#TuesdayTalks Brian Grazer | Tracey DiNunzio

#TuesdayTalks – Brian Grazer | Tracey DiNunzio

Innovators that Inspire Us to Dream Bigger

photos by Jason Do
There are those that have their own path and those whose paths affect us all in the most beautiful way. Invited this year to meet two people paving the way for us all, Producer and Writer, Brian Grazer and Designer and Visionary, Tracey DiNunzio, this was an evening to remember. Brian Grazer is most notably a name you see on the regular paired beside Director, Ron Howard as he’s the co-founder of Imagine Entertainment. A writer/producer, Brian is known for two things: crazy hair and beautiful films. Tracey DiNunzio is the brilliant mind behind making the way we see and buy fashion absolutely effortless with her company, TRADESY.

Brian Grazer has long since been a filmmaker that has been a benchmark for quality, heart, and purpose. The films he is a part of all tend to have a common theme: courage, strength, and unity. I’ve always admired that and so when the opportunity came along through the beautiful social university, the IVY, I was elated.

The IVY is a social experiment meant to inspire one another to inspire each other. Through collaboration and the visionary culprits eager for positive change in this world, it’s a way of bringing brilliant, open minds together to create something magnificent.

This Los Angeles night as the heat left remnants of summer on our glistened skin, we were brought together to be reminded that anything is possible and there were few better ways to do that than with two innovative entrepreneurs and visionaries that have tackled their careers with total abandon.

In fact both Brian and Tracey have a wonderful commonality: they didn’t let anyone else dictate how they were going to make a change.

Moments after arriving, I saunter to the bar to greet the team from UpTime who have sponsored the evening’s libations. I let the bartender choose and as I sip, I have a rare moment before the talk to sit down with Tracey.

First of all, you won’t meet a more poised, down to earth, kind, gracious woman. She is tall with a great smile, a keen sense of style and dark rimmed glasses that just seem to fit her to a tee. In other words, she may be a success but she is in no way unapproachable. The minute we met, I felt like I was sitting down to talk with one of my dearest friends.

DG: What was the first experience you had growing up that woke up your desire to work, not just in the art world, but in fashion?

TD: Wow, that’s a good question!! I never thought about that one before. Ya know, when I was young I always wanted to be an artist and I always thought that was the only thing I would do and there were a lot of experiences that informed that. I found that being creative and learning as something that kept me alive, ya know?

DG: I actually completely get that! Do you remember the first piece of art you saw that really opened up your mind?

TD: I do. It was a self portrait by Frida Kahlo. I knew I was an artist the minute I saw her. 

DG: She was one of the most fearless women in a time when women weren’t supposed to be. That’s how Anais Nin is for me.

TD: Oh my gosh! That’s so crazy. You and I are vibing! I went and lived in Mexico because I was obsessed with Frida Kahlo and while I was there I read all of the Diaries of Anais Nin! I read Spy in the House of Love and I read the first diary and it was like meditation.

I love to be human, to be multi-faceted. 

DG: What is your favorite aspect of your day to day?

TD: My team. When I started, I thought that “I” wanted to be successful and after attaining a little bit of success  I realized that having it for me wasn’t as rewarding as I’d expected it would be but seeing my team succeed, helping to empower them to realize their full capabilities, that is the most rewarding thing I could ever ask for. 

I still can’t believe that you and I connected when I said Frida Kahlo and you said Anais Nin! Those are two women that inspire so much. The Frida Diaries, Anais’ diaries – it just proves we are complex creatures no matter how much that threat of male ego is present. 

It’s difficult to be creative when you’re unwilling to realize the power of empowering others to be creative as well. Talking with Tracey is proof that women can do and achieve anything but to be a woman who lifts others up to take them alongside of you? That’s everything.


Before I had a moment to talk with Brian Grazer, he is talking to another journalist about the importance of faith and language and finding the commonality knowing we all access those things sharing the same common needs.

I would love to see people heighten their sense of empathy and understanding so we can achieve a better humanity.

While I may have only had a minute with Brian, it was a minute that put a smile on his face as I asked one poignant question to which no one had really ever asked him …

ATOD: Of all of the projects that you’ve worked on, is there a project you haven’t done that you’ve always wanted to do?

In a moment, his look of focus sparked a glimmer in his eyes and a smile began to form around the crevices of his mouth and he said:

BG: Yeah, there is! But you know, your mind sometimes becomes so random but a while ago I created a story that was to be a movie called “Lost In Translation”. I gave that title to Sofia Coppola but what “Lost In Translation” was about was a first contact tribe and within this first contact tribe, there was a language that could not be decoded. Within the language, if you could get beneath the language was the understanding of what the meaning of life was about. And that’s why it was called “Lost in Translation”. 

ATOD: Well, I’d love to see that! 

BG: Good, good! Me too! 

 

Thank you for continuing to inspire me, Mr. Grazer! Imagine Entertainment makes some of my all time favorite films and it was a tremendous honor talking with you.

In 2015, Brian also published a NY Bestselling book called, “A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life”.

He is currently working on:

Curious George (producer | announced) (2018)

The Dark Tower (TV Series) (executive producer | announced) (2017)

American Made (producer | completed) (2017)

The Dark Tower (producer | post-production) (2017)

24: Legacy (TV Series) (executive producer – 12 episodes | announced)

– 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. (2017) … (executive producer)
– 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. (2017) … (executive producer)
– 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. (2017) … (executive producer)
– Episode #1.12 … (executive producer)
– Episode #1.11 … (executive producer)
Genius (TV Series) (executive producer – 10 episodes | filming)
– Episode #1.10 (2017) … (executive producer)
– Episode #1.9 (2017) … (executive producer)
– Episode #1.8 (2017) … (executive producer)
– Episode #1.7 (2017) … (executive producer)
– Episode #1.6 (2017) … (executive producer)
Shots Fired (TV Series) (executive producer | post-production) (2017)