Barry Wolf - Alumni | CMCMA | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Barry Wolf

Radio and Television, 1966

Television Director

Fine Art Photographer

As a native Chicagoan in 1965 I found myself enrolled as a junior at Southern Illinois University. After several years of not knowing what career to choose for my future, I joined friends who were already at SIU, with the idea that I would become a lawyer. During my first semester my world was turned upside down. After meeting a new friend who was majoring in Radio and Television, I became fascinated by television production and made one of the biggest decisions of my life. I soon changed my major to radio and television throwing my total energy into learning all I could about making television programs. After graduation in 1966 with a BS in radio and television communications I returned to Chicago and began my television career. It was an uphill battle where the word “no” was told to me too many times. I knew I could do the work since I had directed and produced at WSIU for 2 years. I had that experience from what I believe was a great education from a very involved faculty. Finally after interviewing at all the TV stations in Chicago my best offer was to paint scenery for $50 a week. I took the job reluctantly and worked my way up to a light director, where I was nominated for an Emmy and finally promoted to an associate producer. Next, I got an opportunity to work at the Fox channel where the crew did everything; camera, lighting, directing, etc. I still wanted to direct and produce bigger programs and I sent resumes to California hoping to break into the production business. After several months I got an offer to work at a small TV station in Chicago as a director. I accepted the job and in less than a year I became programing director and eventually station manager. The station was a small independent station and I wanted to produce larger productions. I again sent more resumes to California. However, a friend told me about a job making corporate television programs. The job paid 3 times what I was making so I took it until I heard from California.

The job opened my eyes to a whole different market. I eventually was hired by USG corporation to build a studio and a playback network to train salespeople. The job gained me national recognition and I soon left to start my own television production company, Emotion, Inc. which I owned and ran for 33 years. We made videos and commercials for more than 50 Fortune 500 companies. Today I have retired from making corporate image films and commercials and I have become a fine art photographer with representation in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Minneapolis and London.

I have also won many awards; Television Director of the year in Chicago, The Chicago Film Festival award for a video short, PR directors award for excellence, etc. I also was president of the International Television Association.