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Online Motion Pictures & Television Student Interviewed by MovieMaker Magazine

What do porta-potties, single-fatherhood and life-altering accidents have to do with being an award-winning filmmaker? Everything if you are Academy of Art University’s Brian Lee Brown, who recently shared his inspiring story with MovieMaker Magazine.

Growing up in the small town of Needles, California, Brian didn’t experience much of an art community or have an outlet that encouraged a career in the arts. However, he couldn’t get enough of the movie theater that was located a few blocks away from his house. “I was always taken back by the storytelling and the craft used by the writers and directors to express themselves in this art form. This would always stick with me as I grew up,” said Brian.

Forging a career in his home town led Brian to the restaurant industry and later to become an area manager for a beer distributor.  Although he was doing well for himself, he couldn’t shake the idea of becoming a filmmaker. Brian explains, “I would often be at work daydreaming of what it might be like to be on a set, but being in my 30’s and a full-time single father of two kids, I didn’t think there would ever be enough time or money to invest in such a dream.”

After Brian and his children were in a life-threatening car accident that caused him to be laid-off from his job, he found himself at a crossroads: he could revert to the same kind of jobs he had before or he could pursue his dream of making movies. 

“I had to know if filmmaking was for me, and I thought I might not ever have a chance to try this again in my life, so I went for it. I looked up film programs and enrolled into Academy of Art University’s Motion Pictures & Television online program. My first class was a screenwriting class, and I still remember the first time I wrote something for it. It felt right: words cannot describe the rush that I felt expressing myself through screenwriting. I knew this was something I had to do,” Brian told MovieMaker.

Not having many local filmmaking opportunities did not deter Brian from finding ways to gain experience. For example, he drove hundreds of miles to work as a crew member on a movie set for free. He even worked as a porta-potty cleaner for a friend so he could sneak on the set of Fast Five to pitch ideas and try to get hired. Brian later found a local group of people who were interested in filmmaking. This led Brian to writing and directing a short film last year that won awards at several festivals.

Brian’s most ambitious project, “Dream Date” starring Danny Trejo, will premiere in October at the second annual Laughlin International Film Festival in Nevada. “It was great being able to bring together people from the area and give them a chance to work and learn on a production and possibly spark that interest to follow that passion for moviemaking that I didn’t get to until later in life,” said Brian.  

Whether working on large or small projects, Brian is excited to continue to hone his craft. He said, “Just being able to make a living doing what I love would be all I could ever ask for.”

To read the full article, go here: http://www.moviemaker.com/blog-main/reader-spotlight-brian-lee-brown/

All image credit goes to MovieMaker.


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