This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, host Gary Scott Thomas had a fascinating conversation with our guest, Darren Haruo Rae, a Japanese-American producer and director based in Los Angeles. Darren shares his journey from being a movie enthusiast to becoming an accomplished filmmaker.
Darren’s love for film was sparked by his father’s passion for movies and his extensive laserdisc collection. Tune into this insightful episode where they also talked about assessing one’s own work, learning by doing, understanding commercial filming vs. authentic performances, and much more!
Filmmaking isn’t just about what you see on screen; it’s also about those behind-the-scenes heroes who make magic happen every day.
This episode is sponsored by:
In This Episode:
- The Genesis of a Filmmaker
- The Academic Pursuit
- A Nostalgic Affair with Physicality
- Influences Inspirations
- Behind-the-Scenes Intricacies
- Self-assessment and Growth
- The Art Of Compromise In Filmmaking
- Directorial Philosophy
- Casting Decisions And Actor Inputs
- Persistence, Patience, and Timing
- Physical Fitness In Cinema
- Representation And Diversity
- Respect For Personal Stories
- The Importance Of Storytelling
- Historical Events As Source Material
- Remembering History Through Film
- Cultural Expectations And Screenwriting
- Superhero Movies And Corporate Control
- Balancing Commercial Work With Personal Projects
- Dream Collaborations
“I think a big part of being a director is that, essentially, you’re the one that has to pull the plug and say, that’s good enough.” ~ Darren Haruo Rae
“It’s really just making yourself available and just believing yourself and staying, you know, true to yourself and even just hoping that opportunity will come.” ~ Darren Haruo Rae
“The biggest thing I can tell them is, 1, Just make stuff. Even if you don’t feel ready, just make stuff.” ~ Darren Haruo Rae
“The point of the director, in my opinion, is being able to facilitate your actors, being able to work with photographer, your production designer, and your sound designer; you’re the person at the moment having to make the decisions. You’re the yes or no.” ~ Darren Haruo Rae
Darren Haruo Rae is a Japanese-American producer and director based in Los Angeles who co-founded the boutique production company Roann Films. He has directed high-profile commercials and branded content for clients such as Western Digital, Airbnb, and Cisco. Rae’s directorial debut, Park Arcadia, garnered Best Screenplay at the 2014 International Film Festival Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. His latest film, Nisei, inspired by his Japanese-American grandfather’s WWII experiences in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, earned Best Drama and Audience Choice at the 2023 Poppy Jasper Film Festival and continues its festival circuit, screening at Indy Shorts by Heartland Film, LA Shorts International Film Festival, HollyShorts Film Festival, and Cinequest Film Festival.
Currently, Rae is the series producer for the MasterClass G.O.A.T. Original Series and is producing the feature film Surrender, starring Andrea Bang. Surrender was selected as one of Film Independent’s Fast Track fellowship program’s top 10 narrative fiction features and is slated for production in 2023.