Effie Brown has been an executive producer for 20 years and has made over 23 films and 200 pieces of digital content. Yet, when creating these films and managing teams of up to 100 people, a jarring reality hovered over her head – she didn’t really want to be a leader. In fact, when asked what does she identify with her response is often “I identify with the other.” However, she’s managed to use both the advantages and disadvantages of this identity to create her greatest works.
In this talk, Brown teaches us how to embrace being an outsider in our leadership roles. “Know thyself, know what lens you’re leading from, and the what and why of it all,” she says.
Los Angeles-based producer Effie Brown received a degree in Film Production and Theater from Loyola Marymount University before going on to participate in Film Independent’s Project Involve, an intensive fellowship for people seeking a career in the film industry. She started her career at Tim Burton Productions as Director of Development. After producing several feature films at various production levels, Brown founded the production company Duly Noted, Inc. It is the force behind such critically-acclaimed HBO films as Stranger Inside, Real Women Have Curves, and Everyday People. Real Women Have Curves won the 2001 Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Audience Award and the Special Jury Prize for Ensemble. Working in association with Sony Screen Gems and Pathe International, Brown also executive produced In The Cut directed by Jane Campion. Brown’s film Rocket Science, won the Sundance 2007 Grand Jury Prize for Directing and was also nominated for Best Feature, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress by the Independent Spirit Awards.
With a love of multiple platforms, she focused on digital episodic content and produced over 130 episodes of WIGS, an award-winning, original content channel funded by Google/YouTube. Currently, the number one scripted channel on YouTube, WIGS has recently been picked up for wider distribution via Hulu.
Her latest film Dear White People won the Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Talent at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically in the fall of the same year. Most recently, Brown joined the Matt Damon and Ben Affleck reboot of Project Greenlight, which aired on HBO in the fall of 2015.