Barry Worthington, Class of 2010
Steven Spielberg’s iconic movie ‘Jaws’ changed the swimming habits of millions of beachgoers around the world. It had an even more profound effect on then-6-year-old Barry Worthington.
“I already liked storytelling, but after I watched a very censored version of ‘Jaws’ on TV, I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” says Worthington, 35, who’s been making films ever since.
“Our family had a VHS camera, and to teach myself how to make movies, I would take
my action figures and try to make my own version of ‘Jaws.’ My parents would take
me to the Baltimore aquarium, and I would film the sharks and think, ‘This is how
Spielberg did it.’”
After earning a bachelor’s degree in electronic media and film, he founded Limitless Films, which has produced creative shorts and projects for corporate and nonprofit clients. He’s now working on his first feature-length film.
For a directed study project during his senior year at TU, Worthington made “River Haven,” a sci-fi movie about a monster in the woods. It was his first work that was accepted into a film festival after he graduated college. Here’s some of what he was watching back then.
The night I graduated from TU, my family and I watched the finale. It was such a big deal. It was nice because it felt like getting closure for my time at school and the show I had been watching for so many years.
It’s really neat because a lot of my students are currently watching it. There’s an age difference between me and my students, and yet we’re able to reference it.
The Dark Knight
I’m a huge Christopher Nolan fan, and I’m a huge Batman fan. It’s a film that has a perfect balance of what you were expecting knowing the story of Batman but in a more grounded universe that Nolan was trying to portray.
My wife and I had just started dating, and I think this was the second movie we saw together. I liked that it was sort of a supernatural story grounded in a gritty drama—or the other way around.
In addition to making movies, Worthington has taught in TU’s electronic media and film department since 2014. “You want to make movies wherever you are, even if it’s your hometown,” he says. “Having my own students who believe that is really cool.” Here are a few things he’s watched lately.
The film blends serious issues and humor, which is right up my alley. It brilliantly makes important issues like gender roles and mental health accessible to a range of people who may already know a lot about those topics and to others who may be becoming aware of them for the first time.
This is a lesser-known film with a low budget produced during the pandemic. I love
Mark Duplass, who cowrote the film. It’s two people talking on their webcams to each
other. I love
movies that go outside the box, and this one did while telling an intimate story about a friendship.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
I love Mario and video games and found this film blended so many aspects of the games very well, even down to the musical score. As I discuss in my classes, video games have a unique challenge in their adaptation to film because a player has some say in the outcome.
The original movie was directed by Michael Crichton. He had a background in many different
fields and was a director and filmmaker in addition to being a writer. I like the
TV show too,
but I appreciate what was accomplished in a film around 90 minutes long.