Introducing Filmmaker Bob Brown, competing in the Book Direct Video Contest

December 12, 2015

Still from "Family Hike to Homewood Suites"

Still from “Family Hike to Homewood Suites”

How did you get inspired to become a filmmaker?

I sort of fell into film making by accident. Even though I was the dad with the video camera, I never edited anything, thus not many people watched them except for the people in them. Then in 2007 I went on a small boat trip, 1500 miles in a flats boat out to Bermuda, where I earned two world records, something I never even dreamed of doing. I was at the right place at the right time. Many people thought we (my brother and I) got lucky. My brother, the boat builder, decided to nip it in the bud and decided to go all the way across the Atlantic in the same 21 foot open fishing boat with a single engine and a kicker. I knew right then that I needed to get a good handycam. Well we made the 8,312 mile voyage going through the Arctic and I had the footage to prove it. I thought some movie guy would come and get my footage and turn it into a documentary. Well that never happened so I decided to learn how to edit myself. As fate would have it, my house burnt down and I was going to have to rebuild it myself as it was uninsured. Now I had lots of stuff to film and started a youtube channel: Notombstone, named after a surf strap I invented. I now have over 1,350 youtube videos. I have finished my TV series about our voyage, eleven 47 minute episodes, but now have found out that it is only the beginning. I need someone to help me get it to the networks. Without money or connections it becomes almost impossible.

What is your favorite part about the short film form?

Films becomes part of history. To see an idea that formed on a piece of paper or in my mind become real. I made a DVD called “Glass Bank Shattered: a Cocoa Beach Icon Wipeout”. The historic building in Cocoa Beach called the Glass Bank was host to many astronauts and celebrities in the space age era. It is saved in film. Love the history.

Who were the people that supported the making of this film?

I am assuming the film in question is the 1 minute Homewood Suites entry. I had been growing a beard for no other reason, but to make some sort of video with it. My wife let me grown it and take a day off from work to shoot the film on the last day of the contest. I played all the characters, five, and filmed it on in the woods behind my house using a tripod and bungees.

What resources do you use as a filmmaker? Music, locations, props, editing, crew, etc.

I do most of my filming by myself, I make most of my music using Mixcraft Studio Six, which is why I am puzzled when some of the audio is questioned by youtube. I shoot most everything from one or two handycams on tripods and am now eager to learn more about green screens and special effects.

What is your next project?

I just found out about Th Audience Awards video contest and plan on making a few of them. I have a couple of shorts that I have just finished and would love to show them, So that is my immediate plans. Maybe one of the trailers from my boat trip.

The independent film business is a difficult one. What keeps you motivated? Where do you see the industry going in the future?

I started making a little money on Youtube and since I am a house painter with no retirement, I have been cranking out videos in hopes of have a few go viral and earn some residual income until I strike it lucky with my boat series. I have dreams of locating many other individual who have made outrageous trips and document their stories.

bob brown

Which filmmakers, artists or individuals have most influenced your work?

I would have to say Clint Eastwood as I hear he just does them, no fooling around, just goes out and does them. I am in a couple of film groups and most of them talk a lot about what they plan on doing, but most have never really produced too many things. They are in shock that I make so many videos and that I am the new guy in the classes. Some may argue that I don’t have all the right equipment, but some day I will until then I shoooooot away without excuses.

What advice would you give new filmmakers?

Shoot away, but do a little planning before hand. It makes it so much easier if you have a plan. Be open to suggestions as many times the outsider sees what you are trying to do from a different perspective, but once you’ve decided on your final plan, don’t be wishy washy, stick with it and get it done.

Anything else that you would like to add?

I would love to find some agents to represent my TV series.

Watch and vote for his entry into the Homewood Suites Video Contest, Family Hike to Homewood Suites here.

Check out Bob Brown’s website here

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