Brian McQuery, Main Page
Brian McQuery, Films
Brian McQuery, About Brian McQuery, Contact
"One filmmaker in short"
Pioneer Press, March 2006
Article written by Bruce Ingram

The first four or five years after graduating in 1991 from Notre Dame School for Boys in Niles, Brian McQuery wrote screenplays for a dozen feature films.

Inspired by a meeting with "Clerks" writer/director Kevin Smith, McQuery started directing and producing his own features five or six years ago. He shot four in one year: "None of which I would show to anyone now."

Around 2003, he said, he finally got serious and started making short films.

"Making those features was like my film school," said Lake Bluff resident McQuery, who worked as a telemarketing manager from 1996 to 2003, when he began making his living working as a production assistant and then as a first assistant director on films shot in Chicago.

"It was a good stepping stone for me and I learned a lot, especially about working with actors. Eventually I realized, though, that if I make a great 10-minute piece, it's more likely to get the attention of an agent or producer as opposed to a 90-minute film with 10 great minutes in it."

McQuery, whose short film "Let Go" is one of 59 in competition at the Lake County Film Festival, made what he considers his first serious film, the 10-minute short "Debt," in 2002 after making contacts at Chicago Community Cinema, now the Midwest Independent Film Festival.

Since going into "Debt," he has written, directed and often produced eight more short films including "Let Go," which explores the psychology of a man (Jeff-nominated actor Scott Sumerak) who finds fault with every woman he dates. The 18-minute film was shot by McQuery and Chicago co-producer/cinematographer Luke Miller over three days last August with a crew of 20 on professional digital video equipment.

"My previous short films, while I'm proud of them, tended to be either dark and artsy, without a lot of audience appeal, or crowd-pleasing without a lot of substance," McQuery said. "This is the first of my films that really struck the balance between the two that I wanted."

After making films for roughly 15 years in the Chicago area, McQuery plans to move to Los Angeles soon, hoping his demo reel of short films will set him on the path to achieve his lifelong ambition: to make a life for himself making movies.

"Let Go" will be among the Local Shorts screened at 4 p.m. Friday in the Libertyville Civic Center and 11 a.m. Sunday in the Highland Park Theater.

Three of McQuery's short films, "Debt," "Snare" and "Commitment" can be viewed online at

Copyright © 2006. Brian McQuery. All rights reserved.