Brendan Babinski

Published on Dec 11, 2013

Sophomore Brendan Babinski has already sold a commercial for Minute Maid, worked as a freelancer at ESPN and isn’t slowing down. Not every aspect of video production is “fun”, he admits, but there are some essentials every creative person should know before embarking on a career, contest or job. 

You have some pretty great experience before even hitting your junior year. Can you tell us more about how you found the contests and freelance jobs?

I networked on my own to find some of the freelance and contest gigs.

The one I’m most proud of is the Minute Maid commercial. I was director of photography, producer, and editor for a commercial that was bought by Minute Maid. I learned a great deal through this process. I really got to see the more professional aspect of video production. To be honest it's the less fun part—the paperwork and release forms and making sure every single thing you see and hear was either created by you or you have permission to use it. Although this aspect of video production is less fun, it is essential to know.

Why did you choose Columbia?

I chose Columbia for a number of reasons. I was going to a state university in Michigan and I really wanted to take film and video more seriously. I knew that I wanted to go to Columbia because it is ranked in the top 25 film schools and it’s in Chicago. I thought the size of the city and great instruction would give me more opportunities. I also liked the fact that it was not too far from home (Midland, MI), and not too outrageously expensive compared to some other film schools.

What’s the most valuable class you’ve taken so far?

Definitely, definitely Moving Imagine Production II. This class has really opened my eyes to what goes into making a film. I have learned and experienced a great deal about pre-production through storyboarding, making a shot list, casting and logistics. This is a huge part of the entire process. It has been very challenging at times but it’s great to have that experience under my belt.

Any plans for post-grad yet?

After school, I hope to either film documentaries with National Geographic or get work in freelance cinematography and editing so I can travel as part of my job.

Check out Brendan’s talent pool profile.