10 to Watch: Martin Brown

Once in the Baz Luhrmann braintrust, Brown strikes out on his own

After spending 10 years as a key member of Baz Luhrmann’s creative team, Martin Brown is busily developing films at his own shingle.

Brown launched Martin Brown Films after “Moulin Rouge” preemed at the Cannes Film Festival last year, marking an amicable end to an association with the helmer that began when Brown served as art director on “Strictly Ballroom.”

Originally from Tasmania, the son of a builder and a bookkeeper, he started out in live theater, managing and producing dozens of shows and events. Later he moved onto commercials and musicvideos. The latter experience came in handy when he produced Luhrmann’s first solo album, “Something for Everybody.”

Heading his own company, Brown is focusing on providing production services to international film projects seeking to shoot in Australia as well as developing and producing Australian films for the international market.

He’s developing several films including “Brothers in Arms,” which has director Michael Jenkins attached; “Mozart Maulers”; and “Time’s Arrow.” Sydney-based Content Capital is seeding “Brothers in Arms,” based on the true story of a vicious war between biker gangs in Sydney in 1984, and serving as its exec producer. Emil Stern is attached to helm “Time’s Arrow,” adapted from the Martin Amis novel of the same name, a mystery that follows a man’s life in reverse from his birth at age 80 to his death.

“Mozart Maulers” is the true story of Dorian Mode, a Sydney Conservatorium of Music piano student whose counselor suggests he forms a rugby team with other students to combat his anxiety attacks.


Primary producer credits: Co-producer: “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet” Producer: “Moulin Rouge”

Definition of a producer: “A masochistic control freak with a gift for psychiatric nursing who prefers the walk on the red carpet to be uninterrupted by any media recognition.”

Strengths: “I hope, story structure, physical production and a high resistance to panic.”

Achilles’ heel: “On-set catering, especially dessert, and brilliant writing.”