Breven Angaelica Warren is a producer, director, actress and programmer for independent film festivals such as Sundance, San Francisco, Miami, AFI and a host of others. My coffee drink for Ms. Warren would be “Zebra” (black and white mocha) at Starbucks. Thats because I would think she likes sweet, chocolaty things…but also wants something NOT on the menu.
What was the moment that you knew you wanted to become a filmmaker?
I have always been passionate about film. I was actively making films in University (Florida State University) for fun and for my own personal art, but I never took a film class and never imagined it as a career. After graduating, I was familiar with the entertainment industry in South Florida. My first time on a studio film was walking around as an ethnographer, to learn about the machine, or community rather than as a film set. While on set I had lots of various conversations with different departments. But it was a teamster who hooked me by saying, “You have to like traveling all of the time. Never knowing when your next job is gonna be. Having to work with different people on every project. Always doing something different…” I was in awe. Someone actually pays people for a job like that? It sounded like a dream. I was in.
Which filmmaker(s) have influenced you most?
I am constantly influenced by filmmakers. I am continually on the festival circuit being surprised and delighted by new and upcoming talent. I am always excited when I see something I haven’t seen before. And I love when film affects and challenges me.
What is your favorite film and why?
The impossible question. I love films that I can watch again and again and laugh each time. I also love films that break my heart and make me sick to my stomach because they are so emotionally painful.
What is the hardest thing you have experienced in your journey?
Because I am constantly working on my own passion projects, funding is the greatest source of stress. I am always putting myself in debt over projects that I believe in. It’s a terrible business model, but I’d rather be creating with what I have than waiting for someone to help. It is both a strength and a weakness.
What is the most embarrassing experience you have had in your career?
Unfortunately, it is the same as my stress. Most of my projects are delayed due to lack of resources for post production. I feel terrible for everyone who helps create the film with us and has to wait. But, when I literally don’t have the funds for completion, the projects have to wait on the shelf. It’s an embarrassing feeling to let fellow artists down when it can often take so long. But I do believe each project deserves to be completed properly and to its fullest potential. And that takes time and most often money.
What is your favorite stage of the filmmaking process and why?
I love finding new material. I read an enormous amount of scripts looking for material that interests me. I love development and organizing a project that I have found and starting to plan a future for it. The concept of helping it come to its full potential while figuring out the details in pre-production is exciting.
Nothing is actually more fun than production itself. I look at production as though I am hosting a party. Each of my talented guests are extraordinary crew and cast members who are ideal for the role and are guests I want to host. Not only are we coming together for an intense short period where we all have a great time, at the end of the day we will be making a piece of art that can be shared. Making a sharable piece of art that can be shared is incredible.
What would you consider your style?
I am not sure if I have a specific style. Each of my projects are pieces onto themselves. You can’t really compare them. I have worked on documentaries both serious and whimsical. I have made experimental films and music video style pieces. And I create narratives with dark tones and comedies alike. I believe in good storytelling. I want to make films I think people would enjoy.
If you were not working in the film industry, what would you be doing?
I imagine I would be hosting other events. I love bringing people together. And I am passionate about the arts.
How would you advise others in your specialty to get better?
Keep making films. If you have a story to tell, simply start making it. You will learn something with each production no matter the size, just keep creating.
What is your coffee beverage of choice?
I love coffee. I can appreciate the effects separately than the taste depending on the circumstances. Coffee is ultimately best when you are in another country or culture and you are experiencing it the way they make it.