It’s easy to get discouraged when our dreams don’t come to fruition, but it’s important to remember that failure is not the end of the road. Just because one path didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean that all doors are closed. The filmmaker in question serves as a great example of this. So, don’t be afraid to try again and again, and don’t give up on your dreams just because one door closed. Keep going and you’ll find a way to achieve them.
As a producer, writer, and creative director at Harmon Brothers, a renowned advertising agency, Brandon Cummings has made significant contributions to the company’s success. His work has generated substantial revenue for clients and has been recognized with several prestigious awards, including Webby, Telly, and AAF awards. In addition to his work in advertising, Brandon also has experience in the film industry. He served as an executive producer on the award-winning short film “I Have No Tears and I Must Cry” and is currently co-producing the upcoming film “Limone” with writer, producer, and director Sohrab Mirmont.
About You and Your background ?
i am Brandon Cummings From a young age I always loved film. The movie, “That Thing You Do” was really inspirational for me. I watched it when I was 12- and I seriously believed I had the chops to make it as a drummer in LA. I pursued music throughout my 30’s and eventually settled down to have a family.
The dream of being creative never died- it just changed to commercials and film. I worked as a sales professional, transitioned to marketing, and was able to parlay that experience into a job as a writer/producer/creative director at the ad agency Harmon Brothers.
Being around so many creative making commercials was inspiring. I made some jumps to work on passion projects for friends and now find myself building my own agency and along with a portfolio of films I’m working on developing.
How do you convince yourself with things that you have to shoot for a film but you actually don’t otherwise believe ?
I try not to shoot things or work on project I don’t believe in. Life is too short. I’m lucky that I get to surround myself with passionate creators who want to make great art – in both commercial and film.
Your Scripting Process ? Your approach to casting ?
I love getting feedback on scripts. And I really love spending time as characters and asking myself – “what would they do?”
In the fall of 2022 I spent time in Venice to location scout for a film I’m working on with Persian filmmaker, Sohrab Mirmont. As we walked through locations I read the script and really tried to feel the character come alive.
I love being surprised when casting. Knocked off my chair. Seeing things I never expected. Learning new stuff about the character and story. I like to give talent a lot of space to create and always try to respect the effort they’re bringing to the audition.
How much does your life influences your story telling and the characters that you bring to life ?
I haven’t been able to tell a lot of those stories yet, but they’re coming soon.
How do you work on yourself to become better in your field learning , observing , reading ? Type of things you keep yourself involved with
I love learning. I think everything I learn can help me become a better storyteller. I learn every day from my two kids- the way they solve problems, the way they see the world through a sometimes magical lens. They’re pretty incredible. I’m obsessed with languages and speak French. I’m studying Spanish and Italian.
Continually learning music and working on my drumming. And obviously learning from consuming film and commercials. I really love studying the history of advertising and diving into the minds of greats like Olgivy. How they think. How they see the world. Sam Walton of Wal-Mart believed that he could learning something from EVERYONE. I feel the same.
Filmmaking is team work. Tell us about your team and what sort of pre planning gets done before you decide to make a film. Tough things about making films and what keeps you going despite those tough things ?
The team is everything. EVERYTHING. I really love building the right team for each project. Sometimes we make a decision and something’s off. We have to pivot. I think building a team requires a lot of trust. And if someone on the team isn’t performing- I feel a personal responsibility to help them perform, or make a pivot for the good of the rest of the team. Filmmaking is a really crazy gig. The hours are insane. The sacrifice can be crazy. If you’re going to do this, you might as well do it with people you like. I really admire creative’s like Adam Sandler. He works with a lot of the same people on most of his films- and somehow it works. I hope that in 20 years I’m still creating with my friends and continuing to make new ones.
Title Of Your New Release
I Have No Tears and I Must Cry
What is the central theme of film ?
Everyone knows an immigrant. What most people don’t know is the heartbreaking stories of fear and pain and loss and deportation that so many immigrants face. Far too often, decisions that impact generations are in the way-too-powerful hands of government officials.
The logline: Maria Luisa is ready to escape immigration limbo, but when her green card interview takes an unexpected turn, she faces the anxiety of losing the life she had planned.
How many days it took you to shoot ? What locations it has been shot at ?
We shot in 2 days. Really fast- but we had an amazing crew of creatives and talent.
Share your thoughts about production process . Any interesting trivia about its making ?
A lot of amazing people came together to help make this short a reality. The filmmaking community in Utah is pretty incredible. We had a shoestring budget but were able to pull it off. I think one of the more interesting things about the film is that our main actor, Alejandra Herrera was in the movie Roma.
What platforms will the film be released ? Date of release ?
The world premier is obviously here at Sundance. We have a script ready to make the feature and hope to find distribution partners here at the festival.
Any other project you are working on ? Some details about the film ?
I have a few projects I’m really excited about. The first, is a film called Limone, with award winning director Sohrab Mirmont. We’re in preproduction right now and plan to film this fall in Italy. It’s a beautiful story about a Venitian taxi boat driver who lost his will to live. Really touching.
I’m working with teen sci-fi/fantasy author, Maren Alder to bring her book, Shadowborn to the big screen in 2025. Teenage girls love this book and her audience is fanatical.
Have a project with writer Ashley R. Cummings and her script, Foreigner that second rounded at the Austin Film Festival. It’s a thriller/comedy about a young woman who takes a DNA test and goes on a journey to find her roots. Really fun Russian Mob stuff.
Also working with some really talented friends Benji Allred and Kurt Knight on a story about a Catholic priest who wrestles with right and wrong in the face of tragedy. I grew up extremely religious and I love stories that explore nuance in the context of religion (sometimes extreme nuance).
We have a few more shorts planned with the same director, Luis Fernando Puente, who wrote and directed I Have No Tears and I Must Cry, but they’ve been put on the backburner for Sundance. I couldn’t be happier about it!
How do you deal with Negative Feedbacks ? How do you stay balanced with Positive Feed back ?
I try to take everything with a grain of salt. If someone says they hate something, that doesn’t mean it’s horrible. And just because someone says they love something, doesn’t make it good. Sometimes are just is, and feedback is just an opinion.
Growing up playing music I was trained to seek out feedback and try and get better. I love hearing great things- don’t get me wrong. But I also realize that I’m relatively young and still have so much growing and learning to do.
How did you hear about CarryOnHarry ? Any message for Studio ? Any Suggestion that we can make it better ?
Hey! My publicist, Josh Mitchell connected me with you. Thanks for the opportunity!
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