Where are you from, where are you located now, and what are your ties to WV?
I was born in Dayton, Ohio, where my father worked for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as a mathematician. We moved to Vienna, WV when my father took a job with DuPont. After 12 years of school in the Parkersburg area, I decided to pursue my interests in photography and the arts and earned a BFA from Marshall University in Graphic Design with an interest in Photography.
What was your first job in film production and what was the experience like?
My first job in video production was in the Corporate Communications department of Ashland Incorporated. At the time, Ashland was a Fortune 50 company and had 7 business divisions located in different parts of the country. Every day, we had to search the television news, local and national, and make VHS copies of all references to the company for the executives. Also, every quarter we produced a financial video that highlighted different aspects of the company and was distributed to the shareholders. This quarterly video gave me a lot of practice on how to shoot and edit. I was taught never to be a lazy shooter and to use my background in art/photography to create interesting compositions.
When did you join the production team at MotionMasters?
I joined MotionMasters in 1998 after working four years with Ashland. The experience with MotionMasters was eye opening. I went from the corporate world, working for one parent company, to working for hundreds of clients in many different industries. My knowledgebase expanded greatly in many different areas. At MotionMasters, I might be hanging out of a helicopter one day and working in a hospital the next.
What was your last job and what were you responsible for?
At MotionMasters, I’ve been involved in hundreds of projects - TV commercials, industrial videos of all sorts, a wide variety of educational videos, documentaries on fascinating subjects, and a national TV series, “Which Woof’s For Me?” on FidoTV Channel. These projects have taken me all around the United States and to several different countries. Every project is a learning experience, a discovery. I may not know much about a subject when we start, but after the project is finished, I will have ingested all the information and answered all my questions. One project that continues to be a challenge is the “Which Woof’s For Me?” series. Every dog breed is different and every location is a challenge. W.C. Fields once said, “Never work with children or animals.” Working with children or animals is never easy, but when you get it right, you have a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Shooting and editing for WWFM gives me that feeling.
What advice would you give someone wanting to work in the film industry?
Technology is always evolving, and there will always be newer equipment being developed, but composition, solid basics, and a hard work ethic will never change. The film industry is part furniture moving and part art. Don’t be scared to roll up your sleeves and never stop learning. Read, talk to other professionals, and just be involved in the craft. Eventually it will become second nature.