We’re asked to do more and more as creative professionals. Projects need to get done faster, with less staff and lower costs. In my everyday work, the lines are blurred between video producer, graphic artist and photographer. I fill all those positions and more on every project I work on. It’s just the way this industry is going these days… which is why I created The Render Q. To share what I’ve learned having to work on tight timelines and even smaller budgets. My goal is to help create inspiration for creative professionals to succeed in digital media. If you want to get a taste of how I got to where I am today, read on.
The Early Years
I started out pretty young making home movies. In fact, my friends and I were using one of the first consumer video cameras made. It was big and clunky, and it was tied to a VCR with a 10-pin cable. We would take this gear out and gather the neighborhood kids to make our own movies. This was back in the early days of home video cameras and we had to do what was called in-camera editing. There was no editing software back then. Movie making (and collecting comic books) was what we did to pass the time as kids. And it was fun! I remember the inspiration for me to start creating video was the blockbuster movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. We even created our own version of it and used the Indiana Jones character in many of our productions. Our neighborhood movie premieres were the laugh of the day!
Eventually, my movie making friends and I went our separate ways. I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to study. Would I be a doctor, pharmacist or accountant? It wasn’t until I looked into the Communications department that I enrolled into some video production classes. This is where I learned the basics of production but little did they know I had been doing this for many years before. The opportunity to create clean edited video gave me incentive to learn more, even if it was tape-to-tape VHS editors. I realized that I could actually make a career out of video production. This later led the way to an internship at a local TV station where I started out as a studio camera operator and stage manager. This work was enjoyable if you liked directors yelling at you, but I knew my true passion was in video production, not live tv. So I was given the opportunity to assist in the commercial production department. I learned a lot from going out on shoots and it helped build a great foundation to where I am today. In the next job, I was a one-man commercial production department, writing, shooting and editing my spots which further built my skills which enabled me to secure a position in a large market tv station where I still do commercial production except that now I have a videographer to accompany me.
A Defining Moment
When you work at a tv station, you often end up using equipment that most people have never heard of. At one point, I finally realized how far behind I was in technology used in the ‘outside’ world… So I took it upon myself to add to my technological skill set. I tried to dabble in After Effects but back then I didn’t even know how to start a composition. I finally had a designer on his last day of work give me a quick 5 minute tutorial on After Effects. That 5 minute session changed the way I produce videos and I ended up practicing daily on After Effects for the next year and a half with a minimum of 1 hour a day. Today, I still treat every project as a learning experience. Armed with skills that are widely used in the creative industry, my opportunities opened up. I am constantly learning because there is no end to the creative possibilities!
I really like to do everything myself, but I had to realize that that line of thinking is not possible to become good at anything. Over time, I came to the conclusion that I am not a computer programmer, Flash designer, IT guru or expert photographer. But in trying those and other things related to what I do, I did narrow down the one thing that interests me most and that is motion graphic design and anything related to it. My days of actually shooting video for a commercial are becoming more rare. And even in those projects, motion graphics plays a large part in the overall design. I have always considered myself an artist. I’ve been drawing with pencil and paper ever since I can remember. But now, instead of paper, my canvas is a video monitor where I can make my creations come to life with color, motion and sound.
My passion is video production and motion graphics and I hope to inspire creative professionals who want to excel in these fields. The opportunities are endless in this age where the internet connects everyone and this site is the perfect tool for me to share my experiences. I will offer insight into projects I work on and also share interviews about people in this business and hopefully provide inspiration for you to grow and succeed as a creative professional. I for one, cannot imagine doing any other type of work! What about you?
All the best!