Sunday, January 17, 2010
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Brendan McCarthy, Class of 2004
I enrolled in the Ballard Video Production Program immediately upon hearing of its existence, my junior year. Over the course of two years in the program I met cherished friends (some of whom have become colleagues), received an unparalleled public school education in film, and made of number of award winning films of which I am still proud (Eight, The Devoted, Moons Over My Hammy).
After graduating from Ballard, based largely on the strength of my film Eight, I was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts film program at New York University. The school loomed large over my ego; I was terrified of its pedigree, its staff, and my fellow students. However, during my first semester I entered Eight in the How We Got Here festival, a showcase of Freshman work produced in high school. When it won, I was off and running. Early on I met my best friend and writing partner, Erich Sutterlin, with whom I continue to have a fruitful partnership. Largely due to our thin wallets, we turned to writing, paper and ink being a lot cheaper than cameras and film. We won a script writing contest at the end of our Freshman year, an exciting accomplishment. We became hired guns, writing scripts for upperclassmen and graduate students willing to spend ludicrous sums of money on their productions. It was a magical three and a half years. I knew where I was going, I felt successful, and I was a young man in New York. Then...I graduated.
After a short stint writing commercials in New York (yuck!) I moved to Los Angeles (double yuck!) where I worked briefly writing for a production company that works in reality television (kill me). The Los Angeles experiment, though, was not a total waste. Erich and I met our manager there, an incredibly talented and energetic former partner at ROAR. We still work with him and share representation. I also sold some stage work to a small theater company in New York and got to go back for a short period of time to work things out. I realized I had to return to New York for good. After trying for many months to land a decent gig, I heard back from a producer friend of mine that I have a position on Boardwalk Empire, a Martin Scorsese production for HBO.