Brett Warkentien

Every Three Hours

Brett Warkentien


1) What was your first professionally directed work and when was it?
A :60 content piece for Campbell’s Chunky Soup, September 2015. Filmed five NFL players in a comedic gameshow format.

2) How did you get into directing? 
I started my career in advertising as a creative but had always wanted to pursue filmmaking. The years I spent on set watching other directors gave me the opportunity to absorb everything I could to prepare myself for my chance to direct. Then, I was finally given the opportunity to leave advertising to join a production company in Detroit as their Creative Director. Additionally, I was given directing opportunities so it was a chance for me to get my footing as a director.

3) What is your most recent project? 
I helped my 7-year-old daughter with her student film project. She came up with the concept and title – “The Magic Crayon”. It’s the story of little girl who discovers a magical crayon hidden in the jungle. Whatever is drawn with the crayon comes to life. She drew a sister. She won the competition.

4) What is the best part of being a director? 
The best part of being a director is the feeling of first walking on set. It’s like stepping onto a blank canvas. From there you have creative control, while collaborating constantly with so many other talented creatives. And it’s that sharing of a vision that brings the team together to make something beautiful and entertaining.

5) What is the worst part of being a director? 
The craft table. Damn you accessible snacks.

6) What is your current career focus: commercials and branded content, TV movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre—comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.? 
Right now I’m focusing on advertising and content work. These opportunities constantly allow me to step into new worlds and explore new boundaries creatively. 
As a new director I keep myself open to all genres. I feel like over time my style and sensibilities will be neatly categorized into one or many genres.

7) Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons) and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates with you? 
During my time as a creative in advertising I had the opportunity to work with a lot of different directors from a lot of different production companies. Being on set with them, I was able to observe what worked, and what I would improve upon. From how to handle clients and talent, weigh decisions, compromise, how to prepare and look for better options, etc. I was fortunate to be exposed to all of that before becoming a director. It’s from those observations that I feel I’ve been able to build my own perspective on directing.

8) Who is your favorite director and why? 
There’s a few. David Fincher for his moody worlds. Stanley Kubrik for his mind-bending experiences. Denis Villeneuve for his pacing. Stephen Spielberg for his camera moves. John McTiernan for his action. Michael Mann for his story-telling. Sergio Leone for his structure. Quentin Tarantino for his dialogue. Alfred Hitchcock for his suspense. Christopher Nolan for his practical shooting. In the commercial world Romain Gavras for his raw gritty style, and in opposition Bruno Aveillan for his beautiful cinematography. And Martin De Thurah for his rich and artful stories.

9) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite television/online program? Your favorite commercial or branded content? 
For movie, Fight Club, loved the concept and twist of the story, and its dark cinematography. Television shows, True Detective and Mad Men. For commercials, Louis Vuitton’s “A Journey” and Under Armor’s “Rule Yourself.”

10) Tell us about your background (i.e., where did you grow up? Past jobs?) 
I grew up in Michigan, spent the majority of my childhood in sports and art. Eventually, it developed into passions and stayed with me as I continued on to study film and design in college. After, I worked in Detroit as a creative in advertising, working on clients such as Navy, Cadillac, OnStar, and Alltel. I moved to Los Angeles in 2016 to pursue directing in the commercial world, until one day ultimately filming a feature.


Brett Warkentien

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