From rural Ohio to big city lights – film professional and Terra State alumnus discusses journey with current students

Brandon Beining and Mark Grine outside of the DMT Classroom
Brandon Beining and Associate Professor Mark Grine outside of the Digital Media Technology lab

Brandon Beining, a 2015 graduate of Terra State, visited Associate Professor Mark Grine’s film class earlier this month to discuss his journey from Terra State student to film production professional.

Beining’s journey started in Fremont but took him all the way to where he is now – Los Angeles. He found his passion for film and film production because of an assignment to create a 60-second movie trailer. That simple 60-second project turned into a career for Beining.

After receiving his associate’s degree in 2015, he moved on to Bowling Green State University and graduated in 2018 with his bachelor’s degree in film production.

In 2017, Beining was contacted by a BGSU faculty member who saw a short film he produced for an assignment and was impressed by his work, giving him an internship contact with a BGSU alumnus in Los Angeles.

That summer, he interned with Shadow Cast Pictures, a camera equipment rental company, and gained hands-on experience with industry-grade equipment. Aside from building his professional skills, Los Angeles also helped him view his future in a city much larger than any in northwest Ohio.

“It was a basically like a test to me. Is this something I would be willing to do? Is this even a city I'd be willing to live in?” Beining said, “I'd only been in Ohio. I mean, we're talking rural small town. I think I graduated with four in my high school class.”

His four-week internship flew by, and he came to a consensus: he could see his future in Los Angeles. Within eight months of being there, Beining got his first big shot – working at Universal Studios in a small backstage role for The Voice.

His financial situation caused him to move back home to Ohio to pay off his debt. As he was excited and ready to get back out to Los Angeles and expand his experience, COVID-19 made the route even harder. In a very heavily in-person career path, new jobs and shoots were hard to come by or nonexistent at all.

Fast forward a year and a half, Beining is back working at The Voice in a different role until COVID-19 regulations are relaxed and production can commence in a more normal way. He hopes to grow his employment with the show or another production at Universal Studios, getting back behind the camera.

Grine has been able to stay in touch with Beining throughout his career, attending his student film premieres at BGSU, meeting up with him while visiting California on spring break and even catching up for dinner when he visits the area.

“I asked him to come speak to my class because I thought they could gain a lot of insight from his experience and knowledge of what it takes to get to where he is at today,” said Grine.

His experience is invaluable to current Terra State students, leaving no information about his challenges unsaid and leaving no question unanswered. He hopes that his story will help other students find their passion and do everything possible to achieve their dreams.

“It’s all because of one person that I was able to get here. It was all because of one risk,” Beining said, “All risks are worth taking in this industry. No matter what you get out of any experience, you’re always going to get something.”