If you’ve had the pleasure of viewing our adorable trailers, you already know the genius of Brion Dinges’s work. We’re so pleased and proud that, as our newest company member, Brion’s bringing his phenomenal filmmaking talents to our cause.
Brion and I first met when he took my playwriting class back in 2001. Out of that auspicious meeting came not only Brion’s great play, but also a fantastic friendship.
Brion, Me, Christine (in front) and our friend Nicole.
As an actor, Brion has performed at New York Theatre Workshop, The Public, Arena Stage, Rattlestick Theatre, 78th Street Theatre lab, and The Lark. He has worked with such directors as Jo Bonney (SubUrbia), Loretta Greco (Sincerity Forever, Ibsen’s Lady from the Sea), Jerry Manning (Our Country’s Good) and Joy Zinoman (Three Sisters). As a filmmaker, Brion has directed and starred in his full-length feature documentary, “The Wizard of Wichita”, and has directed many shorts for Elephant Ensemble.
I did a short little interview with Brion, about his creative process, and to find out how his amazing mind works.
How do you come up the ideas for our trailers?
Thanks for asking! I like to first just see/listen to the show. For me, the creative process starts there. What's the message, how is it being told, what is going on visually? These are questions I ask myself. Next, I find out what music Liza wants to use. As she is a major collaborator -- she usually has ‘the song’ in mind. After filming (which is truly the fun part, since I get to also be an audience member just like the kids!) I transfer the video onto my computer. This gives me an opportunity to just watch what the camera captured. There's usually a second camera set up to view the kids reactions - I watch all of that too just to see when they really got excited in a scene. Then comes the brew. I listen to the music and I start to imagine how the story, the visuals, the kids reactions all would interplay with the music. At this point it's a bit of trial and error, much like painting on a canvas until you feel you've gotten the painting just right. I also like to make sure there's an element of mystery and the video audience wanting to see what happens by viewing the trailer. Then we put it on YouTube and hope everyone watches and comes to see the shows, since they are always so wonderful!
You’re such an accomplished stage actor…. What do you love most about movie making???
I really love being a visual story teller. After many years of acting there was a euphoric moment when I realized I was not just an actor but, more importantly, a storyteller. Not necessarily a writing storyteller, but a visual one. Either with my body/self as an actor in someone else’s story, or by filming and editing and putting together visual stories. When you watch my YouTube work you get a sense of that storytelling, as well as a style in which I like to tell a story with good music and fantastical visuals. After all, that's what good movie making is. The other thing I really like about movie making is that it lasts. Already I've looked back on things I did 2, 3 even 8 years ago and I'm so happy to have it preserved and watched.
If you haven’t seen Brion’s work already, take a break and visit his YouTube site at https://www.youtube.com/user/Burgeois. No matter what his subject matter, they always make me smile, and I know they’ll do the same for you.