During the course of his career, Andrew Barnsley, President and Executive Producer at Project 10 Productions Inc, said he has a handful of mentors who facilitated his becoming the success he is today. That mentor/mentee relationship, Barnsley said, is what has now brought him to Toronto Film School where he will take on the exciting new role as the school’s Executive Producer in Residence.
Barnsley is a Canadian Screen Award winning Executive Producer (Best Comedy Series). He is currently the Executive Producer on CBC / PopTV / Netflix’s series Schitt’s Creek starring Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, the TMN/Movie Central documentary series Sports On Fire (Leo Award winner) and the TMN documentary feature Spirit Unforgettable. His 2017 development and production slate includes series with CTV, CBC, Family Channel and 20th Century Fox. He previously was the Executive Producer on the sitcom Spun Out starring Dave Foley.
For the past 15 years, Barnsley has produced television series across multiple genres including comedy, animation, puppetry, live-action, children’s, one-off documentaries, and a number of live concert specials. In 2014, Barnsley was named The New Establishment by Playback Magazine and is a member of the CMPA and the Television Academy (USA).
“I look back at my career, and everything is owed to a handful of relationships with people who saw something in me and wanted to help me on some level,” Barnsley recalled. “I have been so fortunate and so blessed to have had a handful of those relationships that helped to slingshot may career trajectory in ways I never thought was possible.”
Recognizing the value of those relationships and how they got him to where he is now, Barnsley said, one of the core reasons he is here at the Toronto Film School is to help push careers along.
“I want to find the students who really care about what they are doing, really want to be doing what we are doing, want to be in this business for the right reasons, are ambitious, have career goals and want to do something great,” Barnsley said. “I will add fuel to those ambitions and those goals, however, I can.”
Now, he is bringing his breadth of experience to Toronto Film School Barnsley will be on site and have an office at the Toronto Film School’s Dundas Square campus where he will interact with students from across programs. “I’m thrilled to be here. It is going to be a lot of fun,” Barnsley said.
Barnsley is a huge advocate for education, and he said he knows well the value of post-secondary studies. Barnsley himself holds a Master in Communications and Culture, a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Radio and Television, a degree in Film Studies and a Bachelor of Education.
“Having big dreams, having big ambitions, if you want to achieve them, you have to take big risks,” Barnsley said. “But every risk I take is informed, it is thought through, including my career risks. A lot of that has to do with having gone to school.”
He went on to explain that he always felt that if he did have an education in the field he was interested in that would be his security net and it has been.
“Having the educational background gave me confidence, and it gave me security,” Barnsley said.
Students, in any creative industry, he said, have to prioritize building their skills, being good at what they do and having a good work ethic, but they should also prioritize building relationships.
“To me, in this business, and probably in any business, relationships are everything,” Barnsley said. “This business is not a resume business where you send out resumes and hope to get a job. It’s about your network, it’s about who you know, who those people might know.”
And that, he said is another benefit he will have coming to Toronto Film School because he may meet the next great actor, writer, director, fashion designer or graphic designer to collaborate with in the future.
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