An Interview With George Tramountanas:A Hilarious & Daring Storyteller!

Hello George! Welcome! Could you tell us a bit about yourself? Give us a brief introduction!

I am a writer, director, and producer with a passion for inappropriate comedies, heroic adventures, and horror films that can make you laugh. I was born and raised in Seattle. I made my way to Los Angeles in my twenties to attend USC where I received a Master’s Degree in Film & TV Production. It was there I wrote and directed the award-winning short “Screwed: A Hollywood Bedtime Story,” starring Enrico Colantoni (“Galaxy Quest”). I have spent many years in the industry working as a music licensor for Disney TV, an assistant to filmmakers such as Oliver Stone (“Platoon”), and a freelance screenwriter.

“Win a Trip to Browntown!” is my first foray into the world of independent filmmaking – and I dove in head-first! I wrote, directed, produced, and acted in this micro-budgeted feature, which forced me to lose 50 pounds (and my job). I sincerely hope audiences will find it worth my sacrifice.

Where are you located?

Seattle, WA.

What is a quote that summarizes everything you’re about as a filmmaker?

Great filmmakers are always learning. They know what they know, but more importantly, they’re able to realize what they don’t know.

What inspired you to start creating films?

I’ve always loved creating and telling stories, and no form of storytelling beats a well-made film. As I was getting my business degree as an undergraduate, I looked at the opportunities offered to me. All required a ton of work, but none sparked any passion. I quickly came to the realization that if I was going to work 60-80 hours a week at a job, it should be something that excites and inspires me no matter how much it pays or how exhausted I am. Every sign in life pointed to the film industry, so I packed up and headed to Los Angeles. So far, filmmaking has shown me the long hours and low pay, but I’m hoping I see some of the other sides now that I’ve made my first feature (at least with regards to the pay). Either way, I still love filmmaking and have no regrets!

Who most inspires/influences you currently and why?

My father was a big dreamer. He grew up on a farm and came from a small village in Greece that didn’t have electricity or running water. He came to the US (via boat), studied hard, and worked as an engineer at Boeing for over 35 years. Thanks to him, I’ve always believed that anything is possible with hard work.
My kids are a huge source of inspiration as well. Their optimism and belief in me drive me to tell stories that entertain, make you laugh, and give hope.

What is your favorite film of all time?

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

As a creator, what do you find to be the thing that most drives you?

Hope. Hope is the thing that I want audiences to get out of any story I tell, and spreading that hope is what drives me. Many people refer to films as an escape, and I think it’s an important one. With all that is going on in the world, it’s easy to get dragged down by the negative. I want to give hope, both on the filmmaking set and on the screen. Hope begets hope, so I guess you could say that’s the perpetual engine that drives me. Heck, as you can see from the show “Ted Lasso,” it’s something people desperately want and need.

What is your absolute dream in life?

I’d love to have a big entertainment empire that creates films, TV shows, cartoons, and comics. But as that dream sits at the top of a huge mountain, I’d just like to create a film that provides a positive impact for someone. I’d love to have a person I’ve never met before approach me and tell me that the film I created made things better for them. Even if it was only to cheer them up out of a funk, I’d feel like that’s a dream I’d be satisfied with.

What’s your most recent project?

Win a Trip to Browntown!

What is your role(s) in the film?

Writer, Director, Producer, Lead Actor

Who is the director & who is the writer?

I am both the writer and director

What is the film’s genre?

Comedy: Subgenres include Romantic Comedy, Dramedy, Crass Humor

What is your film’s logline?

Short: A wife bets her ass that her husband can’t lose 50 pounds in 3 months…literally.

Full: Frank Tsigas is a middle-aged family man who can only see his life’s shortcomings. To cheer him up, his soft-spoken wife Laura offers a “unique” anniversary gift if he can lose 50 pounds in three months. As he struggles to lose weight, Frank learns that the paths chosen in life’s journey are more important than their final destination.

What inspired you in how you went about this project?

Two things inspired me in making this film: crass humor and a love of family. While those may sound like they don’t go together, I assure you they do. I grew up on a steady diet of crass humor, from Animal House to Porky’s to Caddyshack. I miss that genre and wanted to see it come back; however, I felt I also needed to imbue it with a little more emotional depth. Hence, I took a somewhat silly idea and wrapped it around some insecurities that linger in my brain about my path in life. If you’re a dreamer, it’s likely that you’ll eventually have to make a choice between your dreams and relationships. This is loosely based on the path I took told alongside a very dirty joke.

What was the most difficult part in the process of working on this film? How did you overcome it?

The most difficult part was all of it. I made this film for the price of a new car utilizing every person and resource available to me. Our crew on any given day of filming was less than ten people. I mean, I don’t want to sound like I’m boasting (I really don’t!), but I could have given myself a credit for nearly every crew position – location scout, costume design, prop builder, craft services – on top of my “main” jobs on set. In addition, as I was the lead actor, I had to lose 50 pounds throughout the duration of filming (a three-month period). My mind was going a million miles an hour in a jillion different directions powered by a celery stick. As for how I overcame all the challenges, it was a matter of having my family on my production team.

What was the most fun portion of this entire production?

The most fun portion was having my family help me make this film. As my kids grew up, they knew I was constantly writing scripts and would always ask, “When are you going to write a part for us?” Well, after completing the script for “Win a Trip to Browntown!” they were quite shocked to learn they finally had the chance to star in a movie. They were my actors, PAs, digital media managers, and craft services. About two-thirds of the film was shot in our home too, so they saw firsthand what it takes to make a movie as well. My son has now moved out and is attending college, and my daughter is in her senior year of high school. However, the memory of us working together for one summer is going to remain a cherished memory (and occasional nightmare) for each and every one of us.

What is the single greatest lesson you learned along the creation of this particular project?

This movie is about the paths chosen in life, and the greatest thing I’ve realized is that the paths I’ve chosen were the right ones for me – not that I really had any doubts. I got to tell the story I wanted, in the way I wanted. How many filmmakers can say that?

We’re so glad to have you involved in The Film Festival Network. Do you have anything else you’d like to say before we wrap up?

Our film has been picked up for distribution by Gravitas Ventures, which is a thrill for us! We will first become available for viewing in mid-March on iTunes, and then we will roll out to other streaming platforms. We can’t wait for the world to visit Browntown!

Check out the official website here:

Thank you so much for being a part of The Film Festival Network Community, George!
We can’t wait to see what you do next.

Thanks for this opportunity!

Check out the official teaser-trailer for "Win a Trip to Browntown" now!

Keep up with George and all his incredible work to come!