Interview by Navyaa Jain ’23.
I recently got the opportunity to speak with alumnus Bailey Galvin-Scott, from NA’s class of 2014. Galvin-Scott is a professional filmmaker and photographer who specializes in operating drone technology. His work, including photographs, short films, and documentaries, is featured at http://baileygalvinscott.com. Below is a look into our conversation where we discussed creative careers, high school, and NA’s impact.
Could you just give a brief summary of your artistic endeavors and what you’re doing right now?
I am a Director of Photography, and I do camera operating on documentaries and commercial shorts. I also do drone work, which is my favorite part.
How did you decide to get involved with filmmaking and photography?
In high school, I got into drones really early, kind of in the whole drone revolution before everyone had one. I would have to go to buy the pieces, build it, and put on my own camera, so it wasn’t super easy to just go buy a drone. That’s why I got into that really early, maybe like 2011 or 2012, and have been flying them for fun since then. On top of that, I’ve always loved making movies with friends since middle school, so it just kind of snowballed into a career out of my control.
What steps did it take to build a career in the arts?
I feel like you talk to anyone in the film industry and everyone has such a different story. We’ve all done it, more or less, with hard work and determination, but there’s also a big chunk of luck. In a field that’s ill-defined sometimes, you just find yourself in it. Simply put, it’s being ready to do the hard work when something lucky happens. I had gone to film school and had been working with drones for some time, but I moved to LA after college on a whim without having any work lined up, and eventually, I just met people who needed some drone work. I built those relationships, so I would say it’s who you meet and how you take that.
Do you have a favorite project you ever worked on? What made it so special?
I’d say the one stands out is doing a documentary on food and culture in the Philippines. A couple of years ago, I had a friend in college and he texted me out of the blue saying: “I’m shooting a documentary later this year in the Philippines on food. Are you around do it?” Now, that’s the kind of call, that as a freelancer, you hope for. It comes out of nowhere, and you could have nothing for a month, but then a day later you’re going to the Philippines. So, we went to the Philippines with a crew to shoot the documentary which was called “New Sites New Bites” and it followed two Filipino-Americans, one who had never been to the Philippines and one who was a bit more familiar from prior travel. They would explore their culture, how food influenced the culture, and how tourism has westernized the traditional food to cater to the tourists. Besides the amazing idea, it was awesome to travel to the Philippines and work on a show similar to Anthony Bourdain’s cooking/travel shows. It was a great group of people and a really cool story.
Check out this short-film preview of the trip at: https://vimeo.com/320673787
Did your time at NA help you get to where you are today in your career?
Definitely. NA is where I started filming stuff with a really good group of friends and at the time, it was just for fun, but I slowly realized that in hindsight I was building the skills that I needed for my career. It definitely provided a really good environment and a lot of great people who would just try to make movies. On top of that, when I was at NA, the film program had just started, and that was also a really good opportunity to get advice from the teachers, and have access to the equipment that would make it easier to learn. Overall, I would say NA definitely shaped how I film.
What would you say to aspiring filmmakers, photographers, and creatives at NA now?
Definitely be okay with the unknown. It’s a challenging thing to get your head around, especially when starting out and working for a while, but I think it’s really important to know and accept that. Also, be excited to follow your passion, but understand that as a creative, passion ebbs and flows, so when that happens, following your curiosity is also important. Saying follow your passion is great for people who have a very defined passion, but sometimes in the creative world that gets mixed up, so people question themselves, saying “what am I doing” or “what do I want to do.” That’s when following your curiosity towards anything is super critical because it helps you stay interested in whatever’s coming.