Brandt Goodman always knew he’d have to leave Paso Robles one day if he wanted to pursue his dream of becoming a filmmaker.
But as he packed to move from the Central Coast to Los Angeles last month, the 21-year-old was hit with a wave of nostalgia for the place he’s called home for nearly his entire life.
A favorite song came on, “White Roses” By Flyte, and Goodman got the idea to pair the music with a video that would bring together everything he loved about his North County hometown.
The result: “Paso Robles: A Goodbye Story,” a three-and-a-half minute tribute set to the wistful tune. Since Goodman posted the film on Vimeo, more than 8,000 people have watched it.
“I’ve always kind of wanted to capture Paso in that way,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s been really cool to see people sharing it.”
A bittersweet goodbye
Goodman moved to the Central Coast when he was in elementary school and graduated from Paso Robles High School in 2016 as class president. He’s been making films with friends since his middle school days.
For this project, he shot footage of the North County’s famous oak trees, vineyards and golden hills in between packing boxes for his move.
Local landmarks like the Paso Robles Historical Society building in Downtown City Park, John’s Video Palace and Park Cinemas also make appearances in the film.
Some of the shots aren’t perfect, Goodman said, but he thinks that gives the film a true-to-life vibe.
“I think it just makes it a little more personal,” he said. “I was going through a big transition at the time.”
Along with being a love letter to his hometown, Goodman’s film also serves as a kind of thank you to the close-knit group of friends he made while living in Paso Robles.
Many of them appear in the video, smiling in the side mirror of a car cruising down Highway 101, goofing off downtown and grabbing a bite to eat. Some of those shots are from Goodman’s early films, which they helped him make.
Goodman’s friends — some of whom he met during his years at Georgia Brown Elementary School — and the beauty of the Central Coast are what he loves the most about Paso Robles.
“I feel like I owe a lot to them,” he said. “Paso is where I established a lot of my close friends.”
Chasing his dreams
Goodman said he’s worked on some commercials in the area since graduating from high school. But he knew he’d need to head to Hollywood if he really wanted to pursue a career in the film industry.
Goodman’s dream is to be a writer/producer or a director, and he recently started his own production company, 1920 Media.
His favorite filmmaker is Edgar Wright, best known for directing movies like “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz” and “Baby Driver.”
Goodman is currently living in Toluca Lake with his girlfriend and a friend who’s been his longtime creative collaborator. He’s working at the Apple store while he pursuing his own film and podcast projects and scouting out other jobs.
“I’d be happy just working in the industry,” he said.