Meredith Hama-Brown is a dynamic actress based out of Vancouver, BC...
"Meredith Hama-Brown is a writer, actor and director from Vancouver, British Columbia. Her work as a director has appeared in various international film festivals including: Fantastic Fest in Austin Texas, Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, Philadelphia International Film Festival and Fantasia International Film Festival.
As an actor, she has appeared in a number of independent films and commercials. She has worked with several notable directors including Sophie Jarvis, Matthew Tichenor, The Room and Vincent Haycock. Her work as an actor has screened worldwide at various festivals, including Vancouver International Film Festival, Morbido Film Festival (Mexico), Seattle International Asian American Film Festival and New Renaissance Film Festival (Amsterdam) where she was nominated for Best Actress. She also has begun to delve into the comedic world of improvisation and is currently studying at Blind Tiger Comedy.
In her work as both a director and actor, she likes to explore complex psychological themes. Her projects as a writer/director often centre around the issues of power dynamics in a relationship, identity and the ego, and mortality."
There is a lot to be said for the exceptionally talented actress Meredith Hama-Brown and her career in the film industry. Having been the lead character in several notable short films including, the award winning 'Cinephiliac' (director Matthew Tichenor), 'Lifeguard' (Directors Devan Scott and Will Ross) and 'Wild Nothing' (Director Adrian St Louis) - she is quickly establishing herself as a class act in the indie industry. With more short film appearances on the way, she is also working on a number of self directed films that will be incredibly interesting to see come to fruition, including a recently finished short stop motion film and a live action short set to begin its production soon.
Today, we want to highlight some of Meredith's best work to date and give you the low down on what's to come next. First off, we want to talk about 'Cinephiliac' - a very interesting and ambitious short film as it was shot over a year and a half. It took place in a sort of nightmare-ish world where the character is thrust into various genre films (like a Western, a Horror, a Sci-Fi, a Romantic Comedy, etc). It did very well at several festivals and got numerous awards and nominations for both her acting and the concept behind it. This film really does show a diverse range of her skills as an actor and allows you to see her in a few different lights during its roughly 34 minute duration.
'Lifeguard' premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival and is a thought provoking short that follows a young lifeguard as she sets about her routine of marshalling day-to-day chaos. She struggles to find meaning through the observation of the various beach-goers she encounters. However, when she is faced with violent altercations, she realizes that perhaps she must confront a life void of any true purpose. An interesting concept to say the least and Meredith does a great job at portraying the character as she comes to her realization.
Lastly, as we wrap this up, make sure you check out her full body of work on her personal site at www.meredithhama-brown.com and keep an eye out for her unreleased films in the next few months. She has a ton of stuff we didn't even mention that's on its way, so you just may see her work at your next film festival if you're lucky. Also, we got the chance to do a short interview with her to talk about her background, what makes her tick and what's coming next - which you can read in full down below! Enjoy!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and where you're from? What did you do before you started doing film work?
I’m from a couple small towns on Vancouver Island. My parents divorced when I was young so I split my time between Qualicum Beach and Parksville. Before I started working professionally in film, I got a degree in film production at the University of British Columbia. And before that I was doing some traveling.
What’s an unusual habit or absurd thing that you love?
I seem to love a lot of dorky things. For example, I love to play board games. And I also love computer games. It’s the sort of thing I do when I’m too tired to do work or anything more fun. I don’t even like the good computer games though; I like the kind of bland ones like Freecell or even online Yahtzee.
What made you fall in love with film?
I think I’ve always just loved stories in general. According to my stepdad, when I was a kid I would watch a movie and then enthusiastically recite the entire plot back to him on more than one occasion. I also read and wrote a lot when I was young. So getting into film specifically was a very natural fit for me. Once I learned more about all of the combined elements of film (cinematography, acting, sound, music, editing, etc) I just grew to love and appreciate it more.
What's one BAD piece of advice you've heard about being an actor/director and getting into the industry?
The bad pieces of advice that stand out to me are the times when people have been overly negative, jaded or have had a very strict idea of how things should be. Either how certain projects should be to be successful or how a person should approach their career. I think that these sorts of mindsets are confining. The best outcomes for me have generally come from taking a risk. And, when people are overly negative or bitter, I just don’t think that type of advice is helpful.
My dream project is very simply to be working on meaningful projects with people I respect creatively. It’s hard for me to answer exactly what the project would be because the types of projects I love are so varied. The main thing is that a dream project is something that I, and the people around me, care deeply about.
What was the best or most worthwhile investment you've ever made for your career? (Could be money, time, energy...etc)
The best investment I’ve made for my career has probably been the work that I have done to better myself personally. I really believe that it’s important to work through any mental blocks, with or without professional help. I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out how to clarify what I want in my life and the type of person I want to be. This work has made me more resilient, focused and strong.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)
This might be sort of similar to my previous answer, but again, I think it is important to be proactive about these issues. With creative work, it is so easy to feel this way from time to time. I try to listen to what my emotions are saying to me—like if I feel this way because something is wrong or if it’s just general fear of the unknown. If it’s the former then I try to make changes accordingly. And if it’s the latter then I try to work through that fear and keep going. But then sometimes I just drop the ball and don’t do anything about it too!
What are your plans for this year film wise? Are there any upcoming films that you can tell us about?
Yes, I have quite a few things on the horizon. I had the pleasure of acting in two beautiful short films that will be released to film festivals soon. One is called “Medical Drama” by Sophie Jarvis and the other is “A Backward Glance” by Michelle Grady.
I also recently finished shooting a short, stop motion film called “Mind Mirror”. It is only 3 minutes long but it took 3 years to make! So that will be a very exciting project to release in a few months.
And lastly, I’m currently in pre-production for the next live action film I’m directing. This will be shot in June and will hopefully be touring film festivals early next year.