WHITE EYES (excerpt from short film)
What was your first professionally directed work and when was it?
White Eyes is my first professional directing job. I wrote the feature script and then we put together this short as a proof of concept.
How did you get into directing?
I have been fortunate to have been working in the entertainment industry for some time now. I have used this time to work in every department and learn from very talented people in their craft. I have always been writing down my ideas and drafting some scripts. After moving to NY, I met some people that agreed that we should all film a proof of concept based on one of them.
What is your most recent project?
White Eyes is my most recent project. I have been both surprised and happy by its response. It’s a proof of concept so without reading the feature script there are a lot of unanswered questions but its been really fun to see the audience reactions and see that they want to know more.
What is the best part of being a director?
I most enjoy the collaborative process. It is incredibly fun to write an idea down and then get a group of artists together and say, “How can we make this awesome.”
What is the worst part of being a director?
I can’t really think of a worst part, even when things are crazy on set I believe in staying level headed and working with the crew to find a way to keep shooting. You can’t avoid the struggle so you might as well enjoy the ride.
What is your current career focus: commercials and branded content, television, movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre–comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.?
My current focus is to make a feature. White Eyes is a proof of concept for a feature that has a completed script. This is a horror script but I also enjoy action and comedy, which I feel also comes across in this script.
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?
I can’t say there has been one person. There have been many. Every set I’ve been on I have learned something new. The main thing that I have learned is to be patient. There are many people running around doing so many jobs and they all want the job to look as good as possible, so it is important to let them do it. There will always be shots that you want to get perfect. Get those and then find a way to catch up when you can.
Who is your favorite director and why?
Has to be Steven Spielberg. To have a career this long and continuing to be putting out hits is amazing. Each time he gives you something new and it has been great to see that he is always evolving as a filmmaker. For example, if you didn’t know his work and you watch Jaws and then West Side Story I don’t think you would know they were directed by the same person. I feel that’s the goal to be able to hit and genre and hit it masterfully.
What is your favorite movie? Your favorite television/online program? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
A very tough question! There are Ghostbusters, Goonies, The Dark Knight and Inception. But if I had to pick just one I’d say: Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s a movie that I have watched countless times and I just get so much enjoyment out of it. The story, the score and the adventure. It’s one of those movies that if I catch it on TV I will sit until the end and watch the commercials, even though I own it and can throw it on whenever I want.
Tell us about your background (i.e., where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I grew up in the Bay Area and started out in production on music videos in San Francisco. I then moved to L.A. and continued to work in production on commercials and music videos. I also had a stint at mun2 with Universal as a production manager. I now live in NY where I was a producer at an ad agency but now freelance while I concentrate on writing and directing.
How has the pandemic impacted your career, art, craft, shaped your attitudes and reflections on life which in turn may influence your work, approach, spirit, mindset?
The pandemic had a big impact on me. I was working at an ad agency and was one of many layoffs. I took that time to really focus and decided to chase my dream of directing. I wrote scripts and then found incredible partners to help make a good start in that direction. The pandemic was terrible and for me it helped me prioritize my goals and turn them from long term goals to short term goals.
Contact Jeffrey Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sea Cliff Pictures