We had the good fortune of connecting with Russell Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Russell, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Producer Peter Guber once told me to “think about the next hurdle and not the end of the race” and I think he was right. You need to focus on what’s in front of you, and not a career-end result. Basically he was telling me to live in the now and do the best I can with what’s right in front. I think it was great advice.
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.
I’ve been lucky to work with incredibly gifted and talented artists. Each one has his or her own story, and interesting things happened in my interactions with each of them. Karen Black walking onto set, asking whether her character is “wise or silly” — and delivering a profound performance based around the concept of wisdom; Ian Hart jumping between two characters — almost effortlessly — in a one man movie; watching Jacqueline Bisset use the tools of cinema to build her character — these are standouts. Here are some things I’ve learned: 1) Art is a long game. The immediate results aren’t important. Early in my career, I allowed “early results” to color my perception of my own work. 2) Don’t get into business with bad people — listen to your instincts. The worst business relationship I’ve had started before the contract was signed. I knew early on and I should’ve listened to my gut. 3) Relinquish control and allow things to happen and unfold. Films require lots of people to say no before the right people say yes. Time allows for the right person or situation to present itself. 4) Listen. I’ve learned so much from my collaborators — but you have to listen hard. 5) Push the work. You can always make it better. I’ve never regretted “one more pass” on a script or a cut. I would include in this the effort necessary to get work into circulation.
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?
I run a nonprofit dedicated to the celebration of the history and influence of Los Angeles residential architecture. One of our programs provides trail maps for self-exploring architecture based on different themes. I’d allow my friend to choose one of these Trails , based on their own interests , and I would take them on it.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My friend and collaborator Christopher Munch is my artistic rock. He’s been through thick and thin with me and I am incredibly grateful to him. He’s the person I turn to first when things are hard, and he always listens and cares.