Your typical third graders are busy improving their skills in math, science, and social studies (do they even still call it that?). 9-year-old Brint Koston is far from your typical third graders. Mostly because he’s well over five feet and sports a five o'clock shadow. His real name is Brent Costin and he’s neither nine years old nor in third grade. But he is portraying a fictional version of himself back when he was just a kid in his new comedy series, The Brint Koston Show.
Don’t expect your standard third grade curriculum, however. This 9-year-old will be interviewing the men (and women) his mom has slept with for his talk show, directly from the bedroom where said sleeping may or may not have occurred. Not the kind of sleepover you were expecting, right?
Brent Costin will be hosting a free screening of all five episodes of The Brint Koston Show on Monday, March 21 at the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, GA. If you can’t make it out to the event, the pilot episode will also be appearing at Atlanta Film Festival next month. We spoke with Brent ahead of the show’s debut where he gives us intimate details about the creation of the show and being nine again.
Shakefire (SF): How did this project come about for you?
Brent Costin (BC): I was swimming when I came up with the theme song and initial idea, and then I fleshed it out till I was completely pruned. I wish there was a more fascinating story rooted in destiny or fate, but it was a completely random thought in an above ground pool. And if I start rambling about thematic elements and how the idea took full form, then I think I'll start projecting what I think the show is about, and it could affect the way someone watches it.
SF: Obviously the title of the show is a play on your name. Why did you decide on going with Brint Koston instead of your real name?
BC: Well I always love when actors go by their actual names on a show, like Curb, Seinfeld, Louie, etc. So I said that's how the pros do it, that's how I'm gonna do it. But the reality is that all those guys were established comics with a unique brand attached to their names before they played a version of themselves or had a show named after them. So for someone with no brand or significance attached to their name, to title their show after themselves, they would have to be completely self involved. And that's exactly what I did haha. And I wish I could say I changed the spelling to separate myself from the character, but really I just like spelling it that way. It's more childlike.
SF: What would say is the biggest difference between Brent Costin and Brint Koston?
BC: His complete and utter unawareness, I think part of it is just being a child and being vulnerable, but I feel like even at 9 I was much more aware of my actions than Brint is. Also, there's this click I do with my mouth on the show, we didn't notice it when we were shooting, but, Brock Shanks, my co-writer/director/actor/cinematographer/editor etc. used those clicks to match audio for every single clip. I don't do it normally or at least I don't notice it, but as Brint Koston I don't say anything unless there's a click in front of it.
SF: What was it like filming on VHS?
BC: That's actually a sham! I wish we would've just shot on VHS. We actually shot on a DSLR, cut and colored in premiere, burned it onto a dvd, then ripped the DVD footage onto a tape with an old VCR, and paid to have the tape transferred back onto DVD. Oh, and we cropped it down to 4:3.
SF: Is this going to be the first time you've shown it in front of an audience? How nervous/excited are you?
BC: Yes, yes it is. It's actually the first time I've ever wanted to show anything to an audience. In the past when I've shown my work to someone or had to sit through it with a crowd there would undoubtedly be a moment where I'd cringe or start talking over the footage so they wouldn't notice something, but with this I've aggressively invited everyone I know. And I'm definitely anxious, but I'm proud of every minute of it, so I'm ready to watch people watch it.
SF: What advice would you give your 9-year-old self?
BC: Stop wishing you were older, bud... Oh! And make it official with Molly Howe. She's digging what you're throwing at her and you've been running the "will they, won't they" thing into the ground since first grade.