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Brandon Barr ’17

Drawn to apply to the Purchase BFA program because of its tight knit community, Brandon Barr ’17 felt it would be a strong fit for him, as it would foster learning and passion in a way that other film schools would overlook.

Barr focused primarily in narrative filmmaking until his sophomore year, citing Professor Eddie Martinez as a major influence, inspiring his passion for documentary, “Eddie opened my eyes to the artistry that is documentary filmmaking.” Barr added that Professor Martinez showed him that documentaries can be more than the standard voice-over story with a typical b-roll.

Recalling his film classes at Purchase, Barr says, “making a documentary can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences. Eddie would bring me onto shoots, even while in school.”

Brandon fondly spoke about his experiences with the FMS faculty and his fellow peers, emphasizing that they were there to help and aid in the consistent growth of his work. Their doors were always open for critiques, feedback, and down-to-earth conversation.

The strict deadlines and workload of the film conservatory prepared Barr for his current freelance work. The pressure of getting cuts in on time helped him create a structure for making his own deadlines outside of the comfort of school. Barr recalls, “Along with the seemingly endless collective of student films to work on in the BFA program, including my own, would prep just about anyone to function at an effective level of time management.”

Barr’s first jobs in the industry consisted mainly of freelance commercial events during college. Since graduating, consistent freelance jobs, including commercial shoots for events, lectures and various businesses, Brandon continues to expand his resume and network agenda.

Currently, Brandon is in the pre-production stage for a documentary he plans to direct with a crew of trusted peers and possibly fellow students from his time at Purchase.

When asked about any advice he had for future film students, Brandon says, “Listening and learning is the best thing you can do. When you first step into the film building, you have to be open to letting your peers and professors help you–it’s such a monumental thing you are trying to accomplish.”

—Written by Leila Louhaichy, Junior