Well,  “how did I become a director / photographer?”

 

Now that I ask myself everyday.  But there is quite a great story behind this.

 

 BT-shot

 

 

Some kids grew up knowing what they wanted to be from a very early age.  I honestly never had one plan to become a certain type of person or do a certain type of work.  I spent my child hood moving a lot and spending time on my own and outside mostly.  The infamous, “Go outside and play” was my staple to growing up.  Thus I learned to appreciate how the trees moved and the clouds made shadows.  But most of all I watched the light.  How it fell on leaves and made shapes.  How a cloud softened everything, how morning had different colors than afternoon.    My fascination with light began and has pushed me ever since.

 

My first science fair project was the building of a laser.  “Light Amplified by Stimulation of Emitted Radiation.”  God I can’t believe I still remember that… Anyway I wanted to understand more about how light worked and how it’s textures made me feel.

 

I became very involved in lighting in High School and College.  I studies Set Design/ Lighting and Directing in College and graduated with honors.  I was offered a full scholarship to Cambridge University to do my Masters.  This is where one looks at oneself and imagines their life….

 

I sold everything I owned and made a decision.  I moved to Los Angeles.  Surprised?  Me too!  Yeah, everyone thought I was crazy.  I am a bit, but don’t tell anyone.  Now you are saying, “ Where in the hell did `LA come from?”  Well, that moment when I dreamed about where I wanted to be one day; it wasn’t designing sets.  It was making movies!  You know it!  So off to LA I went.   Didn’t know a sole and had never even been there before.

 

After being there for three weeks without getting any jobs, I thought, “what the hell have I done?”  It was at this point, that I faced the fact I must get a job.  The only thing I could do instantly was to become a waiter/ sommelier again.  Not what I envisioned!  So on my first day of training at my new waitering job, I saw a guy struggling in the corner trying to set up a rear projection screen.  I offered my help and we talked.  He found out I knew all about that stuff and took me to lunch the next day.  I handed in my resignation the next day at work and started to do lighting and staging events.  I had been saved!

 

Through this line of work I found my way onto film sets and TV commercials.  LA was Fabulous to me.  I meet incredible people and worked on great projects.  Then one day a producer friend of mine asked me if I would mind doing some lighting for a stills photography guy.  I said “sure, why not.”

 

The next day I drive to this set out in the middle of the desert.  There are these guys building 4 stories of scaffolding and all this stuff everywhere.  I thought it was a TV shoot.  So I walk up to the guys and introduce myself, they tell me what they need done and I go to it.  The main man walked up while I was working and asked me “what the hell am I doing on his set?” I turned around and said “Working!  Who the hell are you?”  Just for the record- not the best introduction to your boss.    He looked at me, laughed and proceeded to tell me who he was-  “THE PHOTOGRAPHER” I was in deep at this point, so what the hell.  I said, “Glad to meet you, I’m Bryan.  The soon to be fired assistant.”   We shook hands and both laughed.

 

By the end of the job-, which was four days-, I had a new respect for stills guys.  They worked hard and had all the toys to play with and enjoyed making stunning photos.  At the rap dinner, the boss asked me if I wanted to come and work for him full time.  I said, “Why in the hell would I want to do that?”  He replied, “For the money!”  So I asked him to write down on a napkin on what kind of money we were talking here.  By the end of dinner I was handed this napkin and my life changed once again.  Trust me  when I tell you-  “I couldn’t say no.”

 

So four years pass, a few trips around the world and I begin to find a passion for this thing called photography.  I then proceeded to work with many famous photographers from all around the world.  I became one of the top associate shooters and 1st assistants on the west coast.  But there was still something missing…  Creativity…. Freedom…

 

Then I was offered a chance to direct my own TV series for the US.  It was going to be 6 months in Africa and 6 months in LA.  So I opted to make a move to Africa.  And what better place than Cape Town.  9-11 happened and the series was put on hold.  Not very safe being an American and traveling at that point.

 

So I looked around at the local markets- film and photography- and decided to start shooting again.  And here I am.

 

To sum it all up.  Don’t ever say never. Always be open to new ideas.  And believe…. And believe…

Bryan