Diane Dresback – 2012 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year

Diane Dresback – 2012 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year

IFP Phoenix member Diane Dresback was presented with the 2012 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year award by the Phoenix Film Foundation, at this year’s Phoenix Film Festival.  “I was completely surprised and definitely not very coherent at the mic!” laughs Diane, “but, I am very humbled to have been honored with this award and follow in the steps of some extremely talented filmmakers.”

Diane has been active in the local film community since 2007, but this year marked a breakout year for her in both quantity and quality.  In the past year, she has written, directed and/or produced six short films, a feature film, documented a ten day mission trip to Ethiopia and even threw her hat in the ring and Co-Produced with Steve Briscoe (Director) a Doritos spec commercial.

Diane has over 26 years experience in the financial and travel industries in Human Resources and Training, filling many management and executive-level positions.  For seven years she also was co-owner of a video production company, at which time she met long-time industry friend, Steve Wargo (SWAT HD) who commented, “She is organized, hard working and will see any task through to completion.”  

Although Diane has written several feature length screenplays, in 2011 she had the opportunity to write and co-produce her first feature film, PARANOIA.  The film was directed and co-produced by long-time filmmaking friend, Bivás Biswas (2008 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year) and  Director of Photography, Javier Gomez.   Paranoia had its World Premiere at this years Phoenix Film Festival and involved over 120 Arizona cast, crew and post-production individuals, and utilized 17 locations over 18 production days.  Bivás commented, “Even though PARANOIA was Diane’s first feature length project as producer, she displayed the finesse of an experienced producer while switching hats between being a location manager, line producer and production manager.”

L to R: Webb Pickersgill, Jason Carney, Diane Dresback, Chris LaMont

Diane and her teams participate in local film challenges through IFP Phoenix and the Almost Famous Film Festival (A3F).  Diane teamed up with Webb Pickersgill (2009 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year), to participate in the A3F Musical Challenge where they collaborated to create the short film WISH INC.  “I was excited to finally get to collaborate with her as the cinematographer on the project.  Diane had a tall order to fill that weekend: producing, writing, and directing; She knocked all three out of the park.  I was so happy to finally get to work with her!”  WISH INC. won Best Script, 2nd Place Audience Favorite and 3rd Place Film and is currently an official selection into two film festivals (The Phoenix Film Festival, Winnipeg Real to Reel Film Festival).  Diane’s most recent A3F 48 Hour Film Challenge film, BLACK CLOUD, placed the team in the Top Twenty and won a 3rd Place Audience Favorite award.

Actor Gino Calabro has worked with Diane on several projects and describes his experience with her, “Diane really cares for every aspect of her projects, especially the crew and talent, painstakingly ensuring everyone is on point and taken care of at the same time.”  Actress Machelle Glassburn, part of the cast on Diane’s short film, WINDING ROAD for which they won a Best Ensemble Acting award at the IFP Phoenix Film Challenge Finals, states, “She makes it very clear what she wants from you as an actor and then works with you to bring it out in a very calm and supportive manner.”

Devon and Diane Dresback

Diane’s son, Devon Dresback, is also a local filmmaker.  It’s always fun to see their friendly rivalry when they compete against each other in film challenges.  And rewarding when their close collaboration on projects, such as COME FOLLOW ME, that won Best Film, Best Director (Devon) and two actor awards and as of now has been an official selection into three film festivals (Phoenix, NFFTY, Sunscreen). “I get the best, most honest feedback on my scripts from ‘my boys’.”  Diane’s other son, Trenton, works in Austin as a Game Designer for Sony Online Entertainment.  “When the family gets together, our conversations always revolve around creative topics!”

Bret Kalmbach and Diane Dresback

For the IFP Phoenix Masterpiece Challenge, Diane worked with Director of Photography, Bret Kalmbach on WINDING ROAD that won 2nd Place, Best Cinematographer, Best Ensemble Acting and Best Trailer (Jerrod Saba).  Bret comments, “Diane’s very in-depth pre-production, even with a small window of time, helped to ensure that we didn’t miss anything on set and that everything flowed without issues.  She was able to maintain her schedule even with very limited shooting times without sacrificing her vision, which is a trait I think is something most directors don’t have.”

Diane’s plans for the next year, of course include some short films.  However, she is most excited about the development of a feature-length screenplay which she hopes will be her  feature film directorial debut.  “We all know this is a collaborative process and I have learned from and enjoyed working with so many very talented individuals on our films both in front of and behind the camera.  I believe each person, no matter their involvement, brings something unique and of value to a film project.”

Watch for more projects from Diane Dresback, over at Mindclover Productions (www.mindclover.com).