Richard Brandes – Writer/Director, Mentor
Producer, director, and writer Richard Brandes has made a career out of making audiences jump. But it was a chance meeting at an acting audition in his early days in Los Angeles that put Brandes on the career track that has made him a Hollywood mainstay.
Although Brandes is a graduate of UC Berkeley himself, it was in a field completely unrelated to filmmaking. After walking away from a job after two years, he found himself taking an acting class in Los Angeles. It was here that he started making his first connections.
When tasked with writing a scene for him and another student to perform, Richard found his
writing was well received. Brandes veered into the realm of writing by devouring as many scripts as he could get his hands on, and finishing his first script. But it was reading for a roll in a commercial when he made his first writing career connection.
He bumped into a former agent that had seen his scene in acting class. That former agent was now a producer. He wanted to work with Brandes, and so they collaborated on not one but four films.
Today, Brandes has more than 15 writing and producing credits to his name and has directed five other features. His film Penny Dreadful won the best cinematography award at the 2006 Shriekfest. Although best known for horror (Jeepers Creepers 3, Devil in the Flesh 1 and 2, and Out for Blood), he has also written comedies and family fare (Ugly Benny, and Lily: More Than Puppy Love).
Although his talent would have found a home soon enough, it was the connections he made early on in his career that jump-started his career. That’s one of the reasons why the Film Connection made so much sense to Brandes – and why he became a mentor.
Film Connection Mentor
What drew him to Film Connection was how we not only help aspiring writers improve their craft but then take it a step further by getting them in front of industry decision-makers. We place our externs into a real-world environment, working within professional production companies – as well as remotely – with guidance from a mentor.
Our curriculum isn’t based on a theory of what you should know – it’s based on what you need to know. One-on-one experience with an industry insider is not something one can regularly find in a university classroom, full of other students. The connections you make on the set and in the field, not a classroom, are the ones that enable newcomers to start getting going in their careers in film and television. For us and the thousands of professionals who mentor with us, it just makes sense.