Anastasia Brown’s list of accolades is almost too long to count. As an entertainment visionary, she is revered for her prowess in discovering musical talent and her work as a music supervisor and producer for major motion pictures, television series and film soundtracks. Some of her work includes — but is not limited to — consulting for Footloose, music supervisor for August Rush, executive producer for the movie and soundtrack Billy Graham: The Early Years, music supervisor on For the Love of Music: The Story of Nashville, as well as on a movie based on the book The Shack (to be released in November 2016) and many more projects. She also represents independent songwriters and publishers, has developed three television series, is the author of Make Me a Star, is a liaison between Hollywood, New York and Nashville projects, and she’s a board member on the Nashville Film Festival. Anastasia’s impact on the entertainment industry in Nashville and beyond, coupled with her unwavering commitment to artists and the growth of the film and television industry, is one of the many reasons it is so fitting for her to be featured as today’s FACE of Nashville.
Where are you originally from? How and when did you land in Nashville?
I was born in Coronado, CA, and raised in Denver, CO. I sang in bands and choirs most of my life. Before graduating from the University of Florida, I realized that I preferred booking, picking our songs and managing our band more than singing on stage in front of an audience. The problem was I didn’t know what opportunities existed. All I knew was that I had to move to a music city. So in 1990, I moved to Nashville.
Give us a peek at your agenda. What’s a typical day or week like for you?
There is no typical day in my life. The only common thread is music and coming up with ideas to promote artists and the music they create. In addition to music supervising, I am developing several music-driven TV series and films. In fact, proof that persistence is the difference between success and failure is a film I began developing in 2003 about the life of Hank Williams — it was finally released in theaters this month, 13 years later.
In 2014, you were awarded the Trailblazer Award at the Women in the Workforce Forum & Awards. As a role model for women of all ages, what advice do you have for those looking to make a name for themselves in their given industry?
Work hard, never give up, listen more than you talk and always follow through on every promise made. I have been trying to help build a self-sustaining film and TV industry in Nashville since 2002; we are not there yet, but I feel that the concept is gaining momentum and I will never give up.
As an active board member on the Nashville Film Festival how are you helping to grow the film and TV culture and opportunities in Nashville?
I believe a thriving film festival encourages a film and TV culture in every city that hosts one. Music City has grown into the “it” city because of our creative community; bringing greater opportunities for those content creators in the film and TV arena can benefit the future of Nashville greatly. That’s why we are bringing in buyers, studio and network executives, music supervisors, filmmakers and screenwriters … to connect them with our local creative talent.
Professionally, what do you see as your biggest achievement? What has been the greatest challenge you have faced?
Being one of a small group of people to build a bridge between Nashville and Hollywood. The motivation behind this? Creating new financial and creative opportunities for the local music industry, which has been hit hard by technology and pirating. As a music supervisor, I must pay for music; I can’t steal it or stream it. As a producer, a network or studio must pay for the content I help create. When I first began this journey in 2002 it seemed far out of reach; today I feel it is within our grasp.
The biggest challenge I have and do face is my commitment to living in Nashville. As a music supervisor I really should be based in LA or NY, but instead I commute. That’s one reason why I look forward to the day more film and TV content are created and controlled here, so I can live and work in Nashville.
What music is on your dinner party playlist?
I create party playlists for my guests; if it’s a party with people from out of town I include songs by my favorite Nashville-based artists. If it’s a dinner party with family and chosen friends I would play music by artists like The Mavericks, Ruby Amanfu, Trent Dabbs, The Head and the Heart, Chris Stapleton, Punch Brothers, Lee Ann Womack, The Saint Johns, Beck, Stacey Randol, Kaleo, Mindy Smith … oh, there are too many to list.
Where can we find you hanging out around town?
What is your next restaurant destination?
What do you think distinguishes Nashville from other Southern cities?
The creative community and how friendly we are
What is the best piece of advice you have received, and from whom?
Years ago, my friend Laray Mayfield (casting director) said, “The opportunities you say no to are just as important as the ones you accept; think quality not quantity.”
What’s your bucket list travel destination?
Bali, Singapore and anywhere else I can scuba dive.
What’s on your personal reading list right now?
What are three things you can’t live without excluding faith, family and friends?
My dogs, music and laughter
Thank you to Anastasia for your dedication to artists and their crafts. And special thanks to Ashley Hylbert for today’s gorgeous photos.
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