Graham Wright ’10 knew he wanted to go into film production after performing as Doctor Frankenstein in a high school video assignment.
Now Wright works as a producer for independent production company Ironbound Films. On October 1, its new documentary, Évocateur: the Morton Downey Jr. Movie, made its Boston debut at Emerson’s Bright Family Screening Room in the Paramount Center for the Bright Lights film series sponsored by the Department of Visual and Media Arts. The film follows “trash television” pioneer Morton Downey Jr.’s wild but short-lived rise and fall from fame.
It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City in 2012. Production took three years, and the film includes clips from more than 400 hours of footage. As associate producer of the film, Wright reviewed every aspect of production.
“I edit, I do camera work, I produce,” he said. “Especially in documentaries, everyone does everything.”
Ironbound Films noticed Wright’s production talent during his internship with the company. They later contacted him while he was enrolled in Emerson’s Los Angeles Program and offered him the associate producer position on Évocateur.
Wright had transferred to Emerson for his last two years, immediately taking advantage of the school’s resources, such as a 16mm camera.
“Coming to Emerson and really getting to shoot on film is a completely different way of thinking from digital. It’s a beast, but shooting on actual film is a living thing and it’s just awesome,” Wright said. “Getting that experience is indispensable. I hope Emerson never stops.”
He also participated in the student film group Frames Per Second, where he produced short movies outside of class.
While he had always pictured himself working on narrative films, Wright said he is glad he stumbled onto documentary productions. “One of my film teachers said to work in documentaries because it will change the way you think. It will make you a better filmmaker.”
Évocateur is screening at small theaters around the country and is now available on Amazon and iTunes.
While Wright continues to tour, he also has another film in the works called The Anthropologist, which is set for release next year.