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, LAand Asia. 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, 36-spot campaign for CIC Bank was recently voted number 4 in the top 10 of all French commercials.
Barney has made two recent short films - 'Be Good' for Hill Holiday in New York, sponsored by Liberty Mutual, and 'The Foundling' - a 3D short as part of the Philips Parallel Lines series. 'The Foundling' won the 2012 Lumiere Award for outstanding achievement in 3D short film making.
The other 2012 Lumiere winners were Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Wim Wenders. Barney has two features in development, including one based on a cult short-story by the celebrated British author J.G. Ballard.