Posted on: April 19, 2017
By Allen Wallace, WALLACJ7@mailbox.sc.edu
Brandon Davis never expected to be taking time out from a hectic day of producing content about an upcoming Star Wars release to be interviewed by his alma mater, but he has no complaints.
“There’s no way I would’ve been doing any of this if I hadn’t gone to the University of South Carolina,” Davis said.
After graduating in December 2014, he is now a special assignment producer for Comicbook.com, which bills itself as “the world's No. 1 news source and lifestyle brand for a generation who loves larger-than-life characters.”
Davis is based in Nashville and travels all over the world to cover the making of movies and television shows from The Walking Dead to Thor: Ragnarok and many others. He even gets to attend world premieres like the April 19 Hollywood debut of Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
“If you would have told me I would be doing this when I was in school, I would have laughed,” he said.
The chance for Davis to break into the world of pop culture news came unexpectedly when he was still a student. His girlfriend invited him to dinner with her parents and some family friends. He was a reluctant participant at first, but it just so happened that one of the family friends had a connection with AMC Networks. Davis shared his idea for a TV show during the dinner, and one thing quickly led to another.
“There’s an old saying, ‘Luck is when preparation meets opportunity,’” Davis said. “I really believe that’s what happened.”
He filmed a pilot for the show, which gained some attention and helped him get a job as an entertainment reporter for a local TV station. From there, Davis, who had started teaching himself to shoot and edit video while still in high school, made his next big break happen.
“I sent an email to this website that I read pretty loyally,” he said. The site, Comicbook.com, had just launched in 2013 and had very little video content at the time. Davis pitched the need for more and offered his services to make it happen. The site’s owners gave him a trial run, and soon hired him. Since then, the site has succeeded beyond all expectations.
“It’s grown far more than I could have envisioned,” Davis said. “I remember sitting on my cell recording video at The Hub in front of a green screen I bought for $50. Now I work in a new studio that cost $1 million.”
Davis earned his bachelor of arts degree in interdisciplinary studies from USC’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. Combining his personal talents with a broad-based curriculum ended up being the perfect fit to provide a long runway for big ideas.
He said instructors such as Sporty Jeralds and Ricky Leftt were powerful influences on his development as a student and as a person, and said practical, real-world skills learned while at HRSM, such as how to use Excel spreadsheets and format professional emails, are things he still uses daily.
“Students need to utilize everything the campus offers,” he said. “The best way to do it is to just do it. You’re not necessarily going to get paid for it, but college is the time to take a shot. You can’t be afraid to fail.”