Dylan Brodie grew up inside the Cherokee Nation. To be specific, he calls Ramona, Oklahoma, home. It’s a charming town in Adair County with a population of 500, give or take a few.
He grew up as a small-town boy with big dreams of bright lights — movie lights.
He turned that childhood dream into reality as he is now considered a seasoned member of the Oklahoma film industry. He’s served in a variety of roles, from production manager and location scout to executive producer and 2nd assistant director. Brodie has worked on notable feature films with A-list names such as Matt Damon and Clint Eastwood, gained experience with major production houses, and been part of screenings at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.
His credits in feature films include “The Mule,” “Minari,” “American Gods” and “Wildlife.” He has worked on projects for A24/Plan B, Warner Bros. Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, HGTV, STARZ and The Sundance Labs, amongst others. Brodie is also a member of The Producers Guild of America and specializes in both production management and location management.
Maybe you, too, are sitting inside the Cherokee Nation, reading this and dreaming of being in film. CNFO continues to visit with Natives in the industry plus filmmakers, crew and talent who have called the Cherokee Nation home to their projects, such as Brodie, who is not Native but an ally. He understands the importance of the film industry to our area and what it brings to our communities. We visited with him for some Q&A to tap into his insight and get his advice on getting your career started in film.
CNFO: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far in film?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in film, sadly, is one that we can’t use until later in our careers because we have to make life happen and pay the bills. That lesson is to listen to your own taste and make the movies you want to see. The goal is not about making projects with the biggest budgets, but instead, it’s making films that you’re passionate about. We only get so much time on this Earth, and the hours on a film set are ridiculously long, and we go for long stretches of time without seeing our loved ones, so spend that time furthering your dream if you can.
What advice would you give those wanting a similar career path?
The piece of advice I always go back to is that pedigree doesn’t decide your fate in the film industry. Someone can have all of the connections in the world and could have gone to a prestigious film school, but that person can never outwork you. It’s your work ethic and attitude that will keep getting you hired on film sets. Get your foot in the door and don’t let it out. My second piece of advice is to live below your means. It will help you in being able to pick the projects you want to work on and not have to take the money gigs.
What is the most memorable project you’ve worked on and why?
My most memorable project was 2018’s “The Mule,” directed by Clint Eastwood. The work not only was a thrill because it took me across several states on a whirlwind adventure, but I was able to see a dream realized in (Clint) Eastwood’s workflow. Clint has a team that he has been working with for, in some cases, decades, and they have formed a shorthand that comes with years of experience and mutual trust. We’re truly fortunate to be able to do this for a living, but to spend your entire career making films efficiently with people you love would be the icing on the cake.
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