After he and his wife devoted more than three decades building Intercoast Colleges into a successful for-profit educational institution with branches throughout the country, two years ago Christopher Sean Brown made an epic decision to walk away and follow his dream of moviemaking.
“I was always into television and film, and was always around the film, television and radio business,” said Brown. “I’ve been around the entertainment industry all my life.”
Brown, whose father worked as the head of Armed Forces Radio and Television for 35 years, learned about the television business by watching his father rise from reporter to the chief of radio and television operations over the course of his career.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Brown began his career in television as a producer and writer during the late 70’s and early 80’s. As a writer, he wrote for various television shows, and as a producer made The Gary Owens All Nonsense News Network television show when he was just 24 years old.
Juggling a career in television and a three year old daughter, Brown still remembers the conversation with his father that pushed him away from the entertainment industry.
“My dad, had been in the business and knew how hard it was and understood that he was one of the very lucky ones because not only was he in the radio and television business, but he got a government check every single week so he was very solid. That’s the type of thing he wanted for his kids,” says Brown. “So he says to me with my daughter standing there, ‘You know, you can make a fortune in this business.’ Then he looks at my daughter and looks back at me and said, ‘just not a living.’”
Leaving the entertainment industry behind, Brown then transitioned into education, where he and his wife found success by building a college from the ground up over three decades. What started as one school with 12 students eventually grew into a student body of 1800 students across 10 locations of Intercoast Colleges from California to Maine. Because his wife, Geeta, is president of Intercoast, Brown felt comfortable stepping aside to follow his calling.
“About three years ago, I remembered how much I loved show business,” said Brown. “That’s when I knew I wanted to go back.”
Returning to the entertainment industry, Brown decided to add films to his work in television. He has worked as an executive producer and producer for a number of projects, including films for the Starz premium television network.
“Sometimes I finance, sometimes I’m the producer, sometimes I’m the executive producer and sometimes I’m all three, it just depends,” said Brown. “Some of the projects I have I’m an executive producer because I facilitate putting all the people together. Others, the smaller projects, I’m actually right in the studio, on set or on location, as the producer.”
Currently, Brown is in pre-production for two films, one of them being part of the Starz network and the other a smaller scale comedy-horror flick titled “Foreclosure.” He is also involved in an untitled Rob Schneider project and part of the co-production of a film with horror film aficionado, Steven Schneider.
Despite everything that comes with working in such a demanding industry, Brown prides himself on staying true to his beliefs, his family and his work.
“In Hollywood, the most powerful thing you can say is no. So, when I told my wife that I would love to get back into this business it’s because I have the ability to say no to projects,” said Brown. “Being able to do that, allows me control the situation and I can work with who I want to work with. Now I have a large group of people with whom I collaborate; they are honest and have integrity and those are the most important traits to have in this business.”