Photo by Collin Richie

The Creatives: Video visionary

Brian Dryden

Hometown: Houma
Age: 33
Artistry: Cinematography and video editing

There’s a moment when a sharp edge of fire will trace the ramble of a body moving through the brush and leak across the shadows of a silhouetted face. Or it might pour through a hunter’s thick gray breath curling out into the cold or take the whiplash of a rod cast out over the ripples of the water and baptize it in pure gold. Suddenly then this world will feel right and something both familiar and new will bloom inside the camera lens. Something addicting.

These are the moments for Brian Dryden.

“It’s all about the light—chasing and racing the light,” says the 33-year-old video specialist and art director for Motion Culture Media, a production company specializing in branding projects and outdoor photography he co-founded four years ago.

After the Houma native burned through a series of artistic disciplines in his youth, shedding them as quickly as he became passably good but stopping just shy of mastery—“I liked oil painting, pencil drawing, music production and other things when they were easy, but I lost interest whenever it started to feel like work”—he then picked up a video camera for a contest run by a regional outdoors magazine. Dryden’s entry was so good the contest organizers wanted to hire him.

“It was instant,” Dryden says. “I knew this is what I wanted to do.”

Now based at The Parlor, a venue that is home to a creative collective in Beauregard Town, Dryden is inspired by modern graphic design and the circle of artistic friends whom he values for the pointed questions they pose about his work.

“As tough as 2016 was overall, the creative identity of Baton Rouge is certainly fighting harder than it has been,” he says.

Dryden jokes that he’s a graduate of Google University, but the self-taught cinematographer makes something every day, and he has mastered the RED digital cinema camera and aerial drone photography for national clients including catalogs and multiple television series he produces. Still, shooting video has not ever felt like work, even in sub-freezing temperatures, camping, climbing and driving days on end for just the right shot.

“Every day, from the moment I wake up till the moment we are dumping footage, I’m searching for that shot of the day,” Dryden says. “When it happens, I’m usually shouting, ‘Got it! We got it!’ It’s exciting. It fuels me. And if I can get that, then I want to wake up the next day and do it all over again.”