The Art of Inclusion with Producer Sevier Crespo

Recently, Gemma Magazine had the opportunity to speak with film, television, and commercial producer Sevier Crespo and we were thrilled. Puerto Rican-born producer Sevier Crespo (seviercrespo.com) has worked with such Hollywood heavyweights as Michael Mann and Jerry Bruckheimer. He studied production at UCLA and learned the ropes under the guidance of Robert Townsend and director Sam Bayer at Ridley Scott’s RSA USA, Inc. Sevier has since gone on to work with such global brands as Adidas, Coca-Cola, Nike, Marlboro, Mitsubishi, NBC, and Netflix – to name a few. He has also collaborated with such prominent figures as David Beckham, Kendrick Lamar, and Demi Lovato.

Sevier’s film credits include the comedy feature “Pendejo” starring Danny Trejo, Puerto-Rican shot “Deceived,” “The Culling” starring Johnathan Schaech, and “El Guardia” which premiered at Cannes 2019.

Sevier’s TV credits include a pilot for NBC with Mandy Moore, James Roday, and Dulé Hill, as well as “Mack & Moxy” for Netflix, which won 2 awards for kids programming. Some of his accolades for his projects include Best American Comedy at the NY International Film Festival, TV Guide’s Hot List, a Parents’ Choice Award, and a Mom’s Choice Award.

Some of his accolades for his projects include Best American Comedy at the NY International Film Festival, TV Guide’s Hot List, a Parents’ Choice Award, and a Mom’s Choice Award.

Where did Sevier Crespo’s inspiration come from? Crespo expressed that he did not always know he wanted to get into film and television production, but that he did have the bug secretly. Growing up, he was inspired by “Star Wars,” Bruce Lee movies, and Chuck Norris films. He was also influenced by the Beatles records and Richard Pryor. Sevier actually wanted to be a baseball player, but ended up taking a theatre class in high school and was instantly hooked.

When Sevier had a moment to stop, Gemma Magazine spoke with the talented producer about his creative process, the pandemic, and inclusion in Hollywood.

I recently read that you also studied under heavyweights such as Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Mann. What did you learn from them?

I learned to be specific, to know what you want, the importance of the people around you that you work with, that you have to have a formidable work ethic and to have passion for what you do.

What are some of the characteristics that you love about production?

I think the overall one is just the uncertainty of it all. There’s something about that which freaks me out and excites me at the same time because you don’t know. Someone has an idea, someone hires you to execute that idea, you work with people you may or may not have worked with before, and you’ve looked at to implement that idea. It’s like the ultimate warrior mentality because you’ve got to hold that vision in place against all odds and everybody else’s concerns and fears and insecurities and make it happen.

Sevier Crespo

In the past year, (as you know), the country has been going through a pandemic. How do you feel the coronavirus has affected Hollywood? Do you see the industry slowly coming back?

I definitely see the industry slowly coming back. I think the pandemic has allowed people to reflect on themselves, life, and others. What’s important, what’s not as important. In a sense, it “stopped the hamster wheel,” which allowed everybody to look at everything differently. Like any industry, Hollywood is comprised of people—creative people. I think the pandemic has forced everybody to look at what they want to do creatively, who they want to work with creatively, what’s wrong that could be enhanced… things like that. I think it’s brought humanity to the forefront.

This has also been quite the year of division between different ethnicities. Do you feel Hollywood will start to become more inclusive? Also, what are some steps we can take?

I think we’ve had a lot of time to look at things, so hopefully, it’s going in that direction. I think it’s kind of swinging doors open for everyone for the most part, maybe not as quickly as we would all like it to be, even though in certain areas it’s still behind the times. I hope people don’t forget all the conversations that we’ve had over the last year. Once life kind of goes back to normal, so to speak, you could start to forget the conversations that you had. It’s a big, introspective look at yourself, individually, and as part of a group, and everyone in the industry. So, I think keeping those conversations on the table and remaining aware of them as we move forward is important.

Taking it back a bit, how did you enjoy your time as an actor? 

I think about acting a lot because I feel it’s a door that’s not been closed. I still do auditions, and I still go to meetings and things like that. It’s been a little while since I’ve been on a project as an actor though, but it’s something I’m definitely bringing back to the table now with the position that I’m in. I’m into being more flexible and doing more of what I want to do, whether it’s other people’s projects or my own. It’s also something that I’ve actually been itching to do for a while now, so that door is definitely opening up again. 

Sevier Crespo

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a few projects. I just finished the feature film “Karen,” which has a lot to do with our current social landscape with some blatant points of view that are very damaging, so to speak. It has a fantastic cast, a bunch of really great actors. Taryn Manning is just wonderful and amazingly talented. Jasmine Burke and Cory Hardrict are amazing people. Everybody came to play, and it was a great experience. I have another film called “Killing Class,” which is one of my passion projects. I think it’s another “of the moment in time” film that speaks to the diversity and other points of view and realities—other perspectives of storytelling, which is based on true events. We’re shooting it in Puerto Rico. I’m also working on another film called “Secondary Effect,” which was supposed to start last year, but because of the pandemic, it was delayed, and I’m looking forward to picking that back up. 

Who are some directors that you would love to work with?

Louis Leterrier is a friend of mine (films include the first two Transporter films, “Unleashed,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Clash of the Titans,” and “Now You See Me,” who works on some really cool material. I haven’t been able to work with him yet. I think he’s awesome as a person and a cool guy, so it’d be great to work with him. This is a tricky question because there are always so many. Quentin Tarantino, the Coen brothers, and Ridley Scott. Scorsese would be phenomenal. He has a lot of projects that are very close to my heart. I’ve only shot in New York a few times, but the whole world of New York and the characters that he creates are amazing.

Lastly, if a young, college student came to you and said, “I really want to be a producer,” what advice would you give?

I’d say get ready for a lot of “no’s,” but don’t let them stop you. Literally treat them like “water off a duck’s back.”

To keep up with Sevier Crespo on his social media:

  https://www.seviercrespo.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seviercrespo/

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