Since this is my first blog on the new site, I thought I’d take the time to explain why I love video and decided to start a video based company.
My first video production experience came when my 5th grade teacher gave our class a project and as part of it we had to incorporate some type of media. I got together with 2 buddies and we created a talk show, a la “Late Night with David Letterman”. We ended up winning a regional award for the show at a media competition. The whole process fascinated me. From the content generation, to the actual production, to the editing bay, something just clicked. I had always been a creative kid, but working through that 5th grade project opened my mind to whatever crazy, silly, and wacky thing I could think up could be translated into a video. It was kind of like the phrase, “Don’t just tell me, SHOW ME!”
I continued my interest in video into high school where I took television production courses. That class was the main reason I got up for school on most days. I remember some of the things we produced: a horror film where a huge box attacks unsuspecting victims, an extreme sports video where my best friend totally ate it while trying to jump a ramp while on an old 10 speed, and my personal favorite “The Hammer of Thor”, a short film I wrote about an ordinary guy that finds a magical hammer that gives him super powers (like being able to get grape juice stains out of rugs). It was a playground for my imagination and I received a grade for it!
That led me to college, where at Ball State University I studied Telecommunications. Not the best name for the program, as every time I told family members that my major was Telecommunications they would say “Oh, you’re learning how to work with telephone systems?” or “Wow. One day we’ll be sitting at home and our phone will ring and it’ll be Charley trying to sell us something.” Those comments aside, I began to learn something about video in college: producing good video is tough, and producing great video is truly a talent. While it was great to be creative, I had to start figuring out how to be creative AND practical. Not everyone becomes the next Spielberg, Tarantino, or Sodeberg and Hollywood really wasn’t where I wanted to be anyway. In the real world video is used as a marketing/business tool, so it was time for me to focus more on the goal and message of my craft rather than just focusing on how creative I could be. I think this actually helped me to think even more outside the box. I started focusing on the stories that people had to tell. After producing more narrative, unscripted style of video I saw where I could use my skills and talents in the real world, outside of Hollywood.
Now, after 5 years of working for other firms (which I appreciate), I have Engage Video, a video production company that helps businesses large and small tell their stories to the world and connect with their customers in a new way. It’s a mixture of video, social media, SEO, and pure creativity. The path I’ve taken from that 5th grade class project, to high school video classes, to the realizations I found in college, and the professional experience in business, video, and digital marketing has led me to be able to do what I always wanted to do. I’m livin’ it!