Brian D’Amico – Editor and Producer – Class of 2002

The cinema program was incredible

In 2002, when I received my BA, in Cinema from Hartford, I had to weigh my options carefully: I could move to Hollywood, where I would have zero connections and essentially need to test my luck, or I could remain in New York and work for minimal pay on the handful of independent movies and documentaries that are edited here.

Around this time, television was experiencing the full-fledged emergence of a relatively new format called “reality TV”.  Here was a genre that documented real life occurrences and created highly dramatic situations among unknown characters. Even in it’s early stages, it was evident that this genre was lucrative and would be a game-changer in the history of television. It was also a perfect time to enter the field, as there were a number of high-paying jobs available and a relatively small network of professionals actually working on the shows.  I was first able to secure an Assistant Editor position on a Food Network series; within two years, I was the Supervising Editor on a hit network primetime series. Since then, I have edited and/or produced shows for ABC, CBS, NBC, MTV, Vh1, A&E, History, HGTV, Esquire, tru TV, Spike, Travel and Bravo including such television mainstays as: Wife Swap, Chopped, Newlyweds, Ink Master, Teen Mom, American Pickers, and Hardcore Pawn.

Though the work I do does not necessarily correlate in nature to that of the master filmmakers I studied in college (Kubrick and Hitchcock, to name a few), it is entertainment, just the same. I am grateful to work in a field that is enjoyable, challenging and remains relevant in a society where everything is constantly in flux. Financially and creatively, reality television has afforded me more opportunities than I could have ever hoped for. That foundation for my passion with everything related to TV began at the University of Hartford.

In high school, my dream was to attend a college that would afford me the opportunity to study film. I applied to several schools, but after meeting with Michael Walsh, I was convinced that it was the right school for me. His enthusiasm for the program, and about me being a part of it, made my decision an easy one. It as only after I began matriculation that I saw the extent of all Hartford could afford me. With a vibrant social scene and an extensive array of activities around campus, I threw myself into Greek life, Student Government and Intramural athletics, and made some great friends, most of whom I’m still close with to this day.

And of course, the cinema program was incredible.  Professor Walsh and other faculty members inculcated the many successful techniques of filmmaking in a way that was effective and enjoyable while introducing us to classic films that I never knew existed. Even beyond the cinema program, I really enjoyed the course offerings in the Arts and Science program, in particular, the vast assortment of creative writing courses as well as one-of-a-kind programs such as The History of American Sports with Warren Goldstein, and Introduction to Television Production with Jack Banks.

My wife often teases me for talking about Hartford so much. I guess I do so but because everything I learned and experienced there still resonates to this day. The University of Hartford was, and continues to be, a huge part of my life. Now that I’m a father, my only hope is that my children will be lucky enough to attend colleges that leave equally indelible marks on them as they pursue their respective passions.