv, to scripted, disappointing unreality, to finding fulfillment in making a movie about her personal reality. With this, Kat has embraced humanity and now has a greater, deeper appreciation for life - her own and others'. She hopes through her film that people will become inspired to get out more and socialize with one another, FACE 2 FACE.
Finally, the FACE 2 FACE movie trailer is about as
as you can get. Its powerful, moving and inspiring: