President of 821 Entertainment Group, Anastasia Brown spearheads the company’s music supervisory, programming, and soundtrack projects.
Country music star, Anastasia has worked on projects such as “August Rush” (starring Robin Williams & Kerri Russell), Quentin Tarantino’s “Daltry Calhoun” (starring Johnny Knoxville and Juliette Lewis) and the upcoming film “Dallas” with John Travolta.
With her new book release and starring as a judge on the CMT hit show “Nashville Star”, this REEL Lady has no intention of slowing down!
What sparked the fire in you to pursue music? I sang in choirs starting at age 9, then plays, then rock bands…I have always loved music and true artists who actually create it!
What was the music journey like for you? One full of twists, turns and plenty of surprises. When I formed an artist management company with the legendary Miles Copeland at the age of 26, I was thrown into the water before I knew how to swim – all I had was a strong work ethic and passion. At times I didn’t know why I was doing what I was doing, but now that I’m in the job I love the most, it all makes sense.
How did the job at Firstars come to you? I met Miles at an ASCAP listening party (Kennedy Rose) and we engaged in a very intellectual and creative conversation. We both knew after that we would work together one day.
You worked with some major artists there, initially were you nervous at all? Yes! Working with Peter Frampton was intimidating; I grew up on his music.
Looking back, would you say that that particular job was your training job for what you’re doing now? YES INDEED! The artists and Miles taught me that the music guides most decisions. Now that I am working as a music supervisor and film producer, when uncertain about something I always let the creativity guide me…even if it’s a financial quandary.
What’s the one most valuable piece of information you learned while working there? Never let ’em see you sweat!
What made you want to branch into film, was it something that someone had mentioned to you, or a thought that was there all along? I’ve always had a strong belief that as the record labels shrink and the music industry regroups the best financial and creative opportunity for our artists, studio owners, songwriters and musicians in the future lies in film and television. That’s why I committed to it full time in 2000, then fortunately got to work on the Spielberg mini-series, “Taken.” I believe without a doubt that we will be able to create a whole new industry for and music is the bridge to do just that.
Some women say when they have tapped into what they know what they are supposed to be doing, things go easy. Some people beg to differ and say that’s when the trials kick in. How was the transition for you? I feel the most inner peace I’ve ever felt, but I ‘ve never worked as hard and as many hours as I have right now! So yes to both!
Your first job as a music supervisor, how did you book it? What was that first experience like for you? I gave of myself to the Nashville Screenwriters Conference without pay and gave it my all. Through that labor of love I met Les Bohem (founder) and he parted the “Dreamworks seas” after I expressed interest in the gig to him over and over!
Explain to the ladies what being a music supervisor entails. I approach every film differently and every project has different demands. I read a script, absorb the director’s music vision and then “sketch” a character description for the music. I gravitate towards music-driven projects and love creating original music, merging iconic artists with unknown talent. Also, I only sign on to a film if I am passionate about it, then I’m like a dog with bone…I don’t give up until I get a yes!
If anyone was interested in going that direction in their career, what advice would you give? Eat, breathe, dream music! Take a business and/or sales course in college (so you can clear the songs you really want!). Start small, work with a film maker that is at your same level so you can make mistakes together and grow together.
What’s the one thing that filmmakers need to know about music and film? Think about music at the same time you begin to think about casting!
You started your own company, what was that process like for you? Hard work, 100% commitment and NO mental escape hatches!
What project is the company working on currently? A movie about ’s life…working title is “Billy the Early Years.”
Any moments that doubt got a hold of you? A bit, when I announced that I was going to pursue music supervision based in . 100% of my peers said no way; people living in LA can’t even get enough work in music supervision. That shook me for a day, then I just went for it.
How did you overcome it? Prayed.
Tell us about your book, how did that come about? Thomas Nelson approached me, I’ve always wanted to write a book so here I am!~
What is next for you? Three films, another book and a vacation.
Being a woman who wears many hats in this industry, what advice would you give to the ladies? Don’t think of boundaries – think open spaces.
What’s your favorite song? Too many to list.
What’s your favorite film?
What’s your favorite film that you’ve worked on? August Rush.
What’s your favorite childhood memory? Celebrating my 12th birthday with my family at the in !
And lastly, if the ladies had an upcoming project, how can they contact you to work on their film? www.821entertainment.com –