After his undergraduate at BYU, Barber worked as an independent documentary filmmaker, including one fortunate project which took him to several countries across five continents. He went on to attend the USC School of Cinema-Television and continued work in Los Angeles as an editor, cinematographer, and director/producer of documentary film and television, with credits on HBO, Showtime, PBS, Discovery Channel, ESPN, Current TV, the Documentary Channel, and others.
Barber was nominated for an Emmy for his work as an editor on the HBO documentary Resolved, on which he also served as an associate producer and cinematographer. The film won the Audience Choice Award at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival and was nominated for an Emmy in the category of “Outstanding Informational Programming.” Barber has also participated in a number of film festivals both as a filmmaker and as a programmer, serving on selection committees for the Slamdance Film Festival and the International Documentary Association Awards.
Barber joined the Theatre and Media Arts faculty at BYU in 2007 and helped develop significant non-fiction curriculum revisions which include more focus on television, transmedia, and new forms of distribution. He also works with advanced students in a professional mentoring environment to make documentaries and other new forms of content for BYU Broadcasting.
Barber’s short documentary Zero Currency (2009) won a CINE Golden Eagle award in the Independent Division for Short Documentary. Brad served as the producer, director, and editor of the piece. Beehive Stories, the project to which Zero Currency belongs, is a series of documentaries spotlighting the five Utah national parks and a sampling of Utah residents. In May 2011, Barber received the Charles Redd Center Young Scholar Award in Western Studies, based in large part on his work with Beehive Stories. The Young Scholar Award provides an annual salary stipend and annual support award to Assistant or Associate Professors to promote significant scholarship in Western American studies. The series also received an Emmy Award from the 2012 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards ceremony in Phoenix. Later that year, Barber's film Drum Beats was accepted to the Heartland Film Festival, one of the highest purse prizes of film festivals in the world.
In 2013, one of Barber's Beehive Stories films, Iron County, was nominated for a Rocky Mountain Emmy. In 2014, Barber's Iron County also received an award for "Best Short Form in Content Production" from the National Education Telecommunications Association (NETA). Another of his short films, Wayne County, received a Regional Emmy nomination in the same year. Also in 2014, Barber was involved in the Ultra Violet project funded by the Laycock Center. The project included many students and faculty of various departments at BYU, and produced several collaborative projects with the artist Ultra Violet (Isabelle Collin-Dufresne). The end of the project came with the showing of "Ultra Violet: The Studio Recreated, April 24-May 24," an exhibition which transported all the contents of her art studio inside Dillon Gallery in New York, including animations the artist had created with BYU students. Barber assisted with the filming and editing involved in the project.
In 2015, Barber and Scott Christopherson’s film, Peace Officer, was chosen as the Indie Project of the Day on Indiewire and was selected to premiere at the 2015 South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. At the Festival, it received the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary feature film as well as the Audience Choice Award. At the 2015 Full Frame Film Festival, the film won the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights. In May of that year, the film won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature and the David Carr award for truth in non-fiction filmmaking at Montclair University in New Jersey. The same month, the rights to the film were acquired by Gravitas Ventures, and the film was set for a theatrical release in Fall 2015 with an air date on PBS' Independent Lens in Spring 2016. In June of 2015, they were invited to show their documentary at AFI DOCS in Washington DC, and were among a select group from the festival invited to attend a two-day "Impact Lab" hosted by AFI and Picture Motion. The film was also the featured August film in the 2015 Hamptons Film Festival “SummerDocs” series, and in December, was announced as a grant winner from the AFI Docs/NBC Universal Impact organizations. Barber and Christopherson were included on Variety's 2015 list of "10 Documakers To Watch," and also met all the qualifications to be considered for the Oscars.
Barber is married to fellow BYU alumni Susan Krueger-Barber.
- Indiewire - "Gravitas Ventures Acquires SXSW Winner 'Peace Officer'" (13 May 2015)
- Hollwood Reporter - "Award Winning Doc 'Peace Officer Goes to Gravitas Ventures" (12 May 2015)
- LA Times - "SXSW: 'Krisha' and 'Peace Officer' win top jury prizes'" (12 March 2015)
- BYU Universe - BYU team scores top honors at SXSW for documentary film 'Peace Officer' (23 March 2014)
- LDS Church News - BYU wins broadcasting awards (19 Oct 2012)
- BYU Magazine - Roll out the Blue Carpet (Summer 2012)
- The Daily Herald - BYU filmmaker documents Utah life (19 Feb. 2010)
- PBS Independent Lens - "Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber Capture a Man on a Mission" (6 May 2016)]