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Meet Bryan Barrios

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bryan Barrios.

Bryan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
From a very early age, my family got me into the Arts.

Singing, Painting, Sculpting, drawing, you name it.. they made sure I would be able to explore and dive into so many different techniques and styles so I could develop, discipline, work ethic and become passionate about Arts. In high school, I would always be dreaming about the future, the possibilities and seeing the world. Not gonna lie I was a little overwhelmed at times, but I was also excited to take on next challenge.

In 2012, I took on my first big challenge, the IMAGINARIOS festival (“FILA 2012”) was it then when I decided to shoot a Horror film called “doppelgänger ” a psychological film about a girl who meets with her evil double and then gets replaced. The film proved how committed was I to my craft and Ideals. Months later my film made it to the finals and got nominated for best picture, best director and best actress. To me, that was a big change in my life cause it reassured me that I can achieve the results I set on my mind.

After the festival, I got connected with Alfredo Hueck (2007 Enamórate/2005 Day Shift /2004 [Ybi-173] ) A Venezuela director who Answered all my questions and gave me some of the first tools I needed to know regarding working on the film industry. “Filmmaking is not an easy road, sometimes you make it, sometimes you hide in the darkness and sometimes you are away from it for a while, but as long as you love it… it will always be there for you if you are passionate about it. At that time those were the words I need to hear to get started with a new chapter in my life.

Shortly after in 2013, I moved to Los Angeles and started shaping up my craft, I went to the New York Film Academy where I learned the basics of Film and how its made from a wise team of experts. Originally came trying to become a Director, but on the practice and after directing a decent amount of content I realized I wasn’t really making use of my skills to the fullest, it wasn’t the full-on Art ride I needed. I love putting myself at there, get my hands dirty, build and create worlds from nothing. That’s when the words “Production Design” came into my ears for the first time. I had found something that actually explodes all the areas I love, and I’m good at.

Starting from there I managed to become the Production Designer for a high variety of students Films, and little by little started getting the ground experience needed and polishing my craft. The art department is that department that doesn’t work by simple guidelines, you are always on the move and dealing with issues, making sure the set stays at it best and even when the main job is done, you are always learning new tricks, styles, and techniques.

In 2015, I already was working on studio productions and music videos for independent companies and Award-winning shorts. I had already given my first steps and engraved my name there. Everything else from that time was an endless learning curved that never ends. I got to work with amazing teams and to Art direct for Incredible production designers, create bonds with reliable clients and live in Los Angeles as a full-on artist.

Nowadays, I have the pleasure to say that Discipline, Focus, and Practice has paid off, my work has taken me around the world (Japan, Philippines, Mexico, US) , I had the pleasure to work with amazing clients like Sony Pictures, Disney, Digital Caviar, BlackPlusPLus, Bigfoot Entertainment, HBO, Sony Records, and Miller Productions and Work along lines with some of the incredible filmmakers and talented other artists who are as passionate as me.

The ride has its Ups and Downs, but as someone told me before, as long as you are passionate about it, films will always be there for you.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s never an easy road when you work on arts, Production Design on paper sounds like a smooth and awesome job, and even though it is, it can be very challenging and requires your total commitment in or out of the set. We work with the sole purpose of creating a work for the movie to take place, no matter the camera angles, the lighting or the makeup… if there is no world you may be shooting against a hole.

Budget most of the times will be the one challenge you, Followed by the film locations that often comes with multiple amounts of issues, a lot of elements that just can’t be seen or notice and a very tight deadline.

In order to avoid those issues, the job highly relies on your resourcefulness, your negotiation skills, and creativity. If there is no budget for walls, you gotta reach out to organizations and get donations or scout locations that already come with the look needed or look into different materials that can get the job done. Experimentation is always a thing that we must be open to,

School can prepare you to go over projects a certain way, but often they do not prepare you for a real-life experience situation where you can’t simply afford doing it that way, that’s why most of the people need you cause you have the creativity to see those issues and come up with solutions that make the movie happen.

In most cases I failed, I didn’t meet the expectation and got on the way of the production, I wasn’t good enough for the challenge and had to take a break. But I think that without that, I wouldn’t have been able to know if I’m where I belong, I stayed in the game, I did my research, I keep taking on challenges non-stop, I strived for results and keep believing myself.

I have amazing people looking out for me with their unconditional support and a family that sacrificed a lot of giving me an opportunity. Giving up wasn’t an option to me, NEVER. I’ve always considered myself as a Leader and been always pursuing the Production Design or Art Director Spot.

My age has been always a deal breaker in most cases, most companies wanted me to assist and help, but I know exactly what I want and never bent for something different. I want people to see me as a person capable of putting a whole department together and work effortlessly alongside with the other heads. That’s the road chose.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I’m a dreamer, a fighter who decided to walk through a thick forest. You don’t see what’s ahead of you, you just keep walking. I have the vision and determination to accomplish everything I propose to. In this case, I chose to create worlds for films.

I’m willing to do research, to reach out for advice, to collaborate, to surpass my limits and to ask for help when is needed. No matter the limitations, if you are resourceful, collaborative and honest with your team, you can make it happen. It’s a learning process that never learns.

To this days, I learned so many new skills… Graphic design, Photo editing, 3D modeling, Designing software, sewing, building, scenic painting, food styling, multicultural design experience and more… it just gets better and better as the times passes and it makes me happy that this job has been able to teach me so much in such a short period of time

I think the willingness to learn and actually master these skills is what makes me different from other people. I like to make my projects fun and memorable for my clients.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and the least?
I can say that LA is the best spot to work in the art department, we have access to so many supplies and materials that no other places have. Thematic prop houses, Artsy stores, Recyclable sets, the fashion district and so much more… and the best part is that everything is just minutes away.

In other states, it is more difficult to have access to certain materials, and due to that you must acquire most of these online or from a personal source, but LA just has everything you may need. I just love it.

Fabrics are my favorite material and for this reason. Fashion district is a dear place for me, I get to see so many places and options within the same block. Journal fabrics is my place to go to… they have so much diversity on fabrics for any type of project you may be working on.

And yet after all these years, I keep discovering, more and more places as I grow in the industry, its certainly… the best place.

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Image Credit:
Anusha Jain, Özlem Altıngöz

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