We had the good fortune of connecting with Trae Briers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Trae, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
I live by the motto “Consistent Persistence”, which basically means take your time and make sure you do something every day towards the thing you want the most. For me, the thing that drives me and what I want the most is to make movies. I’m a firm believer that if you stay on task and only focus on the one thing you truly want to do, it will eventually come true. I’m not one of those people who try to do many different things they’re passionate about at the same time, I just try to stick with just one: and that’s being a filmmaker. To be a filmmaker, you have to have serious thick skin and the ability to be patient and diligent in your pursuit. By channeling the motto “Consistent Persistence” over 25 years ago, I set out on learning the entire process of filmmaking with my own two hands. I believed that if I can’t do every job within the movie making process, then I am no good at telling my stories. I focused on getting an education in film, from the history of it, the theories behind it, to the production of it. This led me to receiving my Bachelors Degree in Film Studies from UCSB. I then took that knowledge and went and wrote, directed and produced my first feature film “In Your Eyes”, which ended up getting national distribution. But that experience taught me one thing: that I didn’t understand business. So, taking on the motto I follow, I went and got my MBA in Finance. This gave me the tools to focus my energy on both sides of the movie business. By sticking with this mindset, it gave me the ability to write and draft a good script, break down every cost of the script and the time management it will take to complete the script. What I like about this mindset, it allows me to be patient and focused, because I ensure I spend everyday breaking down each and every task. I spend at least 3-6 months in total breakdown mode. I breakdown every hour of the day and the cost associated with that day. I focus on getting the best shots and best performance from my actors each day. This ensures we waste no time and no money, and it allows us to maximize our production. And because I have a solid team that helps me complete these tasks, it gives us the best quality production. And because of this discipline and due diligence with being consistent with persistence, we were able to complete our latest film “TRADE” with having NO DEBT when we released it independently. This gave us the freedom to be particular and strategic with our release. And after 18 streaming platforms worldwide, over 150 Million of hours streamed in 24 months and 8 Film Festival Best Picture Awards, consistent persistence worked.
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’m a movie lover. I love watching movies. I love studying movies. I love creating movies. Telling a story is the one thing I do naturally, ever since I was a child. Growing up, I was the “Gordie” character from the classic film “Stand by Me”. I literally would entertain my friends by sitting around and telling my “stories”. It was a natural progression as I entered adulthood to gravitate towards films. The ability to take an idea, write it down, then “paint the picture” with a camera, is the best filming a filmmaker can experience. I enjoy letting people into my world by seeing the vision I wish to create. Having thick skin and being confident in yourself is the number one thing a filmmaker needs to possess. For me, it doesn’t matter if you like my films or not, my core focus is to get you to see, hear, and feel the story I wish to tell. As long as I get you to do that, I accomplished my goal. I have been on this grind since 1995, non stop. I made it a point to focus on just being a filmmaker my entire adulthood. I have never strayed. Even during the hard times, I never strayed. I feel as long as I am breathing, I have a chance to tell a story. Has it been challenging, yes. But I have loved every minute of it. I ensured I got an education, that way I would always have an income to maintain my goal. But with focus and determination, I know at some point, the goal becomes reality. The only thing that is certain in life is our death. And the one thing that I know for certain my life will be is that I will die being a filmmaker.
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 would tell them to come to Oxnard, California. The beauty of Oxnard is you can hike in the morning in the mountains of Ventura, then go surfing in the afternoon at Oxnard Shores. Oxnard by far has the best beaches in Southern California. And parking is free!!! Oxnard is an emerging city, not only within Ventura County, but all of California, and the opportunities are endless. My core focus is to bring Hollywood to Oxnard. I call it “HollyNard”. We have everything the movie industry needs, and if I have my way, we will one day provide a full scale production studio that will provide jobs and create an industry that can not only sustain itself, but add value to the film industry in Southern California. The city offers many different things to do. You can spend the weekend at The Embassy Suites on the beach. Go shop at The Collection for the latest items. You can go eat authentic Mexican food at Taco De Mexico. And if you don’t mind a quick 30 min drive north, you can head North on the 101 and drive that beautiful coastline to Santa Barbara for a nice dinner.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, my wife Doris is the backbone to everything I do. There is a saying, “When you see a man standing proud, know that’s because there is a strong woman holding him up”. That is Doris. She keeps me honest and she pushes me when I need pushing. I love her brutal honesty with me, and it keeps me grounded and humble. She doesn’t allow me to quit. With us having 5 kids, she has managed to not only keep me motivated and my head above water, but she also worked her butt off to get her MBA, and start her own business. I truly have a “SuperWoman”.
Rubin Bryant is my best friend and business partner. I’ve known Rubin for 37 years. Without Rubin, I can’t achieve all that I am achieving. We’ve been doing this together full time for 15 years now, and we understand each other so well that at any point in time, he can step in and fill my shoes, the same way I can step in and fill his shoes. Our connection is surreal, that it seems flawless. Rubin is a true Producer. His personality and business acumen is what keeps our production business, FFAM Group, LLC, intact. Rubin is that dude you need in your life.
Alessandro Gentile is the ONLY Cinematographer I will ever use. We started this dream together, being film students at UCSB. He is the best filmmaker I know. I am truly blessed to call him a friend. I know without him, none of my films will be what they are. It’s such a cool feeling to know I have a trusted friend who has my best interest at heart when it comes to telling my stories. Alessandro and I have been in sync with our goals and passion for filmmaking since we first met. We would sit on the bluffs at UCSB before and after class talking about movies and our plans, and to see them come to fruition is the stuff dreams are made of.
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