How I got to be a hybrid

I’m headed out to NAB next week. Every year the National Association of Broadcasters holds it’s conference in Las Vegas – one of the largest conferences in Las Vegas. It’s a great place to find out about new toys and polish your skills through some of the seminars.
I’ve always been a “means to an end” type of person. So when I go to a show like the NAB, I’m not attracted to the new gear as much as I am to new ideas and opportunities in the way of video.

I’ve often been asked by my peers (fellow photographers) how and why did I get started in multimedia and video. The short answer is – I had a story to tell that needed sound and motion. About 10 years ago I was shooting a story that I pitched for Smithsonian Magazine about swing dancing. You can imagine the challenge of illustrating this story with a still camera. I got through it dragging the shutter and other “motion” techniques”. Shortly after that assignment, I read an article in Time Magazine about how technology was enabling people to create “films” without Hollywood size crews and budgets. In the article, a mention was made about an upcoming DV symposium to be held at the American Film Institute in LA. I followed the lead and headed out to LA for the conference. Those 4 days rocked my world and filled my head with the possibilities that new technology was creating in the visual world.
I am a storyteller and I use the tools that allow me to tell the story in the best way I can. For a long time, I had in my head an idea that just wouldn’t go away. I was very interested in doing a story on the Delta blues musicians. A lot of stories had been done about their music, but I was interested more in where these musicians came from, culturally and geographically speaking. I knew that I had to add the dimension of sound to communicate the message – let’s face it – it’s a story about musicians. So, my foray into video officially began.

I’ve learned a lot since then and am still learning. Technology pretty much mandates that we keep learning because nothing is static. I have taken numerous courses along the way, but perhaps the best was The Platypus Workshop given by Dirck Halstead and PF Bentley. I would recommend this to anyone thinking of moving into video.

We live in an amazing time. While some people lament the past and fret the future, I welcome new opportunities and new ways to do what I do – tell the story.

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