Barney grew up in London and before he left school was shooting record covers and book jackets as a photographer.
He studied English Literature at Magdalen College, Oxford and spent a year at Princeton as a Visiting Fellow in the Film and Creative Writing departments before winning a place on the prestigious BBC television training scheme.
His directing career began with 'Tea', a short commissioned by MTV Europe which went on to be the shortest film selected at Sundance. Barney then wrote and directed 'Queen's Park Story' for BBC 2's 10x10 strand. The Observer called it "the best British drama on television this year", it was in the official selection at the Venice Film Festival and won Best Director at Toronto.
Barney’s commercial work is known for its cinematic style, visual storytelling and great performances.
He is represented by RSA Films in London, New York and LA. He has made commercials for clients such as Volkswagen, Lexus, Typhoo, Toyota, and Deutsche Bahn. His films for the National Health Service have won advertising awards year on year and his safe-sex film 'Spoiled' was voted Scotland's Favourite Ad. His long-running campaign for CIC Bank has been recently voted number 4 in the top 10 of all French commercials.
Barney recently finished a new short film for Hill Holiday in New York, sponsored by Liberty Mutual. He has two features in development: one based on a cult short-story by the celebrated British author J.G. Ballard; one with Francis Coppola’s American Zoetrope in Los Angeles.
He is currently prepping the Berlin part of ‘Geography of the Hapless Heart’ – a portmanteau feature built of fives stories happening simultaneously in five cities.