My goal is to always be prepared, patient and in the moment – ready for anything. After more than 25 years of doing this, I’m lucky to have the technical experience and confidence to focus on the story rather than obsessing about equipment.
It all started in 1976 when I was in high school and my art teacher brought one of the very first “consumer level” video cameras to class. Yes I’m that old. I was instantly drawn to it. It weighed about 50 pounds, had a separate recorder you had to pack around, and the picture quality was terrible by today’s standards. But, as soon as I picked it up and took a few shots, I knew this was what I wanted to do. Mr. Chow, if you’re out there somewhere, thanks for setting me off on this amazing career.
After almost three decades of shooting and editing news, documentaries, series television, corporate communications, commercials and almost anything else you can think of, it’s still fun and creatively rewarding to go to work everyday.
There’s no doubt that today’s camera technology is revolutionizing video production. The picture quality is off the charts. The cinematic style of film and the immediacy of video have merged and I love it. The look and feel I always imagined in my head, but struggled to achieve in video, is now possible.
That being said, I’m always careful not to let my gear be what defines me. So many shooters today seem to spend all their time and energy fixating on codecs, bit rates, and sensor size – thinking that the latest and greatest camera will make them better. It’s just not true.
“I’m sorry, but I didn’t get that shot of the young girl running into her mother’s arms and bursting into tears with a double rainbow in the background because I was busy tweaking my camera’s picture profile for improved dynamic range.”
In any project, there’s always the nuts-and-bolts that have to get done – scripted stand-ups, a long list of specific shots, several lengthy interviews – but telling engaging and effective stories with sensitivity, patience and compassion and capturing real and unpredictable moments as they unfold – that’s what I get paid to do. You can’t script or plan these things, but when you’re ready for it, they just happen. When they do, it’s magic.
Regardless of the size of the budget, a well produced video can educate, engage, uplift, inspire, shift opinions – and change the world.
That’s why I love doing this.