Student Snapshot: Brady Holcomb

Brady Holcomb
BFA Class of 2019


I come from a family of Monty-Python quoting siblings and international-traveling parents. As my dad runs a non-profit that trains church pastors in remote areas of the globe, storytelling is definitely a core part of our family. When I was young, I’d travel with my dad to Benin, Brazil, India, and Congo and hear stories unique to these cultures. In high school, I got the chance to film a documentary in the Congo about a group of woman post-Rwandan genocide.

I applied twice to the film school. After I didn’t get in the first time, I moved down from VA to FSU for freshman year and spent my fall volunteering on as many sets as I could. I got in that spring! Since, I’ve recently gotten married and we plan to move to Atlanta after graduation!

My passion lies with cinematography, the way you can communicate an entire story just through framing and light. That’s what I plan to pursue!


Favorite Filmmaker?

Lubezki. I love how natural the camera movements seem. His use of wide lenses for close coverage create subjective moments that feel as if we are there. Everything in camera tells part of the story.


What are you currently working on?

I just finished doubling with Brandon on a dystopian sci-fi for our thesis! I got to DP the project, and the six days on set were full of green-screen set extensions, fight choreography, and so many extras. It was a blast!

I’m now supporting my classmates on their thesis projects, mostly as gaffer, but I get to DP another project, this next time for Elise. We’ll be creating a high-fantasy thriller complete with a CGI monster she’s crafted!


What class has been your favorite class so far? Favorite class this semester?

This past summer I had a class with Mark Vargo ASC. It was for cinematography specialists, so there were only three of us and we got hours of hands-on time with Mark each week trying different lighting techniques, and testing setups for our thesis. We got to take a swing at anything from camera filters to shooting green screen for miniatures.

I’ve also really enjoyed Comp II with Ron Honn. He runs his classes a lot like a cooking show, which makes concepts in Nuke and After Effects even more engaging.


What has been the best part of Film School so far?

The community. My class is like a family. I mean, during thesis production we spend more time together each week than we would at a full-time job! We’re honest with each other, so if someone says a project is good, we know they fully mean it. If it has gone askew, everyone will pitch in ideas for how to improve it.


Which faculty member has made the greatest impression on you and how?

Mark Vargo ASC. The man has done it all. His first crew position was on Empire Strikes Back, and he’s worked shows from Rise of the Planet of the Apes, to Ghostbusters (which he was nominated for an Oscar!) He has such a wealth of experience and he pours all of that into the classes he teaches. Probably my favorite part is going up to his office and brainstorming with him solutions to a shooting challenge for thesis.


What do you think someone applying to the program should know about the FSU Film School?

It’s immersive and intense. Even so, it’s been the best three years of my life! Everyone here is extremely passionate about filmmaking and storytelling and that kind of collaborative community is incredible to be a part of.


Favorite Film School Moment?

Every August, the film school invites back alumni for a weekend of special screenings and networking (KeyLight Festival). This past year I got to chauffeur two of them around and built some great relationships that I hope develop down the road. I loved being a part of that weekend as a handler and got to spend some one-on-one time with Kris Eber (producer of the Muppets TV show) and Jon Swindall (DP and drone operator in Atlanta) asking questions about the industry and how to be best equipped!