I’m Not Gay
So what if he grabs his buddy’s balls during tackle football and cruises muscle boys in West Hollywood? J Pee is not gay, you guys! In this comedic homo-bro rap song J Pee (Jesse Pepe) performs all sorts of homoerotic actions as he claims he is NOT GAY—only to realize that…he might just be lying to himself.
Jesse Pepe and I met doing extra work in late 2012. We immediately recognized in one another an intense drive and passion; we knew it was only a matter of time before we created our first project together. Luckily, Jesse had just that project. For his roommate’s birthday, Jesse had written a funny song entitled “I’m Not Gay”. It was received so well by everyone that he decided to re-work and polish it. After meeting, Jesse sent me the song and I immediately jumped on board. With my “Quality over Quantity” philosophy firmly in place, I told Jesse that if we were going to make it, we’d need to make it right. In other words: we needed to find funding. Flash forward a few months later and Jesse is acting in a short film directed by Branden Blinn. He shows Branden the song and Branden loves it and is curious to hear more. Jesse and I then test-shoot the full music video and send it to Branden and his company: the Branden Blinn Media Group. They love the test shoot and agree to produce it and fund it. It is now my most successful video to date.
“I’m Not Gay” was filmed in a two-day shoot on February 19th and 20th, 2013. We had over 14 locations to cover. To combat this we consolidated as many locations as we could in and around Jesse’s apartment in North Hollywood. It was an incredibly fun shoot, with a lot of the same crew from “With You Now”.
Deleted Scenes and Extras
Due to the popularity of the video, I decided to create a videolog showcasing some scenes that couldn’t make it and talking a little about the project.
Upon its release, “I’m Not Gay” quickly gained momentum as it was shared across tons of platforms. Here are a few places it’s been posted.
“I’m Not Gay” was accepted to the 2013 Palm Springs International ShortFest, playing to a sold-out crowd!
Audience Favorite – Palm Springs International ShortFest – I’m Not Gay was selected as one of the Best of Fest to screen on the final day of the festival! Audiences voted on their favorite films and I’m Not Gay was one of the few selected!
Written and Performed by: Jesse Pepe
Directed and Edited by: Ryan Turner
Produced by: Branden Blinn, Ashley Eberbach, and Jesse Pepe
Presented by: The Branden Blinn Media Group & Lucid Media
Jesse Pepe – J Pee
Mathieu Forget – Friend 1 (Drill)
Greg Shelby – Friend 2 (Quarterback)
Nicholas Rush Butler – Friend 3 (Ass Grab)
Devon Wiggins – WeHo Man
Song Engineering/Mastering: Jeeves Ducornet
Director of Photography: Nate Fu
Production Design: Michael Anthony Lopez
1st AD: Ashley Eberbach
Camera Operator: Martin Gradek
Gaffer (Day 1): John Hafner
Gaffer (Day 2): Jason Poon
1st AC: Melly Lee
Makeup: Genie Skemp
Set Photography: Annie Hall
Color Correction: Cory Cullington
Special Thanks: Sean Sekino