Brian Herzlinger had the opportunity to meet his idol, Steven Spielberg, in 1994. The director's words to the New Jersey high school senior were "Make it." Three years later, with Spielberg's words still ringing in his ears, Herzlinger graduated Summa Cum Laude from Ithaca College with a BS in Cinema & Photography, having written and directed The Film Contest, a short 16mm film that received national recognition.
Moving to Los Angeles, Herzlinger interned at DreamWorks and MGM and then worked as a Production Assistant on a number of commercials and music videos. He followed that up with two seasons as a Producer's P.A. on the hit CBS medical drama Chicago Hope. During that time, he wrote and filmed his second short, Malicious Intent, an award-winning, 13-minute silent narrative. He then became Assistant to one of the Executive Producers of Ally McBeal for three seasons.
While there, Herzlinger directed the award-winning short Krutch, that ranked in the Top 50 for HBO's "Project Greenlight." He later became Assistant Director for Promo Shoots for the WB Network; Assistant to the Executive Producer of the WB/ABC pilot Gramercy Park; and Assistant to the Producer of the hit ABC series Grey's Anatomy.
After winning $1,100 on a game show where the winning answer was "Drew Barrymore," Herzlinger was inspired to produce, direct and star in his first feature. He took the winning experience as a sign that he should fulfill his lifelong dream of asking Barrymore, whom he'd had a crush on since the second grade when he first saw her in E.T. The Extraterrestrial (1982), on a date. With a borrowed video camera and a month to accomplish his mission, Herzlinger's quest became his first feature length documentary, My Date with Drew (2005). With a crew made up of his film school pals, Herzlinger set out to negotiate through the army of publicists, agents, producers and assistants who surround the star.
The film won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival; the Best Documentary Award at the Vail Film Festival; and the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the New York Gen Art Film Festival.
Herzlinger is currently working on a reality TV show based on the film, on which he will serve as both host and Executive Producer. He's also a founding partner, along with Brett Winn, in Rusty Bear Entertainment, an LA-based production company which has numerous films and television projects in development.
My Date with Drew (2005)