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Alex Bartz

Alex Bartz in a photoshoot

In the 1990s, Dallas, Texas nurtured its children on Disney entertainment. It wasn’t hard to do: Disney child stars ruled both small and large screens, attracting fans to join the fun in front of the camera. Alex Bartz (’18) was among those Dallas children who answered the call to act by accepting a role in a TV commercial. More commercial parts followed. Then came acting classes, an agent, and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card. Eventually, Bartz stepped onto a big-budget set at a NASA space facility. What awed him there was not the cast in front of the camera but the crew behind it.

Looking back, Bartz recalls talking to crew members between takes in order to learn about their craft. Afterward, he studied filmmaking books, wrote scripts, and turned them into short films with help from his friends. He began looking at film schools. At church, he heard about Liberty University and its new Cinematic Arts Department. He decided to visit: “It was by far the nicest film program I’d ever seen. . . just the equipment Liberty had there was so cutting-edge, and there was just so much of it. I knew I’d be getting a good education.”

Bartz dove into his freshman studies by acting in the Cinematic Arts Department’s feature film, Extraordinary. He also helped senior film students by acting in their thesis film projects. In his junior year, he transitioned out of acting and began to learn more about the craft of filmmaking within the collaborative environment of a cohort educational structure. Bartz explored various skill sets, including sound design and transportation coordination, but his natural talent for logistics and workflow found its best match in post-production processes, where shots and sounds are edited together to form an aesthetically colored, cohesive story.

Immersion being his preferred learning method, Bartz edited his own thesis film well ahead of its deadline and then helped some classmates edit theirs. His early accomplishments gave him time to pursue and land a post-graduation internship with a big-name company . . . Disney.

Through their Yellow Shoes Creative Group, Bartz spent a year working chiefly as post-producer for some of Disney’s social media platforms. He gained a deep understanding of brand identity which, afterward, enabled him to take professional jobs in freelance editing and in a post-production house. Currently, he works in a production house called Riotmaker as director of post-production. His clients have included Will Smith, Amazon Music, Ring, and DiGiorno.

Alex Bartz

Bartz says he enjoys commercial media work because a person can do more projects per year than film, but having a film degree gives one an edge in the commercial content world because it brings a fresh perspective and superior workflow skills. He advises film students not to set their hearts on a specific vocation but to learn as much as they can about every part of production, especially post-production, because it’s “the backbone of all productions these days. Having a good foundation in post-production technology and VFX and coloring and knowing what can be done in post-production will give you a lot more creative options in production. Knowing the ‘post’ side will make you valuable on set.”

Bartz’s story took a few costume changes, but his Disney dream really did come true. Through experience and education, he has found the place where his passion and profession come together for a fulfilling career. He calls back to the dreamers: “Go into the ad world. It’s so much fun here!”

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