We had the good fortune of connecting with Ash M. Warren and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ash M., what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
This industry is not for the faint of heart, it takes resilience, perseverance and a loyalty unto yourself like no other. You have to want to work in this industry because you love it and it sustains your spirit creatively, emotionally and artistically. I also believe that outsiders consider this industry so easy, or so applicable in the sense that if you live in LA, a job will be always available to you; people I know that transcend in my orbit from all over the country, loved ones internationally always ask me, “how’s it going, what’s going on? What job you on now?” I’m also super reluctant to say exactly what I am working on, or developing, knowing that it could be years before my plans come to fruition. Coinciding that this industry is not for the faint of heart, I also feel it’s who you know. I was just texting with one of my directors and collaborators that I frequent with and admire, and was commenting that although currently 7 months pregnant and feeling apprehensive as to how impending motherhood was going to affect my work and honestly, whether or not I should give up what I love so much to find something else… she texted with, “Sometimes its not how long you’ve been trying but who you’ve been trying with.” These simple yet palpable words punched a hole into the roof that I was thinking. Maybe I need to give this more time… another shot… because its not just for me now, its for my son too.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In the beginning of the film Never Been Kissed with Drew Barrymore, I believe the opening lines are, “someone once told me to write what I know-and this is what I know. Im 25 years old…”. For some reason, those lines always stuck with me. However, this is what I know: at 22 years old I lost my best friend to addiction. I never had anyone die that was close to me up to that point in time, and this was especially painful seeing as how I had visited him in Denver only a few months before after he got out of rehab and sober living. When he died, I had no idea how to process it, its like I was floating for the next year of my life and not knowing how to interact with people or even myself. What I learned from Kevin’s passing was that we are only here for such a small amount of time, and that life is truly way too short for regrets and not doing what you crave to do. He wanted to be a conductor and engineer for the railroad, and was well on his way to achieving both those positions. I promised myself as he was lowered into the ground that I would not stop pursuing whatever it is that I wanted to do, that no shortage of money, resources, education or drive would stop me. Only time. Time can run out. Believe it or not, these aforementioned things can be replenished. In 2020 just after the pandemic started to settle in, I was approached by my friend Alasdair Mackay about this film Anonymous that he had written and wanted to direct during lockdown. I read a lot of scripts. I have a credo I live by when it comes to scripts: if it doesn’t make me feel similar to how I felt about Memento the film, I can’t do it. I can only be a certain way about films if they move me in such a forward fashion; like fingers digging inside my soul and carving the rot out. Very Warsan Shire. I loved the film and that it was a 21st century representation into the scope of sobriety, the task to rehab oneself and the journey of recovery. Everything I wanted Kevin to embellish in, but that he never got to. Anonymous is my first feature, my baby, what I have poured myself into the last year of this pandemic. Anonymous is bringing color to my world. I want people to see the film and feel some hope. Most importantly, I want this film to launch my producing career and show people that I am someone they want to work with. Watch the film and you’ll see why.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I split my time between the Palm Springs area and LA. If I wasn’t currently seven months pregnant and restricted somewhat this is what I would show my best friend (hey Chloe!): I would pick her up from LAX because she would be flying in from either the UK or Oz (Australia) and I would drive to Malibu. Malibu is my spot, its my jam. Im also a huge animal person and would take her to the Malibu Wine Safari. Definitely do the hiking package where we could hike/walk and drink wine, eat pizza and view all their animals that they rehab at their farm. After recovering from that and hanging out at Moonshadows for a few hours (my go to) spend the next few days taking drives around LA. I love driving through the hills with my top open and my dog Mia hanging out next to me, checking out the local architecture (Spanish villas are so beautiful) and hiking. I would leave LA after this and head to the desert and show my best friend the downtown Palm Springs district, maybe do some shopping, take in a casino, and lounge out next to my pool so she could recover after all the hiking her and I would do. We’re pretty active. Also do some mini golf at the Marriott Palm Desert Springs Hotel and grab some bomb Mexican food at Castaneda’s that has authentic taste. I’m such a homebody these days, but its nice to dream of what life could be again.
As for people- she knows everyone I know. Perhaps staying in a cooking a few nights and playing Catan would be just as adventurous. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are a few organizations I would actually like to say a few words about. I work in both the UK and US Film Markets and therefore would like to dedicate my shoutout to Butterfly Angel Entertainment (Alexa Polar and Kathy Dang) and Shell Out Productions (Alasdair Mackay). I have the deepest honor to work with this legion of extraordinary and talented as hell female filmmakers state side, specifically Polar’s Female Filmmakers Fuse Charity which I have been asked for the last three years to be their on camera and at time, on air host for and recently, a board member. I have always wanted to work with more females in this industry, to create more life in art and see representation, diversity and other stories being told that we so desperately need. In London I have the privilege of working with Shell Out with whom I have produced for my first feature film with: Anonymous. Our film, is set to premiere at film festivals all around the world starting now in 2021.
Lastly, I would like to thank my love, my forever chapter and my partner in laughter, Jason Agresti. I am proud to have you by my side, always cheerleading me into the next phases of my life. I love you, I love you, I love you.
Kat Tuohy Karenina Angelique