DEKKOO DISPATCH 071 – ‘PAPER BOYS’

Title – ‘Paper Boys

Director – Curtis Casella

Starring – Kyle Cabral, Nathan Brown, Kai Liu, Sarah Elizabeth

Release Date – 2018

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Hey Dekkoo’ers! It’s almost June which means the shirts are about to come off! Although technically here on Dekkoo we almost always have guys with their shirts off and you don’t have to leave your couch to stare at them. Today on the dispatch we’re very excited to feature the newest member of the Dekkoo Original Series family: ‘Paper Boys‘!!! Wooooo!! It’s always super exciting for us to show off new talent and rising star Curtis Casella who directed all 6 episodes of this new series that takes a close look at a young creative gay man and his immersion into a new life in San Francisco.

This is the cover image of Paper Boys the gay series

Cole is your typical creative type. Shy, cute, and looking for love. For circumstances we’re unaware of (maybe something to explore in season 2?) Cole decides to use the excuse of an engagement party in San Francisco of his best friend to actually move to San Francisco. He’s a cartoonist and even before he gets to say hi to his hunky best friend who he’s staying with he’s already pounding the pavement to look for a job. Daren, the hunky best friend seems to have it all. A nice apartment in expensive San Francisco, a tech job, and an adorable wife-to-be named Rebecca. Everything seems to be going great until Daren confides to Cole that the engagement is actually something he doesn’t really want to happen. Everything so far has seemed pretty typical right? Well here’s the twist: Daren finds an old sketchbook of Cole’s and gives it to him and once Cole starts drawing in it he discovers that everything he draws happens in real life!!

I blew through all 6 episodes in two sittings and thought it was a really touching tale of a shy gay boy just trying to figure out this new stage in his life while at the same time trying to support his best friend that he obviously harbors some feelings for. The plot twist was a super cute addition to the ‘drama’ that naturally occurs in their every day lives. The diversity of the cast was refreshing and the setting of San Francisco was used even better than it was in ‘Looking’ I thought.

paperboys_stills_03

The director sat down with OUT Magazine for an interview and had some really great remarks about race, gay relationships, and queer content:

Tell us about the reasoning and importance behind showcasing a gay-straight male friendship? You often don’t see this story in media.

CC: The gay-straight friendship is somewhat autobiographical for both Kyle and me. Both of us have really close friends who are straight, and we felt like it was something we didn’t see often enough in gay media. It’s really interesting to see the vast differences in life experience between gay men and straight men. My best friend was having a hard time meeting friends and asked me how I made them when I moved back to San Francisco, and I said, well, I have Grindr, and gay bars, and circuit parties, and I just see people again and again and friendships come naturally. And he says, “yeah, I don’t think that’s going to work the same for me.”

In some way, it was also aspirational. Like, if we could show a friendship that was platonic between a straight and gay man, it might normalize it to an extent that it’s perhaps not normalized now. I think there is still an undercurrent of maybe tension in gay and straight relationships – like this feeling on the part of straight men that gay men might either threaten their masculinity, be secretly attracted to them, or both. And we wanted to show a friendship between two men that didn’t have any of that. Where they were like brothers.

The cast is highly diverse. How important was it for you to represent a range of people from different backgrounds to tell this story?

CC: This was one of our most important goals. Kyle is Filipino, and we both have pretty diverse groups of friends, so we felt like it was essential to include a diverse cast in Paper Boys. First, we both were cognizant of the fact that people of color don’t see themselves represented enough in media, so that was one facet. But this also allows us to address issues in the gay community that just wouldn’t ring honest with a cast of white characters – like the racism that exists in dating and hookups, internalized homophobia that some still feel, and themes that white audiences – probably myself included – wouldn’t even think about because of the privilege we’re born with.

That’s also why having a diverse cast is only half of it. I know that there are some things that I can’t see, or that seem innocuous to me but may not be to people with different lived experiences from me. So having writers, editors, cinematographers of color is essential too. We had one line in the 6th episode – which we’d written before we’d cast our series – where Charlie says that Daren and Rebecca would have had beautiful children. It was still there after a couple of rewrites, and when we went into rehearsals, the actress who played Rebecca pointed out that she often had people say that to her and her husband (who was white), and it had a clearly racial tinge to it. That honestly never occurred to me, and we decided to drop the line from the scene because it didn’t advance the story, and wasn’t true to a character who, having grown up with Rebecca, would have seen some of the racism that Rebecca experienced and would not have wanted to perpetuate that.

Dekkoo is changing the way queer men experience content, what has it been like working with the streaming service?

It’s been amazing working with Dekkoo – they’ve been incredibly accommodating and want to let us tell our story the way we want to tell it. Plus, I think having a service that’s targeted towards queer men is important. Netflix is great, but much of the gay content on there is of the B-movie variety, with a few notable exceptions. So it’s great to have a platform like Dekkoo, especially one that works with independent filmmakers like us.

We’d love to know what you think of a new Dekkoo Original Series that we’re super proud of so be sure to leave comments on the videos and let us know!

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Watch it with: Your best friends 🙂

Mix it with: Red Wine.

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New This Week – 5/10/18

This is the collection art for the gay series Paper Boys

In a brash decision, Cole secretly moves to San Francisco under the guise of his straight best friend’s engagement party. But when his friend, Daren, reveals his engagement was an accident, Cole uses the mysterious powers of a forgotten sketchbook to try to put both of their lives back on track, whatever the consequences. The new Dekkoo-original series ‘Paper Boys’ is available to binge watch now, only on Dekkoo!

This is the art for the gay short film, Nightswimming

When two runaways are caught breaking into a swimming facility in search of shelter a kind act sets off an emotionally charged situation. Watch ‘Nightswimming’, now available on Dekkoo!

This is the art for the gay movie, 'Red Lodge'

On the way to his hometown of Red Lodge, Montana, for the holidays Jordan proposes to his boyfriend of two years, Dave. The engagement should only enhance their holiday cheer, but things take a turn when Dave suddenly changes his mind and says “no” to marriage. Watch ‘Red Lodge’ now on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: Mr. Sulu beams down to Dekkoo!

OUT.com – “Paper Boys: The Gay-Straight Friendship Story We Haven’t Seen Yet”

Bobby Schuessler over at OUT.com sat down with Curtis Casella, writer/producer/director of the new Dekkoo-original series ‘Paper Boys’ to discuss what Schuessler calls, “…the game-changing new series…”

Be sure to check out the complete interview over at OUT.com.

The first season of ‘Paper Boys’ is now available to binge-watch exclusively on Dekkoo!

Dekkoo Delivers Diverse, Queer, and Magical Dramedy Series “Paper Boys” May 10

(New York, NY) April 20, 2018–On May 10, Dekkoo.com, the global streaming media service catering to queer men, will launch the six-episode first season of “Paper Boys,” a romantic San Francisco-based dramedy about discovering who you are–and, with a newfound magical power–becoming who you want to be.

Watch the official trailer for ‘Paper Boys’ at Dekkoo.com!

This is a picture of Cole from the gay series, 'Paper Boys'

“Paper Boys” tells the story of Cole, who, in a brash decision, secretly moves to San Francisco under the guise of his straight best friend’s engagement party to escape a dead-end career and the memories of a passionate summer fling with a boy in New York.

But when he arrives, he runs into the former fling and old feelings resurface. And after his friend, Daren, reveals his engagement was an accident, Cole uses the mysterious powers of a re-discovered sketchbook to try to put their lives back on track, whatever the consequences.

Cole in the bathroom

About the Creators
“Paper Boys” was created by Curtis Casella and Kyle Cabral. Casella writes, directs, and edits, and Cabral directed the first two episodes and plays Cole.The two initially met when they both lived in New York City, and became friends when they realized they shared a passion for storytelling.

Casella and Cabral (above with cinematographer Dan Chen) self-funded the first two episodes out of their own pockets and funded episodes 3 & 4 with Kickstarter. They had shot and released the first two episodes when Dekkoo stepped in to finance, expand and release “Paper Boys” as their fourth original series. Previous Dekkoo original series include “Feral,” “Love is Blind” and “I’m Fine.”

Cabral describes the somewhat-autobiographical “Paper Boys” as “the story of a young, gay Asian-American artist who moves from New York to San Francisco looking to jump-start his career and relationships, and discovers he has a magical power that allows him to reshape his life through his art.”

In real life, Cabral is a director, producer, illustrator, and animator who has created cinematics for video games (The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones) as well as his own queer art.

Three-quarters of cast, crew Asian-American, African-American, Latino, trans
In addition to being that rare queer series centered around a gay-straight male friendship and the struggles of millennial friends at disparate stages of their careers, diversity was also important for the creators, so nearly three-quarters of the cast and crew is Asian-American, African-American, Latino, or trans.

Paper Boys

“There isn’t much media out there that explores these issues from the point of view of a queer person of color, or even a person of color,” says Cabral, who is Filipino-America. “One of the things that is really important to us is that ‘Paper Boys’ isn’t seen as just a series with gay people of color, but a series with gay people of color with a story and characters audiences like and want to see more of.”

When asked if they planned to expand the show to appeal to straight audiences, Casella says, “I don’t really care about that, to be honest. Straight people have literally every other show on TV that represents the varying experiences of being a straight person in today’s world. I think Kyle and I are proud for people to think of ‘Paper Boys’ as a ‘gay series’. There should be a lot more gay media!”

Watch the official trailer for ‘Paper Boys’ at Dekkoo.com!

‘Paper Boys’ Season One Wraps Production!

In case you missed it, the cast and crew of the upcoming Dekkoo-original series ‘Poster Boys’ shared the photo above to their social media accounts. It was taken just after wrapping production on the final episodes of season one.

As we announced last week, ‘Paper Boys’ season one will arrive on Dekkoo in 2018.

Be sure to follow Paper Boys on twitter.