Writer / Director / Producer
Zach Brown is a writer, director, and actor who's best known for his award-winning feature film Hard Surfaces, which he wrote, co-produced, and directed. He has written four feature films, written and produced six short films, and directed the lengthy short film (39 min), The Mountain Man.
Writer / Director / Producer: HARD SURFACES
Read our FILMMAKER Q&A with ZACH BROWN:
Why do you make movies?
I love telling stories. Telling someone what I had for breakfast turns into a full blown story. I guess I just love entertaining people and evoking an emotional response in people no matter what kind of story I'm telling.
What story do you want to tell?
Right now I want to tell the story of my next script. It's a drama/comedy (mostly drama) about a guy in his 30s who's riddled with OCD, who meets his biological mother for the first time ever when she asks him to sign her out of the insane asylum, where she's been his whole life.
What’s your story?
I grew up on and working for the largest Koi (fish) breeders in America. I was an outdoorsy kid who played almost every sport at least once and learned from my parents that hard work pays off. As a kid I kind of hid my artistic side in order to be a rascal. But in my teenage years writing and creating really started to flourish. Leading me to where I am now.
What do you want to achieve in your craft?
I feel like once job opportunities start presenting themselves to me rather than me having to seek them out, then I'll have just began to achieve my craft. In the mean time, just writing everyday and working towards creating amazing projects, is all I can do to work towards achieving that.
What would you tell a young person with aspirations to be a filmmaker?
Get a survival job that helps you not worry too much about money. Then constantly check yourself that you're not letting your survival job interfere too much with your creating. It's super easy, especially in LA, to get caught up in your survival job and all the sudden... Eight or ten months have gone by and you haven't done a single thing creatively. I have some friends who went the assistant route and worked their way up to being able to create their own projects. But I'd imagine with that, the people you're assisting expect you to work on their projects before your own. None the less... Just keep creating and when you do start to put together a project... Make sure you're the least experienced person on set. I'm a strong believer that a director is only as good as the people he/she surround themselves with.
What has been your biggest struggle as a filmmaker?
The whole things a struggle. If it weren't, it probably wouldn't be worth it. I think every single project is going to have its own specific struggles. Weather that be the writing phase, development/finding financing, or the actual making of the film. Ya just gotta take the struggles in stride and make the best of what you have. One struggle I've recently came across was with writing. After wrapping on my most recent movie, Hard Surfaces, I wasn't able to write a single thing for two years. Then, I won best screenplay at a film festival and that gave me the motivation to start writing again. Now I'm writing three scripts at once.
What do you see as the biggest struggle going forward?
For me, very specifically and personally, my biggest struggle moving forward is going to be deciding when I can drop the survival job and focus on just filmmaking. It's been very difficult to travel to film festivals, win awards, get great distribution deals, and receive all the praise from my fellow filmmakers. Just to return back to LA and work 5 nights a week making peoples drinks behind a bar. But I feel it's all part of the process and all you can do is keep plugging away.