Back in the mid 90’s, I was graduating high school. I wanted to go into a field that was creative and thought I would try my hand at directing movies. A film school in New York was offering me a scholarship but I wanted to stay close to the Bay Area. So the only school I applied to was San Francisco State University. This was a school that was very well known for its film and broadcasting curriculum. In fact Dr. Zettl, a professor who taught broadcasting at SF State is a well-known author who has written several books regarding the broadcasting industry.
I did not have a plan B, in case I was not accepted at SF State. Thankfully, I received an envelope from the university in late spring of 94. I was scared but curious at the same time while I slowly opened the envelope. I read, “We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to San Francisco State University.” Man, was I ecstatic, I think I even yelled out, “Oh Yes!” I entered college as a film major, specifically in the field of directing. As I began my general education courses, I quickly realized how hard it would be to make an income as a director. I mean, how many Spielberg are there? Just one, and I did not have the confidence in myself to try or even think I could make it as a director. I just kept thinking about what I would do if I did not make it as a director. All the schooling and no job. My counselor at the time suggested that I enroll in broadcasting courses. There were many avenues that I could explore, and I thought I had a better chance in making something of myself with a broadcasting degree.
In 2000 I graduated with a degree in Television Production. My first job in the industry was at channel 26 in Fresno CA. There I learned the ropes as a videographer and as an editor. During my time at 26 I made several rookie mistakes and learned from each one of them. The things I learned in school were great….but the experience is where it was at. After working at 26 I moved onto 24 then 47, and finally at ABC 30. During my time as a videographer and editor I would ask my peers questions, “How did you get that shot, or how can I make my video look better?” I truly believe you can learn a great deal by studying others’ work and asking questions. Learn from those who have more experience and adapt what you learn to your own technique and style of shooting.
My wife has always encouraged me to do side jobs. It wasn’t long ago when video equipment was way too expensive, so I never gave it a second thought. Just recently videographers have had the opportunity to buy great gear at reasonable prices. Now was the time I could do side jobs and earn a little more money. There was a time when I did not give shooting weddings a second thought. When I thought of a videographer shooting a wedding, I pictured the guy who shot my wedding and how terrible it was. I mean, there was one camera, bad audio and uninteresting shots. However, fast forward in time….I started seeing these short wedding films that were fantastic. The films had great audio and great pictures. The videographer used movement to tell the story. These short wedding films really influenced my decision to make my own wedding films.
If you knew me you would know I am a man of seldom words. I listen to those who speak, but rarely do I ever want to be the center of attention. In fact, I shy away from the whole “look at me” vibe. Pictures are the way I communicate. I love to tell people stories. Bringing together the pictures and sound of music with what the interviewee is saying is a true art form. Putting together a story is like a puzzle….I get such joy out doing this type of work. God has blessed me with this ability and I try not to ever forget that. There are times I will take on projects for no pay just because I believe in them. Saturday Sports is a great example of this. I chose to do this short documentary because God spoke to me and I listened. I also shot a promotional video for a local Christian school FCCA for free. Sometimes helping others who really need your support is better than money.
I thought it would be nice to share some of my own personal story with you. I look forward to capturing your story through filmmaking.
I have been working in television and media for over 18 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, producer and storyteller.