words. Odyssia Houstis
photography. Antoine Verglas
issue 2 – welcome to the new
Enter the world of cinematic brilliance and witness the magic that is created by visionaries like Stephen Joel Brown. A name that needs no introduction in the realm of film and television, Brown is an Emmy-nominated producer who has made a name for himself with his outstanding contributions to the industry. With an illustrious career spanning
decades, he has produced some of the most iconic movies of all time, including “The Devil’s Advocate,” “The Fugitive” and “Seven.” Currently, Brown is at the helm of the immensely popular Netflix comedy series “Emily in Paris,” and is in production on Darren Star’s latest series “Uncoupled.”
Behind every success story lies a journey filled with trials and tribulations, and Brown’s story is no different. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Brown grew up surrounded by the entertainment industry. He attended UCLA, intending to become an entertainment lawyer, but his plans changed when he moved to New York and began working in public relations and investor relations. This experience became his graduate school training, and it allowed him to develop a diverse skill set that he would later apply in the world of film. At the age of 28, Brown made the life-changing decision of saying yes to an invitation to work alongside renowned producer Arnold Kopelson. He returned to Los Angeles whereKopelson took Brown under his wing and gave him the chance to become who he is today. Brown’s journey is a testament to the power of mentorship and seizing opportunities when they present themselves. As he so eloquently puts it, “You never know where you meet people in life and how things go on the journey.” He found his passion in producing, a role that suits his 24/7 work ethic and love for travel and connecting with people from various backgrounds.
What sets Brown apart from his peers in the entertainment industry? How does he consistently create hit after hit? Brown says there is no secret formula behind his success. He believes that nurturing a project is much like nurturing a child: it requires trust in your instincts and forging strong relationships with the right people. His love for his craft makes him the “glue” that holds all the pieces together. He identifies the essential elements of a project, brings together a talented team, and listens carefully to their input. Like a doting parent, he pours his heart and soul into each project, tending to it like a baby until it’s ready to stand on its own.
Stephen Brown has always loved to travel, and he feels that doing so broadens his thinking and helps him understand other cultures. Brown shares the story of buying his first apartment in Rome, where he discovered a different perspective on time and urgency. He learned to adapt to the Italian way of life and its unique rhythm. He believes that the European mentality has influenced his work and personal life in a positive way. Brown relishes the opportunity to spend four months a year in Paris for the hit series, Emily in Paris.
When talking about his initiatives, Brown stresses the value of teamwork and collaborating with creative individuals. His partnership with Darren Star, the man behind Emily in Paris, has been successful because they complement each other’s skill sets and interests. They have a close relationship built on trust and respect: “We can speak in a shorthand, which is wonderful. It’s like we don’t have to explain every little thing, and nobody has to take anything personally too,” he says. Such relationships are rare in an industry often fuelled by insecurity.
Brown likes being the ringleader who keeps everyone inspired and counts himself fortunate to have worked with so many amazing talents over the course of his career. Despite the challenges inherent in producing a film or show, Brown remains unfazed, with his calm demeanor and adaptable nature helping him maintain balance in his life. He emphasizes the importance of being prepared but also open to the unexpected, as flexibility is essential in the ever-changing entertainment industry. “You have to be flexible, whether it’s from creative ideas or practical and pragmatic things,” he explains. He also finds balance in spending time outdoors, exercising, and traveling.
When questioned about the greatest challenges he has encountered, Brown acknowledges that it is never easy to get any job completed. In hindsight, it might appear seamless, but in practice, there are frequently many moving components and a lot of hard work involved. He remarks that “it’s a miracle that anything actually gets made.”Although Brown’s stellar résumé speaks for itself, he is far from complacent. With Emily in Paris gearing up for its fourth season and the series “Uncoupled” in further development, Brown is continuously creating. Brown claims to particularly value the current speed of television because it offers more nuance and narrative options. He is also eager to return to the world of cinema, after watching recent films that have reignited his passion for the big screen. He adds, “I love when I watch things and they excite me like that.”
At the heart of Brown’s success is his unwavering love for what he does and his ability to embrace obstacles as an inherent part of the process. “The challenges are ultimately what enlighten us and what we learn from. And it feels so good at the end when you have something to show,” Brown asserts.
Stephen Joel Brown’s story is a testament to the power of perseverance and passion. Brown’s unwavering dedication to his craft and his ability to collaborate with others have contributed to his remarkable track record of producing some of the most memorable movies and TV series of our time. By embracing obstacles and remaining adaptable, Brown has shown us that achieving our goals is not only possible but also immensely rewarding. As we celebrate his legacy as one of the ultimate producers of our time, we look forward to more blockbuster hits from this extraordinary man.
photography. Antoine Verglas
production. Luvn Grace Productions
co-production. Georgia Hassler Primar
assistants photography. Michael Pushkarskiy & Lera Loeb
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