Filmmaker Spotlight: Q&A with Dustin Brown of "Becoming"
Name/Position: Dustin Brown – Director/Writer/Editor
Tell us a little bit about your project and how long you’ve been working on it.
The film is about a young man just out of college who struggles with the next step in his life. His passion is in painting and art, but his dad, being a successful businessman, already has a corporate job setup for him. It’s about that decision.
I starting coming up with the idea in mid 2010, and I think the film was completely finished in November of 2011. So it was almost a year and a half.
Is there anyone you'd like to thank for helping out with this film?
Yes, so many people. From all the cast and crew of course to family and friends. Filmmaking is truly a collaborative effort, and I’m grateful to have all the help that I did.
How does it feel to have your film part of the NewFilmmakers Screening at Sunset Gower Studios?
It’s very exciting. Sunset Gower Studios is a great location, and NewFilmmakers always does terrific events.
What inspires you?
So many things. From great films and filmmakers to events happening around the world to my girlfriend and family and friends. Specifically, in regards to this film, I was inspired by the book/ documentary "The Corporation," which is an incredible look at how corporate institutions came to dominate our society with all their corruption and greed. As well as John Lennon’s ‘Working Class Hero’ song, which is so timely and relevant about capitalism being herded into the masses – the false idea of the American Dream and how the systems of control seek to create an obedient, unthinking majority.
Who are your influences and who do you admire?
My favorite filmmaker is Woody Allen. I love his intellect and wit and perhaps more importantly his willingness to take on some of the deepest and important questions i.e. is there a God, is there a meaning to life, what happens when we die? Those questions have always resonated with me, and I’m not sure there is any question more important than the nature of our own existence. I was also very influenced by Ingmar Bergman, specifically his dark imagery in the dream sequence of Wild Strawberries and films like Persona.
What lessons have you learned from the industry so far?
Well, I don’t know exactly about what I’ve learned from the industry. But some things I tend to hold on to from films that I love, is the importance of ambiguity in cinema and the importance of having something to say in a film.
If you could collaborate with anybody, who would it be?
I would love to collaborate with Woody Allen. I would learn a tremendous amount from him, and he seems to be such an interesting and unique person. I’d just like to spend some time with him.
What is the toughest experience you've ever had to overcome?
I don’t really know, but in specific to this film I would say it was really tough having to do some re-shoots and re–working the film in the edit.
What is the best piece of advice someone has given to you?
It’s tough to pick just one thing, because I feel I’m always learning and finding out better ways to do things. Maybe it’s that not everything in a film has to be able to be explained in words. Whether its painting, music, or film, some things work or move you or connect with you and they just do sometimes whether or not we can formulate that into a sentence.
What advice would you give to new filmmakers starting out in the industry?
I don’t know about advice, but what I can say is I hope to see more films with a unique voice where the filmmaker really has something to say. And that I believe filmmakers and anyone creating art, has a responsibility to influence in a positive way and be aware of what affect our films are going to have on people.
Where can we expect to see you next?
I’m working on a new film titled ‘Solidarity’ about undocumented immigrants, starring Elpidia Carrillo.
Let our readers know where they can find more information about you and your projects.
You can go to my website: www.dustintoddfilms.com.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks to Newfilmmakers for allowing me to be a part of this screening, and I hope people enjoy the film or at least take something away from it that makes them think differently.
For more information, visit: http://www.newfilmmakersla.com/
About the Author
Formerly an editor at Demand Media, writer at Citysearch, The Examiner and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Buena decided to start Disarray Magazine because she missed writing what she wanted. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for the editorial strategy of Disarray Magazine. Get to know the team of talented contributors.
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