Robert Latham Brown

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Robert Latham Brown
Robert Brown in 2000.
Occupation(s)Film producer, line producer, author, teacher
Years active1979–present

Robert Latham Brown (born June 20, 1947) is a film producer, line producer, production manager, author, and teacher. In his 30-year film career, he has worked with Mel Brooks, George Lucas, Paul Verhoeven, Steven Spielberg and many others. His expertise in budgeting and line producing inspired Mel Brooks to nickname Brown "Mr. On-Budget".[1]

Biographical Information and Education[edit]

Brown was born in Alexandria, Virginia, and moved to Florida with his family during his junior high school years. He attended Tulane University in New Orleans where he studied biology and was a pre-med student. At the beginning of his senior year, Brown switched his major to acting and directing in the theater. Upon receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969, Brown taught in the Brevard County public school system in Florida for three years. In 1972, he applied to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television as a master's degree candidate. When he was not accepted, Brown drove across the country and made an appointment with the Dean of the Film School. Upon learning that Brown had driven all that way to see him, the Dean promptly admitted Brown to the program based on his perseverance. Brown became the graduate teaching assistant in the beginning camera class, and counted amongst his students actor and singer Ed Ames.

While at UCLA, Brown considered a career as a screenwriter and was accepted as a client at the William Morris Agency. In 1974, Brown put aside his writing career and left UCLA when he was accepted into the Directors Guild of America's Assistant Directors Training Program. Once in the DGA, Brown rose rapidly through the ranks becoming one of the youngest production managers at Universal Studios in 1978.


As producer and production manager, Brown has worked on more than 40 feature films, including the very small (Local Color, The Anarchist Cookbook) and the very large (Return of the Jedi, Starship Troopers, and Hollow Man), giving him a wide range of production experience.

Brown spent most of his early career at Universal Studios until The Thing, after which he left for Lucasfilm to work on Return of the Jedi at the invitation of Howard Kazanjian. From that point on, Brown's career has taken on a freelance aspect that has allowed him to work on an eclectic list of films and with some of the top actors in the business including Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin Bacon. During the filming of a scene with Barbra Streisand on All Night Long in which Streisand was playing a character who could not sing, Brown remembered, "...when we started to film that scene, she opened her mouth and this incredible voice came out. And everybody on the set just stood there with their mouths open listening to this. Then she stopped because she was supposed to be singing badly....It was astounding being in the room with her."[2]

Author and teacher[edit]

Brown is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, Planning the Low-Budget Film, and has been an adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts since 1996.[3] Additionally, Brown is a contributing writer to Indie Slate Magazine, writing a series of reviews on film production software.[4]

Writing Awards[edit]

Brown's book, Planning the Low-Budget Film was a finalist for the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Awards,[5] and that same year was a first-place winner in the Hollywood Book Festival.[6] In 2002, his screenplay Keats was named a semi-finalist in the 9th Annual Writer's Network Screenplay and Fiction Competition.[7] In 2020, his screenplay Xena & Jonny was named a finalist in the ScreenCraft Family Screenplay Competition.[8]

Partial filmography[edit]

Year Film Credit Notes
1979 The Concorde ... Airport '79 Unit Production Manager Credited as "Bob Brown."
1980 The Nude Bomb Unit Production Manager
The Blues Brothers Unit Production Manager
1981 All Night Long Unit Production Manager
Bustin' Loose Unit Production Manager
Ghost Story Production Manager
1982 The Thing Production Manager Shot in the U.S. and Canada.
1983 Return of the Jedi Production Executive U.S. filming.
Iceman Production Manager Shot in the U.S. and Canada.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Production Manager U.S. filming.
Best Defense Unit Production Manager Shot in the U.S. and Israel.
1984 The Goonies Unit Production Manager Second unit, uncredited.
1985 Warning Sign Associate Producer
Unit Production Manager
1986 Blue City Unit Production Manager
One Crazy Summer Unit Production Manager
Howard the Duck Co-Producer
Production Manager
1987 Spaceballs Production Manager
1988 Clean and Sober Unit Production Manager
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark Production Manager Additional scenes.
Child's Play Unit Production Manager
1989 The War of the Roses Unit Production Manager
1990 Child's Play 2 Executive Producer
1991 Child's Play 3 Producer
1993 Babylon 5: The Gathering Producer Pilot telefilm
Robin Hood: Men in Tights Executive in Charge of Production
Production Manager
1995 Dracula: Dead and Loving It Associate Producer
Production Manager
Showgirls Unit Production Manager
1997 Starship Troopers Production Manager
1998 The Parent Trap Unit Production Manager
2000 Hollow Man Production Manager
2001 Ali Production Manager Uncredited. Prep period only.
2002 Spider-Man Unit Production Manager Additional scenes and post production. Uncredited.
Vampires: Los Muertos Line Producer
Unit Production Manager
U.S. filming.
The Anarchist Cookbook Producer
2003 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Unit Production Manager Additional scenes. Uncredited.
S.W.A.T. Unit Production Manager
2005 A Lot Like Love Unit Production Manager
Lords of Dogtown Unit Production Manager Additional scenes. Uncredited.
2006 Local Color Co-producer
Unit Production Manager
The Holiday Unit Production Manager Additional scenes. Uncredited.
2009 Hard Breakers Producer
Production Manager


  1. ^ Planning the Low-Budget Film, cover blurb.
  2. ^ Spada, James, Streisand: Her Life (New York: Crown Publishers Inc., 1995), 396-397.
  3. ^ "USC Cinema – Faculty/Staff » Robert Latham Brown". Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  4. ^ Indie Slate magazine, vol. 12, Issue 55, p19.
  5. ^ "IBPA, the Independent Book Publishers Association". IBPA. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  6. ^ "Hollywood Book Festival". Hollywood Book Festival. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  7. ^ "FADE IN Awards". Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  8. ^ "ScreenCraft Family Screenplay Finalists". ScreenCraft. Retrieved 23 January 2021.

External links[edit]