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Meet Brian

Wednesday, 18 October

Staff

I’m a creative chap with a background in film and the arts.

As a filmmaker, I have enjoyed collaborating with others, making short films, music videos and documentaries and somehow managed to win a couple of awards along the way! I have also worked in film exhibition professionally and voluntarily. Before my role with Live & Local, I worked on the marketing and outreach for the CineCov programme on behalf of Flatpack. Earlier this year, Live & Local invited me to curate the Big Picture Festival which I enjoyed immensely. I still keep an arm and a leg in filmmaking and film exhibition in my spare time. I’ve just completed a film for Flatpack as part of Cinema Unbound, a Powell and Pressburger season launched by the BFI. I also volunteer in the running of a community cinema called Stoke Screen in Coventry. Alongside that, I am also the Industry Advisor for the BA/FdA in Digital Film Production at Warwickshire College. I wear more hats than a hat rack!

What is a memorable live event that you attended?

Macbeth at the RSC. It was a traditional performance with an unexpected post-modern stand-up routine right in the middle, written by the comedian, Stewart Lee. It was funny and rebellious, and a wonderful reminder of how malleable Shakespeare’s texts can be, how theatre makers can retain the traditional characteristics of a text but also adapt it, make it accessible and appealing to a modern audience. I think that speaks nicely to the wider values of Live & Local too, in terms of the company’s development of performing artists and how we support them to adapt and tailor their work for rural touring without compromising on quality.

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What are your favourite aspects of rural life?

I was raised in a city and now I live in a semi-rural area with my family and it’s quite apparent to me that I’ve always been a country boy at heart. I love going on long walks in the countryside with my dog, Freddie (and the important humans in my life, of course). As a dog owner, every walk is an adventure. I love how Freddie discovers the world through his nose! His appreciation of nature inspires me to appreciate the outdoors. There’s nothing quite as breathtaking as a countryside vista on a sunny day. I’ve worked in rural community development in the past and in my experience, rural communities are more bonded, hungry for arts and culture experiences and more willing to innovate how their spaces can be used.

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What do you enjoy most about working in the arts?

The sheer variety of work excites me and the sense of satisfaction that we are creating opportunities for performing artists and bringing valuable, memorable and aspirational experiences to communities that would otherwise be overlooked.

 

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Initially, I wanted to be Superman, but I only had a tea towel for a cape and couldn’t fly. Still can’t. So my plan B was to become a comic strip artist.

Square Meet Brian Harley

What is your all-time favourite song/band/movie/book?

Lord Huron is currently my favourite band.

Jaws is my favourite film.

It’s difficult to pick a favourite book but I am very fond of ‘Starter For Ten’ by David Nichols and ‘Travels with Charley’ by John Steinbeck, which is about the author’s travels across America with his dog.

 

Do you have a personal motto you live by or any favourite inspirational quotes?

Go Forward.

 

What are your hobbies?

I like to do illustration and digital collage and have started having a go at selling prints of my work at fairs and markets in the last couple of years. I love gardening. It brings me peace and is another outlet to be creative and collaborative. I’m keen to do my bit for the bees by planting lots of flowers. I’ll even save them from spiderwebs if I can! The spiders are never happy about it, but they have plenty of bugs to eat already so I don’t feel too bad. I like learning from nature and how to care for plants and flowers. I built a wheelbarrow planter in the Summer and filled it with colourful flowers but it collapsed after a heavy rainfall! Not so good with woodwork…

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Do you speak any other languages?

No, unless you count the ridiculous way I sometimes talk to the dog.

 

What was the last book you read?

‘Dawn of the Dumb’ by Charlie Brooker. It’s a funny and ferocious collection of his journalism pre–Black Mirror. I’m currently in the middle of ‘Counselling For Toads’ by Robert De Board.  It’s a very clever, easy-to-read pastiche which uses the characters from ‘The Wind in the Willows’ to explain counselling.

 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

I have a plane in the garage. Long story.

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Cats or dogs? Dogs. But we do have cats so don’t tell them.

Tea or coffee? Tea.

Cheese or chocolate Chocolate, but not on toast.

Beach or mountains? Both.

Winter or Summer? Summer.

Morning person or night owl? Night Owl.

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