We had the good fortune of connecting with Anne Brashier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anne, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I wish I had taken more risks throughout my early career. Improv comedy allowed me to discover the value of taking a big risk, and failing in a giant, public way, but that seemed easy when there was not big money on the line, no crew to manage. But as a filmmaker, I wish I had felt more confident and supported more frequently so that I could have jumped into directing on a bigger scale earlier. I knew I wanted to direct for almost a decade before actually starting to take steps to make films. I played it safe with jobs where I was supporting the creative visions of others because I was scared that my creative dreams were not valuable. It took several mentors who believed in my work and who pushed me to take bigger leaps for me to finally commit to taking a big risk: leaving my producing career and going back to grad school to become a filmmaker. Now I relish taking risks of all sizes. Whenever I am making a decision, I try to pick the option that scares me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Wow, getting to where I am now took years of using my car as an office, knowing which Starbucks had the best tables for a meeting, and stealing car naps during lunch hour on those 16 hour workdays. I am queen of the hustle, and for years I said yes to every opportunity I could. No job was too small to learn some new frontier of filmmaking. Yes, I will learn animation pipelines. Yes, I can take a User Experience class to become a better digital interactive producer. Of course I will be your 1st AD . . . even when that turns into becoming your Unit Production Manager, Location Manager, Casting Assistant, Catering Manager, and BTS photographer. It’s the broad range of experience I have that makes me such a powerful filmmaker. Because I know all the parts of the process, I can make decisions that have all departmental needs in mind. But most importantly, I was an actor for several people who didn’t know what they wanted or couldn’t clearly communicate their vision. I saw how that can dismantle the creative process. So while I love collaborating with others, I know how to be a leader who listens but who also gives clear direction so that everyone can feel empowered to confidently bring their best to a project.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would get on some bikes and explore the outdoors! First stop – Dino Coffee on Sunset for some cappuccinos. Then bike along sunset to Echo Park. Take a walk, get a snack at the boat house, people watch. On to Elysian Park, loop around Dodgers Stadium – if a midday game is on, enjoy the game! Then around to Frogtown and the LA River Path – a bite at the sunny patio of Spoke Cafe. As we bird watch, we would head to Glendale and up to Brand Park, one of my favorite hidden gems of LA. A mellow stroll around the gardens and the historical library lets us rest our legs before heading back on our bikes to a little tour of the Burbank horse stables – with a stop for a bite and more coffee at Basecamp. After looping around Disney and Warner Brothers, we wind our way up the back of Griffith Park in time to catch the sunset from the Observatory. Then it’s down Vermont and back along Sunset to Silverlake Ramen for some noodles. And we end the night with dancing at The Echo, just a mile or so from where we started. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Dad always believed in me, and never stopped showing it. He came to every show that I was in, including the midnight improv shows at college. He had been on track to be an engineer in college, but missed drawing so much that he dropped out, took time off to work, and then went back to school to get his degree as an architect. He used to say that since we spend 40 hours each week at work, we should do what we love. I have taken that message with me throughout my life.