Gerret grew up assisting his parents, folklorists Anne and Frank Warner, as they traveled rural America recording stories and old songs for the Library of Congress. He watched how his father’s genuine interest and respect made people comfortable and facilitated the recording of their oral histories. That childhood experience gave him a love and interest in people and provided insight into documenting their stories.
An early job producing corporate videos and commercials in New York City briefly cured him of his filmmaking lust. But—after several years teaching—he was back at it again, this time with a different approach and subject. By combining his father’s interviewing techniques with his training in documentary film and a small crew, Gerret has developed an intimate style of filmmaking that grows naturally from and celebrates his subjects.
Mimi’s background is wide-ranging: she grew up in the culturally rich hills of Southern Indiana and learned to love the folklore and music of the region. She was a social worker, first in Chicago and then Lakewood, New Jersey. Later she became an English teacher and Dean of Students at Dana Hall School, a girls’ boarding school in Wellesley, Massachusetts. These experiences reinforced what Mimi believed — every life has a purpose and every person has a story.
Listening to those stories — whether told to her by a traditional Appalachian musician, a single mother living on the streets, or a 17-year-old girl ready to conquer the world — gave Mimi a greater appreciation for the individuals she met that she brings to Warner & Company. Her style of conversation doesn’t feel like an interview, and that opens the door to the amazing stories Warner & Company documents.
“Gerret and Mimi: You are the best. You know what you are doing and you capture the essence of each organization. You’re interesting, fun, and you stick to your values making everyone shine.”