“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
BRANDON LAVENTURE IS CURRENTLY A 3RD YEAR STUDENT AT GRAD FILM. WE ASKED HIM A FEW QUESTIONS AND HERE’S WHAT HE HAD TO SAY:
Where do you consider home and what is it like there?
I have mixed feelings about the place that shaped me as a child, a village in rural Michigan. It was an idyllic country setting where everyone waved “hello” to their neighbor, but it was also a place where the Ku Klux Klan marched down Main Street to grow their ranks. A hometown is a mixed-up memory of people, place, and time, and like all those component parts, it’s complicated.
My truest home is my partner, Caitlin. The place where I feel most at home is wherever I can be lazy with her and rewatch our favorite cartoons, whether that’s in Michigan, our current home in Bushwick, or anywhere else on Earth.
What is currently inspiring you as a filmmaker?
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about good and evil. Not thinking about them so much as timeless concepts, accessible through stories across the ages, but as observable forces that are relevant to life today. Our current political situation has something to do with that, I’m sure. I’ve also been thinking a lot about solidarity as an expression of love.
I’m inspired by people who are willing to put everything on the line, facing injury and arrest to protect our neighbors and our planet. Antifa, water defenders, socialist organizers, and other activists fighting for what’s right… I’m inspired by the courage with which they live. The least I can do is try to apply similar courage to the art I make.
What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
I came into this program alongside my brother and filmmaking accomplice Cameron. In the last two and a half years, we’ve grown in ways we couldn’t have accessed before coming here. The most rewarding experiences I’ve had at Tisch Grad Film are those I share with Cameron, when we can see just how far we’ve come as a team.
The experience that stands out in my mind is our most recent shoot together, on Cameron’s second-year film "Potion Masters." It was a fun script with a great team of people, and we had the chance to do some cool effects stuff that we’d never tried before. When the right people come together, a film set can be a transcendent thing. We’ve been lucky enough to be part of that more than once.
To be honest, nearly every day here provides a new rewarding experience, as we build up future projects and discover ourselves as artists. Before coming to Tisch, the dream of filmmaking as a career seemed so distant as to be almost mythic. Now we’re close enough to see what it looks like, and the thrill of that feeling isn’t wearing off. Now, we’re ready.