SPOTLIGHT: BRENT GEISLER, PRODUCER/1st AD
This series of posts highlights some of our local industry talent: on-screen and behind-the-scenes, established and up-and-coming.
Brent Geisler is the producer of Little Women, Jane & Emma, and is currently the 1st AD on Disney Channel’s Andi Mack. Brent started in the industry around 2001 as a set PA with the dream of becoming a director. He worked for many years as a PA and AD until he joined the Directors Guild and hasn’t looked back since.
Is this career path something you always wanted to pursue, and how did you initially get into the industry?
Working on movies was a childhood dream. There wasn’t a plan B and every day I feel blessed to do what I love for a living. I started as an intern on a short film and then a day player PA on Touched by an Angel and various commercials until I finally met Don Schain, a writer/director/producer who gave me my first Disney Channel movie gig in 2002. Since then, I’ve done over 20 projects with Don.
Can you tell us about your experience, both living and working in Utah?
Utah was my film school and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love working and learning in Utah and couldn’t see myself doing it this way anywhere else. It was my path. Utah is my film family and there is nothing that can compare. We’ve all worked together for years. We’ve got each other’s back and want to welcome and help grow the next generations into solid filmmakers.
How do you typically prepare for a job?
How do I prepare for a job? Lots of sleep.
I will basically hibernate for a week before and a week after. Although I love my job, it is often extremely exhausting and very stressful.
How much of a Utah presence did you feel on the set of Utah-made productions that you have worked on (in terms of locations, cast and crew)?
Utah has such a deep well of talent and experience with the feeling of family and friends. There are such amazing and beautiful people in this state. Consequently, the people are one of the main reasons why Utah is such a special place to live and work… and there’s also the mountains!
If you could work with anyone or anything, who or what would it be?
My dream director to work with would be Spike Jonze. I’m obsessed with his filmmaking style and movies. He’s the absolute coolest. My dream job would be to work on a Star Wars film. But just in Utah alone, I’ve had the chance to work with Steven Soderbergh, Lawrence Kasdan, Anthony Hopkins, and so many other amazing talents.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
Fun Facts: I’m super adventurous, I love to skydive and wake surf. I love and live music and will travel the globe to hear it and see it. I love to play records and often DJ downtown on the weekends just to get my fix. I’m excited about a new show I’m developing called Bandwagon and hope to direct my script into my first feature film.
What advice would you give to a local who is trying to get into the industry?
I don’t remember a time that Utah was so busy and this is a great time to get into the industry. It’s busy and we really need the help. If it’s something you think you want to do as a career, Utah is definitely the place to do it.