Peter Paul Basler
Burbank Arts Newsletter May 20 – June 2
1) Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
My name is Peter Paul Basler. I am an independent filmmaker. If there is a role in filmmaking, I have done it! But most importantly, I am a Writer and Director. I grew up on the east coast with dreams of being Luke Skywalker and of making Star Wars movies! And while I knew I wanted to create movie magic at a young age … I soon found that there wasn’t an easy blue print to do so when you grow up in suburban New jersey.
I did a work-study program while on study abroad in Australia, working on a TV Show for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Upon graduation in 1995, I set out to Wilmington NC where I worked on my first feature film “Bastard Out of Carolina” based on the award winning novel. The film was amazing, the work environment on that film not so much. I figured that I had put working in film and television in my rear view until the itch returned 6 years later.
n 2001 with money that I raised from family and friends, I wrote and directed my first feature film “Just Add Pepper” which is a romantic comedy shot in my home state of New Jersey. That experience was so amazing, that I soon followed that up with a fully improvised feature called “Reality & Stuff” that featured some of the best and brightest from New York City’s famed Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. In 2003 and 2004, while teaching television and film at a local high school I also managed to write and direct an independent television series “As Cool As Jennifer.”
In the mid 2000s my love for film brought my wife and me to Burbank to be in the heart of the movie industry. We have been here ever since. I have worked on big budget, micro budget and all other size films in between. Burbank CA has been good to me for sure!
Today, I am writing and developing series for television. I have focused my professional energy on directing for television and am continually looking for avenues to do so.
2) How did you first become interested in film & television?
My father took me to watch the original “Star Wars” in a movie theater when I was maybe six years old. It was both my first time in a theater and the first film I ever watched. When the credits rolled I was so upset it was over I hung onto my chair and refused to leave screaming and crying until my dad went out bought us two tickets and we watched it again…
That experience cemented my course at an early age. From then on, I wanted to work in TV and Film. I know that in some small measure I’ve been chasing that original cinematic rush in every film I work on. Film & TV can be magic. There is nothing better than to watch the lights go down and the screen fill with something you have created!
3) How can art enrich a community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
Well, there are few places better on this planet to live that are better than Burbank if you are a filmmaker. Everyone it seems has some connection to the motion picture industry here! You have the best actors, costumers, assistant directors, composers… you name it and the best are here! Use them! They want to create and work on good projects with you.
Burbank Film Festival is an up and coming festival. I LOVE the Valley Film Fest too and all they do to celebrate the 818! The history of film and television abounds here in Burbank. Growing up on the east coast, I sometimes have to remind myself to stop and take in all these special places that surround me.
Whenever I feel like the filmmaking process is getting me down. When it’s not fun and it starts to feel like work, I usually film something to submit to a festival. I know I need to get back to my passion and share it with others…
4) If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
It feels great to make something that touches others. There is no greater high than that. I used to think that saying you are an “artist” was so pretentious. But if you embrace the idea that art is something amazing and that its something that moves those who experience it, then being an artist is just damn awesome. Embrace your inner artist!
To learn more about Peter and his work, visit https://peterpaulbasler.com/