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Featured Alum: Brian Leitten

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A career in E-media means travel and awards for Brian Leitten, 01.

During his senior year in E-Media, Brian interned at MTV, where he was hired upon graduating. 

Over the next few years, he worked for a number of companies, including Epic Records, Atlantic Records, and Comedy Central.  

Eventually he ended up as a producer on the MTV series MADE, a show that follows teenagers as they attempt to achieve goals in their chosen athletic or artistic fields.  “I filmed all over the country for MADE,” he said, “I had to kayak, hike and backpack while filming in the Alaskan wilderness.”

Brian has always been interested in the outdoors.  He became a Boy Scout in first grade and received the highest honor of Eagle Scout his senior year. “I feel like spending time in nature can really recharge the creative juices,” he said.

In 2011 he left MADE to start his own production company, Hyperion XIII Productions.  

Brian said his favorite project was The Last Wild Race, a documentary about the Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race in southern Chile.  He worked on the project as executive producer and director. “It was a ten day race across the wilderness, which was incredibly difficult to produce,” he said. The documentary aired on Fox Sports Network and won four awards on the international film circuit.

Brian currently has several projects underway, including a series called Area Codes for VEVO.com and the 2011 Top 40 Countdown for Fuse TV. “2011 has been a break out year for me,” he said, “2012 is lining up to be even better, with filming opportunities on at least three different continents so far.”

While studying at CCM, it was the TV Studio Production class that helped him find his place in E-Media. “It was a great experience getting to cover each position in the studio,” he said. “That’s where I really figured out I didn’t want to be in front of the camera, I wanted to be the one in the control room calling the shots.”

Brian explained that E-Media also prepared him to work with diverse groups of people. “There were so many different types of personalities in the E-Media major,” he said, “The better you are at dealing with all kinds of personalities the more successful you will become.”

Brian offers two pieces of advise for current E-Media students.  The first is that media is a tough business. “You have to learn how to take constructive criticism,” he said, “even if sometimes it’s not given in a constructive manner.”

His second piece of advice is to avoid being overly specialized. “The more skills you have acquired while in college will directly relate to your success,” he said.

When asked where he’d like to go with his career, Brian explained that he is currently pitching his own shows to major cable networks.  He could also see himself getting into scripted film or TV.  “I always like a challenge,” he said.

 

Written by Ellen Brock, posted December 2011