Brett A. Hart

Brett A. Hart - Is an Emmy award winning Director, Writer, Producer, and owner of Hart & Soul Entertainment. Passionate about the business of humanity and telling stories that resonate, Hart is dedicated to reaching the hearts and minds of his viewers. Falling in love with the cinema as a child it is no wonder that after film school at The University of Texas at Austin, Hart has nourished a diverse skill set in film making over a forty year span, he has worked heavily in advertising, feature film, and television, leading to award winning directing, editing and cinematography.

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For over a decade, he was the creative director of one of 
the most innovative advertising agencies in the midwest and has become known for his unique and innovative cinematic vision. Influenced
early on by his mentor Director, Richard Franklin (who was himself mentored by the legendary, Alfred Hitchcock), Hart has stayed steadfast, carrying the torch of suspense as seen in his early films, “Dead End” and “Bone Dry” (starring Lance Henriksen and Luke Goss). A change of pace came with a move back to his college town of Austin, Texas where he directed his PBS series, ’Ain’t it Cool With Harry Knowles’ (sponsored by IMAX and originally produced with The Nerdist Channel In conjunction with Jim Henson Productions and Broadway Video). The show honored the work of Hollywood’s greatest actors, directors and writers and is a cinematic treasure trove of interviews with such mavericks as Burt Reynolds, Danny Boyle, Tim Burton, Leonard Molten, JJ Abrams, Wes Craven and Earnest Kline, to name a few. Now living in Los Angles, Hart has several projects on the horizon, having teamed up with Legendary Actor Christopher Lloyd and Emmy Winning Writer Rob Kutner ("Conan O’ Brien”) to film a pitch for an anthology series now presently in development.

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recently Hart has been praised for his diverse casting and female focused film, “Coffee With Exes”, winning over 28 awards including Best Director. With a documentary in production, several feature films and television series’ in development with Todd Fisher and HMPE, Hart is thankful to be doing it all along side his wife, writer/ producer/ composer, Bonnie E. Hart.

“Humanity is our business” - Rod Serling

1. What is the story behind your music video?
Robert Smith’s, Love Song, is just that; a song about love and the simplicity of it…to be with another person and to feel more like yourself with them than without them. This love can be romantic, platonic or about the love between family members.


“However, far away, I will always love you, However, long I stay, I will always love you….” The lyrics say it all and the video reflected the sentiment during with a clear message of longing and wanting desperately to convey that although we couldn’t leave the house to see our families due to the infancy of COVID … our children, that our love was always and will ALWAYS be with them.


2. What should people take away, gain, realize after watching your music video?
When I first heard Bonnie working on the cover for the Cure’s, Love Song, I told her we had to make a music video. It was the best rendition of one of my favorite bands; and when another filmmaker friend of mine, Jordan Perry, called me from the set of ‘John Wick’, in the UK to say the exact same thing, I knew we had something special. But, the truth is that we were in the height of the Pandemic when we filmed and this video was a love note to our families who we were painfully separated from. None of us knew what our futures had instore or if we had futures at all.
Similarly, in another music video we just released, ‘Christmas Next Year’ - I could tell that this was going to be a unique song as it tackles emotions avoided and rarely explored during the holidays. Bonnie’s song struck me as being almost an evolution of one of my favorite Prince songs, ‘Another Lonely Christmas’, which I don’t think she had heard at that time. I tend to lean towards material that isn’t always wrapped up like a traditional Hollywood ending or a Hallmark film. So, I relished in diving into the production with my wife and capturing the truth of longing to be with family when separated by distance or hardships. I’m immensely proud of her for writing something that not everyone will get or want to avoid connecting to… but those who do… will fully appreciate the sentiment. I guess both songs and Music Videos (because they were written in the time of Covid) have a theme of cherishing life and time with our loved ones while we still can.

3. Do you think that films/music video can change people for the better or for the worse?
I personally think Music is perhaps the single most powerful form of communication. Through the art of noise, we can understand the emotions that an artist wishes to convey; regardless of if we even speak the same language. I also think that film is an equally powerful medium that we need to take very seriously when we share with the world. For the combined marriage of film and music can be a lethal weapon if executed responsibly. Together they can potentially take an audience into aberrant depths or be the wings that lift their hearts to soar.

4. How was the creation of your project at the time of COVID-19?
Honestly, although a terrifying once in a lifetime experience, the Pandemic allowed us to flourish in ways that might not have normally been considered. The world caught up with what I had already been championing since the scoring of my debut film “Bone Dry”. That is, that we can stay just as connected through a virtual world. For my debut thriller, we used the FILMharmonic Orchestra of Prague and did our recording sessions remotely.

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I also think working on the music video was key to helping us stay focused and positive during such a dark time; and I feel that we intuitively created work that reflected how most of the world was feeling at that point and time. One key factor that I took away from the production was that when you love what you do and who you’re doing it with, you can work magic. Other than the spectacular arial shots that our dear friend Alex Kavanagh gifted us, Bonnie and I shot, Lit, Directed, Composed, Performed and Edited the rest of production entirely by ourselves. I feel the video holds up just as well as my million-dollar feature film production of ‘Bone Dry’, that had a cast of thousands working on it. I am equally proud of the results from our music videos that are truly labors of love.

5. What creation style did you use in the production of your project? What cameraman elements did you use?
Other than the arial shots of desolate streets in and around Los Angeles, we did the entire production in our own home; from composing, performing, filming, editing and post effects. We didn’t want to risk being exposed to the Pandemic so we just turned our home into a Creative Shangri la.

6. How did you select the actors for your project?
Whether filming a comedy, thriller, drama, music video or commercial we always set out to find the best talent for our productions. And since these were so personal, it just made sense to cast ourselves and family to tell our stories. We’re all very honest and real people… with a natural affinity for the dramatic… so it was effortless.

7. Why do you think your film should appeal to distributors?
Although we are in this world-class film festival under the Music Video category, I should point out that we do go to locations (most recently, Colorado) to not only shoot Music Videos, but to also scout locations, experiment with new gear and work with new crews for future feature film projects that we are developing. So, the goal is to have our cinematic Music Videos lead towards Feature Films that we look forward to finding the right distributors to bring our visions to audiences worldwide. Our music videos are a glimpse to what our feature films will bring.

8. At which festival has your film been screened?
Thus far (with 17 nominations still to come) we are honored that our Music Videos for Love Song and Christmas Next Year, have won Best Music Video, Best Original Song, Best Director, and have been nominated and have garnered 7/7 wins including the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards, Silk Road Film Awards Cannes, Los Angeles Cinematography AWARDS (LACA), Best Shorts Competition, Cannes Shorts, Hollywood Gold Awards, IndieX Film Fest, The European Independent Film Festival, Berlin Shorts Awards. All these screenings and awards give us the gift that we are indeed connecting to the audiences… for that’s what it’s all about.

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9. How did your acquaintances react when they first saw the music video?
That’s quite an excellent question. You never know how people will respond to art. Sometimes it’s just magic and all the elements come together. Sometimes a production is like a breach birth. As an artist, your one mission is to bring your vision to life. And sometimes you may love something that others aren’t quite sure how to respond to. And the more chances you take trying to be original and tell something a little differently… the more chances you are of losing an audience. But we’ve personally found that IF we follow our intuition… IF we stay true to our gut instincts; We’ll find an audience. Thankfully, both Love Song and Christmas Next Year, connected to audiences right out of the gate. In fact, it touched my soul when some Industry professionals who I’ve known most of my life, and who are amazing auteurs themselves who don’t hand out compliments lightly, were calling to rave about the videos. Conversely, we did have a few folks that were left scratching their heads because both videos were bittersweet unconventional productions. But that’s fine… as long as we connected with members of this shared planet… then we’ve done our job that is worth our blood, sweat and tears. In the end, ART isn’t something you “just do” … art IS who we are. And Spielberg was right on the money when he said, “Intellect is the death of art”. Because, in order to truly enjoy it, you must drop the walls, surrender & celebrate emotion.

10. If you could change something in your music video, what would it be?
Not wanting to sound arrogant, but honestly nothing… because we did these as labors of love. Although, the budgets weren’t as big as some of our other productions, I feel the results were just as powerful, if not better than some. In the end, I personally was able to do what I’ve wanted to ever since laying eyes on my wife, Bonnie, and falling in love with her at first sight; I simply wanted to let her shine for all the world to see. And NOW that’s finally happening! All our work is like our brain children… but these music videos are more personal than any that I can personally think of in recent memory. And to have the honor of directing my tremendously talented wife and to capture such heart felt performances is all a filmmaker could ask for.

11. Which movies are your favorites and why?
My favorite movies are Jaws, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes and Obsession; all seen from the ages of 7 – 9 years old. Spielberg’s, ‘Jaws’, taught me about theater of the mind and how powerful our imagination is. Billy Wilder was the first to create a movie about Sherlock Holmes that I felt a kindred spirit; As Sherlock was cursed to be held hostage by his work ethic and not knowing if he’d ever find true love. DePalma’s titular ‘Obsession’ also seemed to capture some of my obsessive personality. And finally, all three HEAVILY influenced me because of their unmatched Scores; ‘Obsession’, written by Bernard Herrmann, ‘The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes’, written by Miklos Rozsa, and ‘Jaws’, written by John Williams. All three scores can arguably be considered some of their finest work. BTW, one interesting, serendipitous note about the score to ‘The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes’ is that the very same symphony I used for ‘Bone Dry’, The Filmharmonic Orchestra of Prague, were the first to re-record Rozsa’s sublime score not long after our recording session.

12. What topics do you like to address in your stories?
Our company is called Hart & Soul Entertainment and I feel it captures both of our spirits. Our mantra is a quote from Rod Serling, “Someplace between apathy and anarchy is the stance of the thinking human being; he does embrace a cause; he does take a position and can’t allow it to become business as usual. HUMANITY IS OUR BUSINESS.”


13. What is your motivation in making music videos?
When I was first breaking into the Film Industry in Dallas TX, my close friends were all doing Music Videos. All were gorgeous productions and I envied them… but I didn’t particularly want to do videos at the time. I preferred working with actors and telling mini stories through the medium of advertising and commercials. In time and after helping to build a second ad agency, I was able to steer the productions to becoming more like how I see the world - mini movies. These cinematic commercials ended up landing me an Emmy Award and getting spot lit on the Daily Show. It wasn’t until, my wife, Bonnie and I came together that I felt I was finally excited and eager to tackle Music Videos. For I feel we, Bonnie and I, don’t approach them in the same manner as they’ve traditionally been tackled. I was always a fan of the filmmakers out there who were doing more cinematic music videos as opposed to just eye candy. Fincher, Cunningham, Jonze, Mulcahy were all doing really interesting things and now that the music video industry has sort of transformed, I’ve been enjoying watching the ‘Indies’ evolve. And I guess in a way, I approach these music videos as if Soderbergh was my co-pilot. I’ve always admired how he’ll do a huge Hollywood Blockbuster and then experiment with shooting a film on a Cannon XL1 or even an iPhone. With the technological advances over the past few decades… the world is truly an independent artist’s oyster.

14. Which contemporary filmmakers motivate you the most?
Soderbergh has always been a favorite. Mangold is just F#cking mind-blowingly talented! I remember seeing a short film from USC in the 90’s and wondering years later what had happen to the filmmaker; turns out it was Matt Reeves, such an amazing talent! Also, Rian Johnson, Nicholas Winding Refn, Oz Perkins to name a few more. And almost all of the Directors involved with productions from A24 and from the TV series - Black Mirror, Peaky Blinders, The Crown, Ray Donovan, BSG and Vikings. Then, there’s all of those that have inspired me throughout my life; Spielberg, Hitchcock, Cronenberg, Antonia Bird, Tyckwer, Kathryn Bigelow, Besson, Cocteau, Lars Von Trier, Wenders, Jodi Foster, Jarmusch, Greenway, Guillermin, Peter Medak, The Hughs Brothers, Ridley Scott, Jean-Jaques Annaud, Peter Weir, De Palma, Wilder, George Roy Hill… and Rod Serling, who may not have directed but was a filmmaker at his core and the preeminent story teller.

15. What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?
We are currently in the midst of finding partners, developing & pitching several Films and Television projects that span all genres, but seem to share the same theme of the capacity of the human heart for love, betrayal and redemption. To once again quote Rod Serling, “Humanity is our business” … in addition, Bonnie has an album coming out soon titled, ‘STAY’. I’m immensely proud of my talented wife and looking very forward to creating more beautiful moments with her on screen as well.


Brett A. Hart