Brandon Lerry

“I’d love to join a student club, but I just don’t have the time, because I work and go to school full time. But I know that being involved with a club will help me in the transfer process.”

So many great films—and bad ones, too—are left on the cutting room floor. But Brandon Lerry hopes to learn what makes the difference. “My favorite filmmaker? Quentin Tarantino, of course. I just love what he does. He’s The Man!” And Brandon is certainly in the right town to follow in the footsteps of his idol. He’s been making his own cinematic progress at SMC. “I’m thinking about getting into film editing, and I’m actually doing little productions here and there. It all started with me getting my DSLR camera, and then messing with programs like After Effects and Premiere Pro.” But the dazzling technology of today’s digital world doesn’t really amount to much without two crucial things: having ‘the eye’ and experience.

“My Photography teacher, Edward Mangus, taught me so much about my camera and how to see things. He also taught me everything I need to know about lighting to make a shot look great, and the concepts of video production in general. He’s a crazy and outgoing guy, but also super nice and cool. And there was never a moment in his classes when I disagreed with what he was teaching us about.”

Brandon tells the story about how an editor can make or break a film. “There was a recent Italian film that won an Oscar, and the director had wanted to edit it. But the studio wouldn’t let him and hired a new editor, and it won. But then the director gets back his rights, makes an entirely different movie, and… it was not a winner. There’s real power in knowing how to ‘cut,’ ” says Brandon. But he also urges fellow SMC students to “get out of your specialty zone. I’m taking a geology class just now that really has me fired up. So, who knows? Take some classes here that you never would have dreamed of taking before. You might just end up changing your major. Or your entire life.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.