Meet Motion Source, featuring Brian Ernst!
June 10, 2016
By Libby Smith • Project Manager

Welcome back to our Employee Feature series, where we give you a “behind-the-scenes” look at our team. This week’s Meet Motion Source will be featuring Brian Ernst, one of our Videographer/ Editors.


The oldest of two, Brian grew up picking on a little sister in the western Chicago suburb of Westchester. Around the dawn of the YouTube era, he stumbled into video production by way of an overactive imagination and an old camcorder. Brian recalls, “on the weekends, my middle school cohorts and I would treat our backyards as backlots, filming anything and everything we could to make us laugh.”

In May 2011, during his junior year at DePaul University, Brian began freelancing for Motion Source. He explains “it was a crash course in working on deadline and interacting with clients which really set me up for an opportunity with the Chicago Tribune,” where he was a Video Producer for over two years.

During his time at the Tribune, he worked for every beat under the sun, ranging from dining to investigations. "Journalism forces you to be sharp, ethical, and fast; skills that are easily transferable, and those are just a few that followed me back to Motion Source." Brian rejoined the Motion Source team in October 2015.

Fun story from set: In what was a beautiful fall day in the southeastern city of Kontiolahti, Finland...after a long day of travel and restless night of jetlag, John and I were to begin filming a manufacturing plant for one of our international clients. We were greeted by a tall blonde man that proceeded to speak with an accent, but in much better English than our own. We were informed that our video equipment was to be handed over for decontamination, and that we were expected to do the same.

So there we were, sans clothes in our skivvies, patiently awaiting the uniforms they were going to provide us with. I was handed the following: hair net, beard net, safety glasses, full jumpsuit, socks, three pairs of gloves, and a pair of shoes that made Crocs look stylish. I can clearly remember the room smelling of pure rubbing alcohol as we lathered our hands in sanitizer with each layer of gloves. We even had to place our shoes on alcohol-soaked rollers like some sort of anxiety-ridden shoe shine. After that process was complete, we were greeted with our gear and escorted through like it was any other work day.

When he's not at Motion Source: I’m usually knocking movies off my long “must watch list.” It’s pretty embarrassing how many classics I have yet to see, but that’s what happens when you’re an avid re-watcher. I’m a creature of habit, sue me.

I’m also constantly working towards my dream job of writing for television. The question I get asked most frequently is “why not for feature films?” Well, sure, I would love to do that too, but there’s something about creating a band-of-merry-gentlepeople and watching them evolve over multiple episodes that is more intriguing to me at the moment (or it may be a loophole I invented for creating less characters. It’s my secret and I’ll never tell.)

Personal Mantra: You gotta risk it to get the biscuit.

Favorite Movie(s): Shaun of the Dead, Groundhog Day, Goodfellas, Grosse Point Blank, Tommy Boy, Jurassic Park, The Shawshank Redemption and my go-to tearjerker, A Knight’s Tale.

Fun Facts: Over the last decade I’ve been teaching myself to play guitar and have begun dabbling in ukulele, mandolin, and piano.

I hate pickles and mushrooms. (Hate is a strong word and I’ve saved it for those disgusting cretins that disguise themselves as food.)

I do a pretty compelling Will Sasso as Randy Newman impression.

I grinned for the entire drive home when I met Tom Skilling.

I once tried making a joke in front of Michael Cera that fell unbelievably flat. I retreated, knowing I brought shame to my family in front of George Michael Bluth.