We had the good fortune of connecting with Theo Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Theo, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
The way I personally try to look at risk is, it’s much more riskier to stay safe and comfortable that to stretch out further than you thought possible to grab ahold of your dream. Fortune tends to favor the bold, and since we all take risks every day, it’s easier for me to try and go all-in on something bigger. Even if I fail, I’m still trying to learn something about myself. Coming from Texas, there weren’t any filmmakers that I could connect with. It wasn’t until coming to LA and meeting people that I was able to find friends and mentors that had taken those same risks that I did – that a lot of us do to get here! But that’s the interesting thing about life, isn’t it? With every risk you take, you can find that sliver of encouragement to keep going. That kind of optimism is all that I personally need.
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.
It took me a bit to learn about myself and the stories that I’m really drawn to. There’s something about the sci-fi genre that I love to explore, but it’s those intimate character stories that the genre builds on that really resonates with me. Growing up, my mom and dad were avid movie watchers – especially my mom and Star Trek. That’s what really let me start dreaming of writing my own stories. At the moment, I’m wrapping my second feature film now – it’s a story about a couple that’s dealing with the consequences of their past scientific discoveries. A close friend, Ben Taylor, wrote it, and it’s just something that really resonated with me on all levels. He’s someone who showed me that any challenge you may face is easier when you’ve got a friend by your side on the same path. The thing about directing that I love so much is that it’s incredibly collaborative – one has to fully trust everyone involved so that the sum of all the parts is greater than any one individual. I’m just so blessed that I get to play a small part in the that sum.
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.
My personal favorite spots in LA are probably a bit different that most! I love museums – I can’t get enough of them (shakes fist angrily at COVID-19). The Griffith Observatory and The Getty are at the top of the list, but once the Academy (Oscars) Museum opens up… I might as well forward my mail there. The Petersen Automotive Museum always is a recharge for me as well – I wouldn’t consider myself a “car” person, but there’s something about seeing man’s machines and how we want to push that spirit of engineering forward that’s inspiring. The California Science Center is also a must-see – the Space Shuttle Endeavour is there, and going during a time of day that’s not crowded becomes a place of reverence, in my opinion. There’s something about sharing the space with one of the pinnacles of mankind’s achievements… It’s impossible to put into words.’ Apart from the museums, LA is one of the greatest cities in the world – you can do ANYTHING here. For me, I’d keep it low-key with finding a movie theatre and getting lost for a few hours before hitting my local comic shop for some new titles. That, or going to The Last Book Store – my already-backed-up reading list is no deterrent. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Ryan Gunnarson is someone that I met when I first moved out here, and has been such a brother to me. He’s an incredible filmmaker and actor, and someone that I’ve learned a lot from. He’s helped with every project I’ve done out here, and I can’t see that one-two punch stopping anytime soon.
Ryan Gunnerson Theo Brown