Indy’s Brian Bowles to Release Third Short Film
Writer / Seth Johnson
Local filmmaker Brian Bowles has an affinity for making his own Batman short films.
Having already directed two Batman shorts, “Batman: The Death of Robin” and “Batman: Knightmare,” Bowles and his production company, BeSquared Productions, are in the midst of filming a third short film, titled “Batman: Fall of the Family,” which is tentatively due out early next year. Filmed across several Indianapolis locations, the latest film will mark the most elaborate project from Bowles to date, clocking in at about 40 minutes where both previous films have been closer to 10.
“It’s been a struggle, but with the struggle comes some pretty amazing moments,” Bowles says. “I was restricted to one location for the last two films, but because we do have access to different locations for this film, it’s allowed me to really show my potential as a director.”
Having lived in Indiana since the age of 3, Bowles says he initially got into filmmaking by accident.
“Originally, I trained in voice acting and started to do that,” Bowles says. “Kind of in the middle of that, I dropped it to do film. I started out with stupid public stunts, and then I said, ‘You know what? I want to make something a bit more serious, in terms of acting and directing.’”
Bowles released his first Batman short film, “Batman: The Death of Robin,” in December of 2019. When asked about his passion for Batman and comic books, the director says he’s fairly new to that world as well.
“I actually got into comics when ‘Iron Man’ first came out,” Bowles says. “People were freaking out about it, so I decided to explore the source material. I started reading comics from there.”
When it came time to start making his first film, Bowles says he quickly realized “filmmaking is more difficult than it looks.” With help and guidance from cinematographer R.J. Maurer, he was able to navigate the process and successfully put together his first Batman short film.
“Filmmaking is finding a core group of people that work very well with each other and you, and finding people, from a director’s perspective, who respect you and respect what you want,” Bowles says. “Especially if you’re putting together the project, finding those passionate people can be difficult, but they are certainly out there if you look hard enough.”
Bowles has also cast himself as the Joker in each of his Batman short films – an acting role that’s been expectedly difficult.
“It’s a deep character, and there are so many versions,” Bowles says. “Everyone, whether they’re a huge fan of Batman or not, has this idea of what the Joker should be, just because it’s a character that’s been around for so long. Creating my own version that people would accept and like was the biggest challenge.”
Although his former cinematographer R.J. Maurer has since moved out of state, Bowles has found a new partner in crime to help on “Batman: Fall of the Family.”
“R.J. moved to California so he’s not here any longer, but I’m with Brandon Benz right now,” Bowles says. “He’s a fantastic guy. He’s so incredibly knowledgeable in what he does. He’s self-taught, extremely talented and very sharp. He respects what I want, and I respect his knowledge. I’m always trying to take advice from him.”
Looking ahead, Bowles says “Batman: Fall of the Family” will undoubtedly be his biggest, most impressive film to date. In reflecting on what led him up to this point, the filmmaker credits all the risks he’s taken along the way.
“This third film we’re doing is a huge step up,” he says. “We have multiple locations, deeper story elements and all that jazz. This film is so massive, but I wouldn’t be in this position with such a big crew if I didn’t go out of my comfort zone and do it. It was definitely nerve-racking, but I had a drive and passion, and it became what it became.”