We caught up with film producer and Brehm Experience contributor, Dawn Asher, to ask her about sitting for the first time in the director’s chair on her documentary, Come Eat, which you can watch here, and you can watch her film PoppyHill Meets the Hidden Garden below.
Brehm: Films are made by teams of people approaching the same craft (filmmaking) from different angles. So, what draws you to the role of producer on these teams? Why that angle?
Dawn Asher: I’ve started calling myself a “People Enthusiast”. I stepped into producing because I fell in love with the craft of empowering others (as opposed to taking power) to create unique and authentic pieces of art. When this became my primary job as a producer, what I discovered was my ability to form creative teams of artists who thrive as a whole, a collective that fully realizes its individual talents in the process, not just the final product. I take this approach because every artist needs an advocate who cares about him as a person first, and I believe there is a narrative playing out every day in our own personal lives behind the camera that matters, as we journey together creating the spectacular ONE for the screen.
Brehm: How did your role as a director differ from your usual role as a producer when crafting the Christian Navarro documentary?
DA: I had to shift my perspective a bit…While a director empowers the artists around him as well, the director is even more so supported by them. I had to get used to the team asking ME what I desired for creative choices–choices that would execute my overall vision for telling Christian’s story. It was definitely a lot of moving pieces to balance in my mind as every creative choice affects the one before and after it. I really enjoyed shifting my creativity as a “people enthusiast” to be more hands on in crafting what turned out on the screen.
Brehm: How has your experience in the writer/director’s chair informed how you’ll work with other directors in future projects you produce?
DA: It was an incredible experience in that it will surely make me a better producer. Knowing more of the details that a director must consider in every phase better informs me to build a custom-tailored team for that specific director. If I know that I’m working with a director who specifically enjoys using color to tell his story, then I can be more intentional about bringing in a production designer who’s team is known for their acute sense of color detail in their design approach. Even an incredibly talented production designer could be the wrong production designer for the director on the project–both would not thrive in the process. This is something I was aware of previously, but it’s having stepped into the director’s seat that raises the level of importance even more for me now, and it excites me just writing about it!
DAWN LAMATTINA ASHER is the Founder & Executive Producer of her own creative production company, Tribe of Asher (www.TribeOfAsherCreates.com). She lives with a passion to create story experiences through film and entertainment. She also runs an online journal, Good Taste & Gatherings (goodtasteandgatherings.tumblr.com), where good people make good food even better by engaging with their communities over memorable mealtime experiences. Dawn is also a true Foodie by Italian descent.