“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
IAN BARLING 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?
Atlantic City, NJ, is home. It’s hard for me to describe it succinctly, probably because it was all I knew for a big chunk of my life. But AC is like no other place I’ve been. It’s certainly seen better days, and there’s something nostalgic and endearing about the atmosphere there. Maybe you could call it a melancholic beauty. I don’t know. And then there are the casinos. Though a vital source of employment for thousands, Atlantic City casinos, I believe, have a special knack at bringing out the base instincts of people of all walks of life. I’m not sure if it’s the ubiquitous temptation, the town’s fading glory or history of corruption and mob violence, or just the salt air – something about AC seems to give people permission to do what they want, when they want, how they want. And it’s always fun to watch this dynamic play out in real time.
What is currently inspiring you as a filmmaker?
My mom. She’s just the best. If you met her you’d see what I mean. Filmmaking requires both sensibility and discipline, and while humility precludes her from considering herself an artist, her ability to take on life’s curveballs while still smelling the heck out of the roses is truly humbling and a lesson to be learned for anyone hoping to create meaningful work. She makes a mean piña colada too.
What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
I’m not sure it classifies as an “experience,” but the first thing that comes to mind is the establishing of a routine. It may sound obvious to others, but over my time at NYU I’ve come to realize that filmmaking in general, and writing especially, is a craft to be sharpened like any other. And like any craft, improvement is more about methodical practice than relying on chance flashes of creative inspiration. I’ve slowly but surely begun to form a routine (early mornings, coffee, banana, write) which allows me to chip away at my work consistently, resulting in me getting a little more comfortable with the process each time. I’m grateful for having adopted this practice during my time at NYU, because, at least for me, without a systematic approach, it would be easy to get lost in the mysterious dark art of screenwriting.
Check out Ian's website here