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Brandon Harris ’06

Filmmaker and producer Brandon Harris ’06 is development executive at Amazon Original Movies. He directed Red Legs (2012) and wrote the book Making Rent In Bed-Stuy (2017).

(Excerpted from a 2014 issue of PURCHASE magazine.)

In the summer of 1998, Brandon Harris ’06 watched The Funeral, made by Abel Ferrara ’74, and first considered what it means to be a director. “It jumped out in my mind, ‘Wow, someone directed this, and this director has his own particular style and series of concerns,’ and this was long before I knew he went to Purchase in the ’90s.” (Ferrara, a quintessential gritty New York independent filmmaker, has made many cult classics, such as Bad Lieutenant starring Harvey Keitel.)

Harris is a filmmaker as well as a prolific writer and critic. He’s a contributing editor for Filmmaker magazine and has had stories published in Variety, Hammer to Nail, and N+1.

“Greg Taylor [professor of cinema studies and now director of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts] taught me so much about writing, and film history, and literature, and about art beyond film. I think he’s the sole reason I have so many of the skills that I do,” says Harris. “I don’t think I would be an editor at Filmmaker magazine without that grounding.”

He adds, “Our program has the reputation for producing filmmakers who may not be the most polished from a technical standpoint, but who all come to making a movie with a strong sense of the idiom that undergirds the film.”