We reached out to Tinisha Brugnone after visiting her webpage. Her artistic statement really resonated with me so we knew we had to reach out and find out more!
L21l: I watched a couple of your short films. Two very different dynamics in stories. What qualities do you look for in a film when choosing a project to produce?
TB: I have not produced many films and unfortunately, none that I have chosen to date. The few I have had the opportunity to produce, were assigned to me through a film alliance I used to belong to. In the future, I would like to produce films that are aligned with my own interests and only projects where I have a creative in addition to business role in the overall project. People hear the word producer and sometimes think “secretary or flunky”. Well at least in the small community of local filmmakers I have met in Michigan.
L21L: Who are your influences?
TB: I have not really found an influence as far as film making goes yet. I like a lot of different types of films, mostly foreign films usually. I am a fan of many filmmakers to include; Aronofsky, Steven Spielberg, Ava Duverney and my new favorite is Michaela Coel. I think that I love story more than any other aspects of the filmmaking process, so I tend to be drawn to films that have stories that keep me thinking about them and of course comedies. I love to laugh.
L21L:Besides producing, what is your favorite part of the process? Writing, directing, acting?
TB: My favorite part of filmmaking would be writing. I love to see a story come together on paper. From the moment, it starts in my head and grows into a screenplay is very exciting to me. It’s an opportunity for me to be as honest with myself as possible and dig in deep extracting life’s pain and joys to bring a story to life. I like my stories to be brutal and sometimes use some of those embarrassing moments in life that we try to suppress. I think that makes for great stories.
L21L: I read in your bio that you wanted to bring the inner city stories that no one really talks about to life. Are there plans for a feature film to tackle this or are short films better for telling these stories?
TB: Yes, I am working on an episodic series that explores the life of a young inner city child growing up as a minority in a community that ultimately raises him. I am in the early writing stages of this project but I have already begun submitting the project to various screenwriting competitions.
L21L: What type of budget do you usually work with and do you utilize crowdfunding?
TB: As far as budget goes, I am still really green and the largest budget I have worked on would be $30,000. This was for the project “Downriver” that I produced that is on my website. This project I raised around $13,000 on kickstarter. It was very stressful and intense. I do plan on doing other crowdfunding campaigns in the future.
L21L: What type of adversity have you encountered when setting out to make films? In what ways did you overcome them?
TB: The biggest adversity would be getting together a team. I know most people would say money, but I think once I have my team the money will follow. Living in the Metro Detroit Area presents a different set of challenges as opposed to some of my film friends who have left Michigan to places like Los Angelas or New York. Our community has taken a huge hit since the incentives were taken away so I am finding that it’s harder to get people on board. Even I was not enthused for a moment and took a sort of hiatus from filmmaking. But of course, I really started missing it and now that my youngest child graduates, this is the perfect time for me to delve back into it. My ways of overcoming it is simply to remain vigilant and keep trying.
L21L: Lost21Losers is a big advocate against bullying and we always ask when you were growing up did you always know that this is what you wanted to do? What obstacles if any did you come in contact with that you overcame?
TB: When I was growing up, I knew I wanted to write but I did not even consider filmmaking as a medium for my art. I did not figure that out until well into my adulthood and once I started learning about it, I was sure this is what I want to do. The main obstacle is time. Having to work a “regular job”, and trying to find time for my art is challenging, but I decided to make the time by allocating some amount of the day towards it. Even if it’s just filling out this questionnaire helps me reach my writing quota for the day. All writing stimulates thought and ways to express yourself.
L21L: What advice would you give others who are looking to pursue a career in filmmaking?
TB: As far as advice goes, I would say keep evolving! Learn as much as you can every day. I listen to podcasts about filmmaking, (Indie Film Hustle is my favorite) I read a lot of articles, watch tutorials and I am now getting into the online workshops. I feel like you can never know too much and everything is changing super-fast. I am not the most technical person, so I have a
basic understanding of what technology is out there. Only way I can keep up is by staying connected.
L21L: What is your favorite all time movie?
TB: Choosing a favorite movie is hard but if I could I’d say Love Jones and Forrest Gump. Love Jones because it’s a true love story that shows real complexities of falling in love when the time is not right and Forrest Gump because you know… It’s Forrest Gump.
We send a huge thank you to Tinisha Brugone and please check out her sites!! Spread the word!